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Alternanthera dentata 'Little Ruby' (Joy weed, Calico plant, Alternanthera)

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Helpful articles

Angus's Top Gum Trees for Gardens. Angus Stewart's list of the best gum trees (Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora) for Australian gardens.

Growing Banksias. Learn how to grow Banksia in your garden.

A lawn to envy in 6 easy steps. Six step lawn maintenance guide.

Selecting plants for your garden. This article describes how you can best select plants for your garden.

Plant description

alternanthera dentata little ruby

alternanthera dentata alternanthera little ruby.

Alternanthera dentata 'Little Ruby' is a very compact, groundcovering perennial with attractive, dark burgundy foliage. It is a hardy, easy care plant, and forms a neat, mounding, dense plant. It bears clusters of small cream flowers, but the plant is grown for the foliage. Use as a contrast or accent plant in warmer areas, or as as an annual in cooler climates, as it is frost tender. It is a great container plant, and also suits green wall planting. It is a particularly compact plant, and is about a third of the size of normal althernanthera dentata, growing to 30-40 cms high and to around 60-90 cms wide.

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.

Additional plant information

Flowers

Flower colour: cream
Flowering season: summer

Plant size

Maximum height: 0.4 metres
Minimum height: 0.3 metres

Maximum width: 0.9 metres
Minimum width: 0.6 metres

Sunlight, frost & salt tolerance

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

Fauna attracting?

Yes. Attracts: Insects.

Climate

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

Soil types & conditions

Loam: dry, wet, moist, well-drained.

Clay: moist, well-drained.

Sand: moist.

Soil pH: 5.5-7.5

Miscellaneous information

Planting season: Any.

Types of fertiliser: Good general purpose fertilsier.

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