Acalypha hispida is a houseplant grown for its striking red infloresence. The inflorescence may grow to 50 cm (20 in) in length. Acalypha hispida is a dioecious shrub. Only the female form is cultivated. The leaves and loong and pointed, and grow on haity stalks. The flower tails, red in color, grow in the axils. They curve and extend beyond the leaves. Most are red in color, though the "Alba" cultivar has whitish inflorescence.
Acalypha comes from the South Sea Islands, from the Australian archipelago to New Guinea. They like humid and warm regions.
They like warm position with high degree of humidity and plenty of light to attain fine coloration to the leaves. Without good light, the variegated leaves will turn green. To obtain a bushy plant, pinch the tips of longer shoots. Dead flowers should be removed regularly.
During the growing and flowering season, the compost must be kept moist constantly. Provide a high degree of humidity.
A dose of fertiliser at normal strength during the growing season.
Make a porous, nutritious mixture rich in humus comprising leafmould, rotted cow manure, sharp sand and powdered clay or loam.
Cuttings should be taken in early spring. They may lose their leaves, but if kept warm and moist, the stem will soon put out new shoots. Remove the tips from time to time to get a bushy plant. When potting, combine two or three cuttings in one pot.
Author: David Monniaux