Acalypha wilkesiana is a houseplant grown for its beautiful leaves. Its name comes from Greek. The Acalypha genus contains 430 species of hers, shrubs and trees. Acalypha wilkesiana is a monoceous shrub. The mail flower spikes are longer and th female spikes shorter than the leaves. Some cultivars, such as Godseffiana, has oval to lancet-shaped leaves. The leaves are serrate, varicolored and are brassy yellow, red, copper or purple in color.
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.
Acalypha wilkesiana wilkesiana
Author: Wouter Hagens