Thursday, October 2, 2008

Acalypha (copperleaf)

What is huge and sassy and multicolored all over? In my early-fall garden, it is acalypha (wilkesiana, maybe). Planted as tiny little 4-inch potted plants this June, my two acalyphas are now great big showy burst of color that just sit there and do their thing without any intervention on my part. God bless their colorful little souls. My good friend Mike, who knows all things botanical, declared in mid-summer when I was lamenting their still diminutive size, that acalyphas seem to take a few weeks to settle in but then just take off and he was (as always) right. After about 4 weeks of sitting there doing nothing, they suddenly doubled and then redoubled in size and then just kept growing. Yeah, the frost will kill them and I will have to start over with fresh plants next spring (a fact that my south Florida brother has a hard time with) but I'll be more than willing to shell out a few dollars for this tropical and just pretend it is an annual.

Bonus points for being heat, humidity, and drought-tolerant!

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