Acalypha wilkesiana ‘Marginata’- Fijian Fire Plant – Cooper Leaf – Fire Dragon – Jacob’s Coat – Match-me-if-you-can –

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Acalypha –

There are about 400 species of perennials, annuals, trees or shrubs, that are indigenous to the tropics of all continents and major tropical islands, in this genus.  Mainly grown for their catkin like racemes.  Some species have insignificant or large brightly colored flowers.  The leaves are alternate and are simple, oval to egg shape and toothed, except one ‘Acalypha wilkesiana’, which has variegated or mottled leaves.  Where temperatures fall below 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit grow inside.

Under glass grows in humus rich well-drained soil in full or filtered sun, water freely in growing season and apply feedings monthly, water moderately in winter.

Where able to plant outside plant in a sunny to semi-shaded position with plenty of water during summer. Protect from wind.

Prune in winter to keep shape followed by feeding.  Through out seasons pinch back young shoots and deadhead.

Prone to mealy bugs, red spider mites, and whiteflies when grown indoors.  Outside prone to downy mildew, powdery mildew, rust, Cercospora leaf spots and fungal roots rot occur.  Bacterial leaf spots are sometimes a problem in warm climates.

Acalypha wilkesiana ‘Marginata’ – Fijian Fire Plant – Cooper Leaf – Fire Dragon – Jacob’s Coat – Match-me-if-you-can – This frost tender shrub grows 6 feet tall and wide.  Originating from Fiji and nearoring islands.  Has erect stems and branches from the base bears leaves with bronze-red with white or pale pink edge with coarsely serrated edges.  Bears 4-8 inch catkins like racemes usually green or copper-tinted and often hidden by the leaves, Can be used as a hedge or as a specimen.  Regular pruning and feedings recommended.