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

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Helpful articles

DIY Australian landscaping. Read this informative article and learn how to create a uniquely Australian landscape or garden.

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.

Grevilleas. Learn all about grevilleas from native plant expert Angus Stewart.

External privacy screens. External privacy screens began to appear in Australian residential and commercial building during the 1950's and 1960's, as a direct result of high density living and higher incomes. For more information and some examples read this article.

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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