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Bulletproof landscape plants. Not all plants are equal. Many require the soil and climate (amongst other things) to be 'just right'. The plants described in this article are the ones that deserve the title of 'bulletproof' and are a good starting point for an easy-care garden.
Alternanthera bettzickiana 'Exhibition Border Red' is a colourful groundcovering perennial, with small burgundy leaves blotched with bright pink. Use as a contrast or accent plant in warmer areas, or as an annual in cooler climates, as it is frost tender. It makes a good low hedge plant, for massed plantings, for contrast in flower beds, and is a good container plant. Also good for green wall planting. It bears clusters of small white flowers, but the plant is grown for the foliage colour.
Alternanthera likes a part shade to full sun position, but the best colour is developed in the sun. It does best in moist, well drained soil, but is an adaptable plant to different situations. Lightly trim the plant to encourage a compact habit, or to keep the plant to a particular size. They respond well to regular tip pruning.
The leaves are edible, and can be used raw or in soups and stews. They should not be eaten by pregnant women. A poultice of the leaves can be used for boils.
Propagation is from cuttings, which root readily.
This plant is becoming an environmental weed in wet areas in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Flower colour: cream
Flowering season: winter
Maximum height: 0.3 metres
Minimum height: not specified
Maximum width: 0.6 metres
Minimum width: not specified
This plant will tolerate full or partial sunlight.
Light frost tolerance.
Plant is salt tolerant.
This plant species will grow in the following climates: cool, temperate, subtropical, tropical.
Loam: moist, well-drained.
Clay: moist, well-drained.
Sand: moist, well-drained.
Soil pH: 6.1-7.5
Mealy bugs, aphids
Planting season: Any in warmer areas, spring in cooler areas.
Types of fertiliser: Good general purpose fertiliser.