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Zone
Zones 24, H2
Partial Sun
Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Acalypha

Euphorbiaceae
Annuals, Evergreen, Shrubs

Native to Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands. Beyond the hardiness range, the tree could be grown indoors. All bloom intermittently during the warmest months. Must have good drainage. Pinch young plants regularly to encourage bushy growth.

Acalypha hispida (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Acalypha hispida (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Acalypha hispida

Can grow to a bulky 10 ft. tall and 6 ft. wide. Heavy, rich green leaves to 8 in. wide. Flowers come in hanging, 1 1/2-ft.-long clusters that resemble tassels of crimson chenille. Heaviest bloom is in early summer; scattered bloom all year. Thrives in tropical climates. Can also be grown in a greenhouse or enclosed patio or, with heavy pruning, as a houseplant.

Acalypha reptans

Native to Florida and the Caribbean, this plant is grown as an annual in Zones 22 and 23. It resembles A. hispida in flower form and color but is much smaller (about 1 ft. high and wide), with shorter tassels that droop from trailing branches. Good choice for growing in a hanging basket.

Acalypha wilkesiana (photo courtesy of Laura Dunkin-Hubby)
Acalypha wilkesiana (photo courtesy of Laura Dunkin-Hubby)

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Acalypha wilkesiana

Native to the Pacific Islands. Foliage is more colorful than many flowers. Often used as an annual, substituting for flowers from late summer to frost. In a warm, sheltered spot, copperleaf can grow as a shrub to 6 ft. or taller, nearly as wide. Leaves come in various blends of bronzy green, red and purple, or red. Hybrid ‘Sizzle Scissors’ has finely dissected leaves strongly edged in pink. Outdoor potted plants should be kept slightly dry through winter.

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