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Care of the plant Acalypha wilkesiana or Copperleaf.

Care of the plant Acalypha wilkesiana or Copperleaf

The Acalypha genus, family of the Euphorbiaceae, includes some 500 species of tropical plants native to Asia and America. Some species are: Acalypha wilkesiana, Acalypha pendula, Acalypha hispida, Acalypha virginica.

Common names: Copperleaf, Fire-dragon, Copper plant, Beefsteakplant, Jacob's-coat. Thies species is native to Java and Papua New Guinea.

They are fast growing tropical sub-shrub plants that reach 1 meter (3.28 feet) height. They are very interesting for their beautiful heart-shaped leaves with a jagged edge and purple with red and gray reflections or green with cream margins (Circinata shape) and even with red, orange and copper colors (Musaica shape). They can produce small flowers that are not decorative.

Copperleaf is used as houseplants in regions that do not have a tropical or subtropical climate.

The Acalypha wilkesiana needs abundant light but without directly receiving the sun's rays. Temperatures below 15 ºC (59 ºF) are not suitable.

The best soil would be a mixture, in equal parts, of sand, leaf mulch and well decomposed manure.

Fire-dragon needs high ambient humidity that we can achieve by placing moistened gravel on a tray or plate under the pot. Water with lime-free water every 2 days in summer; reduce the watering until leaving them once a week in winter.

Fertilize every 15 days with mineral fertilizer for indoor plants from early spring to early fall.

At the end of winter, do a slight pruning to favor the appearance of new shoots.

If the environmental humidity is low Acalypha wilkesiana can be attacked by mites.

Every 3 years it is recommended to renew the specimens for which we can make stem cuttings in winter.

Images of the plant Acalypha wilkesiana or Copperleaf

Acalypha wilkesiana Circinata
Acalypha wilkesiana Circinata