The plant name ACALYPHA HISPIDA also known as Euphorbiaceae see the care guide and its propagation.
Guaranteed to be a conversation piece, this exotic plant is one of a few species in the genus to produce conspicuous taillike flowers. The tiny, bright red blooms, which emerge from the leaf axils, usually in late summer and fall, can reach 12-18in/30-46cm in length.
They droop in tassels, without petals, and resemble lengths of chenille, hence the plant’s other common name of chenille plant. The bright green, slightly hairy, pointed oval leaves are 5-8in/13-20cm long and 3in/8cm wide. Acalypha hispida ‘Alba’ is an attractive white-flowered form.
The plant will form a shrub 6ft/1.8m tall if allowed to grow unchecked; even if it is kept to just half this size, you should give it plenty of space. Acalyphas require a high level of humidity.
Dull green leaves with tiny brown spots are the first signs of red spider mites. Keep the atmosphere moist to discourage that pest.
Watch out for mealybug infestation. If you spot the cottonlike coating, pick off the bugs and spray the nest areas with insecticide.
Flowers may appear throughout the year, given the right conditions.
ORIGIN Java; Papua New Guinea.
HEIGHT To 6ft/1.8m.
POTTING MIX Soil-based.
REPOTTING Cut back in early spring to 10in/25cm above a leaf and repot into a pot one size larger.
PROPAGATION Take 3-4-in/8-10-cm stem cuttings in spring and establish them in equal parts of sand and peat moss at 75°F/24°C.
KEEPING PLANTS Acalypha is naturally bushy, so there is no need to pinch out the growing tips. Prune it back annually or renew it each year from cuttings, which take readily, and discard the old plant. Plants are rarely worth keeping after 2 years.
PLANT CARE ACALYPHA HISPIDA Euphorbiaceae RED-HOT CAT’S-TAIL
- Bright filtered sunlight.
- Temperature range of 65°-85°F/18°-29°C .
- Plenty of water in summer; less in winter.
- Stand the pot on a tray of damp pebbles and mist the foliage regularly except when the plant is in flower.
- Apply a weak liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from early spring to late summer