Acalypha Wilkesiana is an evergreen shrub with attractive leaves commonly grown for its ornamental value. Here’s how to grow them easily.
This is a small tree native to Fiji. Also known as Copperleaf, is a popular ornamental plant in gardens and landscapes. Let’s discover how to grow Acalypha Wilkesiana easily.
Acalypha Wilkesiana – Key Facts
|Copperleaf, Jacob’s coat and Flamengueira
|Bismarck Archipelago east to Fiji
|Well – Drained
|Green, Purple, Yellow, Orange, Copper, Crimson, Pink, or White.
Acalypha Wilkesiana Information
Acalypha Wilkesiana features striking leaves and colorful flowers in copper, red, pink, green, and yellow. The large, toothed-edge leaves grow 6-10 feet long, arranged alternately. Inconspicuous flowers form in terminal clusters, surrounded by vibrant leaf-like bracts. The plant produces small, round fruits after flowering.
Acalypha Wilkesiana is not just a pretty plant; it’s also used in traditional medicine for things like skin problems and digestive issues. It has special compounds like flavonoids and alkaloids that might be helpful.
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How to Grow Acalypha Wilkesiana
Acalypha wilkesiana can be grown from seeds, although it is more commonly propagated from stem cuttings. Here are the steps to follow through both methods:
Propagation from Seeds
- Collect mature seeds from the plant.
- Sow the seeds in well-draining soil, lightly covering them.
- Keep the soil consistently moist until germination.
- Transplant the seedlings to their final location once they have grown sufficiently.
Propagation from Stem Cuttings
- Take a healthy stem cutting with a minimum of two nodes.
- Remove lower leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone.
- Plant the cutting in a pot with well-draining soil.
- Keep the soil consistently moist until roots develop.
- Transplant the rooted cutting to its final location.
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Requirements to Grow Acalypha Wilkesiana
The plant prefers full sun to partial shade. It can tolerate some shade, but its foliage may be less vibrant.
Protecting the plant from strong, direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day is essential, as this can scorch the leaves.
Acalypha Wilkesiana likes soil that drains well and has lots of good stuff in it. It can handle different soil types, but if it’s too heavy and doesn’t drain well, the roots might get sick.
Keep the soil’s pH between 6.0 and 7.0 for happy and healthy plant vibes.
Keep your plant happy by giving it a good drink of water every week during its growing season. Make sure the top part of the soil feels a bit dry before you water it.
In winter, when the plant takes a nap, cut back on the watering to let it rest. Just remember, moist but not waterlogged soil is the key!
Acalypha Wilkesiana is a tropical plant that prefers warm temperatures between 16-30°C. It can tolerate temperatures down to 10°C but may drop its leaves. The plant also requires high humidity to benefit from misting or a humidifier in dry environments.
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Acalypha Wilkesiana Care
Acalypha Wilkesiana benefits from regular fertilization with a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season. You can also use a slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season to provide long-term nutrition.
Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can cause leaf burn and damage to the plant.
Regular pruning benefits the shrub by promoting bushier growth and maintaining its shape. Prune the plant in the spring or summer, cutting back about one-third of the growth.
You can also pinch back the tips of Acalypha Wilkesiana to encourage branching. Use sharp, clean pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant.
Pests and Diseases
Acalypha Wilkesiana is generally resistant to pests but may be susceptible to spider mites, scale insects, and Aphids. These pests can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Follow the instructions on the product label, and repeat the treatment as needed.
They can be susceptible to leaf spots, root rot, and powdery mildew if grown in poorly-draining soil or too wet conditions. These diseases can be prevented by providing good drainage, avoiding over-watering, and adequate air circulation around the plant.