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

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Helpful articles

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

Attracting fauna to your garden. This article explains how you can attract native australian wildlife to your garden.

Composting written by Glorious Gardens. Learn all about the joys of composting. Cold composting and hot composting are just two of several options.

Dealing with possums in the garden.

Plant description

alternanthera dentata alternanthera little ruby.

alternanthera dentata 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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