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Alternanthera. C14

Alternanthera is a herbaceous plant with spectacularly coloured leaves.

Specific References

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This genus is composed of about 140 species of herbaceous plants native to all continents and belongs to the family Amaranthaceae.

Also commonly known by the names of Coqueta, Mosaic or Jardinera.

They are herbaceous perennials with a creeping or ground-covering habit, usually not taller than half a metre. The most interesting feature is their small, purple, ovate-lanceolate leaves. The flowers have no ornamental interest, they are white and small.

They are easy to grow tropical plants that are often used as ground cover in contrasting groups with other plants and to create patches of colour on lawns. They are also interesting in pots and planters for terraces, patios and balconies and as houseplants.

Alternanthera plants need full sun exposure to be at their best, although they can live in light shade. It does not tolerate frost, in fact it does not like temperatures below 15°C, although its aerial part can dry out and sprout again if the cold has not been too intense.

It likes well-drained soils that contain some organic matter and are soft. Planting should preferably be done in spring, once the risk of frost has passed.

It should be watered regularly in spring and summer, waiting for the soil to dry out between waterings (never puddle), and very moderately in winter.

Preferably, it should be fertilised fortnightly with mineral fertiliser during the spring and with a little organic matter (humus, for example) towards the autumn.

They do not need pruning, but the tips of the branches should be pinched back to give them a more compact appearance.

They can be attacked by fungi if watering is overdone. They propagate quite easily from cuttings.



Alternanthera is a herbaceous plant with spectacularly coloured leaves.

Specific References

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