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Acalypha Genus

Copper leaf

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General Needs

  • LightPart shade
  • HardinessFrost tender (min 5°C)
  • SoilWell drained, Light, Humus-rich
  • Soil pH5.0 to 7.0
  • WaterSemi-moist

Description

Acalypha genus (Copper leaf). This genus of evergreen shrubs and subshrubs consists of over 400 species which are found in tropical and sub-tropical regions and have spiked leaves with toothed margins. The female plants produce feathery spikes of flowers.

Characteristics

Annuals or Perennials, Evergreens, Fragrants

Other common names

Copper plant

Origin

Tropical and sub-tropical regions.

The name is derived from the Greek 'akalypha' for nettle, inspired by the Acalypha plant's nettle-like leaves.

Interest and use

The flowers and foliage.

Cultivation

Frost tender (min 10-13 C), but best at min 16 C. Needs partial shade and humus-rich, well drained soil. Stem tips may be removed in growing season to promote branching of young plants. Feed monthly in summer and water freely.

Water containerized plants freely when in full growth, much less at other times and in low temperatures. Prune to shape in winter.

Propagation

Propagate by softwood, greenwood or semi-ripe cuttings in summer.

Pests, diseases or disorders

Red spider mite, whitefly and mealy bugs may be a problem.

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