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Acalypha reptans (Red cats tail, Chenille plant, Firetail, Acalypha)

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Top ten native plants. Native plant specialist Angus Stewart's top ten native Australian plants.

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Native grasses and friends. An exciting thing is happening in the world of Australian plants. Wild species that have tantalised gardeners in the past are now being improved to create a diverse palette of new varieties that offer all kinds of advantages. In particular, the necessity for water-wise, low maintenance gardens has inspired interest in plants that can be used as ground covers that will not only suppress weeds and erosion but also look fantastic.

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Plant description

acalypha reptans dwarf red cat tails

acalypha reptans dwarf red cattails flower

Acalypha reptans is a tropical or subtropical subshrub with decorative pendulous tassels of red flowers in summer to autumn. An easy care, low maintenance plant. They are good garden feature plants, for massed plantings and borders, and for containers. They can be used as indoor plants in bloom, but will need to be rested outdoors in dappled shade from time to time.

Acalypha are hardy and adaptable plants when grown in a warm climate. They will thrive if given a fertile, well drained soil with regular watering. They can be somewhat drought tolerant once established. They like a spot with dappled sun, but can also be grown in sun or shade.

Propagation is by cuttings, either soft tips or semi hardwood. Also by division and by seed.

Additional plant information

Flowers

Flower colour: red
Flowering season: summer autumn

Plant size

Maximum height: 0.5 metres
Minimum height: not specified

Maximum width: 0.4 metres
Minimum width: not specified

Sunlight, frost & salt tolerance

This plant will tolerate full or partial sunlight.
Light frost tolerance.
Plant is salt tolerant.

Fauna attracting?

Yes. Attracts: Butterflies, bees, insects.

Climate

This plant species will grow in the following climates: temperate, subtropical, tropical.

Soil types & conditions

Loam: moist, well-drained.

Clay: moist, well-drained.

Sand: moist, well-drained.

Soil pH: 6.5-7.5

Pests

Mealy bug, mites

Miscellaneous information

Planting season: Any.

Types of fertiliser: Good general purpose fertiliser.

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