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Acalypha wilkesiana (Acalypha, copperleaves, Fijian fireplant, beefsteak plant)

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Helpful articles

Australian Native Orchids. Native orchids range from the spectacular epiphytic (growing on trees) and lithophytic (growing on rocks) species of the tropical jungles and warmer areas of Australia, to the intricately subtle terrestrial (growing in the ground) species found throughout the dry eucalypts forests throughout the continent.

Native Hibiscus. An ever increasing interest in native hibiscus has led to the horticultural development of a number of new cultivars which rival the exotic types in beauty and flower size.

Winter Flowering Plants for the Garden. No Australian garden need be free of flowers in winter. Read this article to learn about some great winter flowering plants.

Hedges. This article explains how to care for and maintain your Australian hedge.

Plant description

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acalypha2

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Acalypha are spreading shrubs grown for their multicoloured foliage and tropical feel. They come in a great range of leaf colours and combination of colours. Despite their lush looks, they are tough and drought tolerant once established, and are very easy care plants in temperate, tropical or subtropical climates, or as house or container plants.

Acalypha does well in sun or part shade. It prefers a fertile moist soil, sheltered from strong winds. It does not tolerate frost. Cutting back once a year keeps the foliage fresh and well coloured, and the plant more compact.

Acalypha are native to Fiji and nearby South Pacific islands. It has been used medicinally in Nigeria.

Further reading: Hedges and Pruning a hedge in 7 steps (articles written by horticulturalist Angus Stewart).

Additional plant information

Flowers

Flower colour: cream
Flowering season: summer autumn

Plant size

Maximum height: 3 metres
Minimum height: 1 metres

Maximum width: 3 metres
Minimum width: 1 metres

Sunlight, frost & salt tolerance

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

Fauna attracting?

Not specified.

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: wet, well-drained.

Soil pH: 5.5-7

Pests

Mealy bugs, red spider mite, aphids, white fly

Miscellaneous information

Planting season: spring, summer.

Types of fertiliser: Good general purpose.

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