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Copper Plant · Wiki

Botanical Name: Acalypha wilkesiana

Some common names for this plant are Copperleaf, Fire Dragon and Jacob's Coat. The copper-red foliage is the hallmark of the Copper plant; however, there are dozens of cultivars, such as:
• Varieties with leaves streaked, splashed and edged with pink, red, bronze, purple and green.
Mooreana has deeply veined maroon leaves with serrated edges.
Marginata features bronze leaves edged with red.
Can Can is a popular variety splashed with dark pink and creamy white.

Those vibrant leaves can grow up to 5 in (13 cm) long, often with sawtoothed edges. Acalypha wilkesiana is a vigorous grower, you will have a large shrub before you know it; so it's a good idea to prune it back by half every spring. Pruning encourages growth of new stems and leaves.


 

Care Tips


Origin: Java and New Guinea

Height: Up to 6 ft (1.8 m) if not cut back

Light: Bright light is essential for good leaf color, take care to protect your plant from the hot midday sun; which may cause brown scorch marks on the leaves.

Water: Keep the soil evenly moist year-round, but take care not to over-water as Soggy soil will cause this plant to wilt. Be sure to use a pot with a drainage hole.

Humidity: Moderate to high (above 50%) humidity. You can use a cool-mist humidifier or pebble tray to raise the humidity.

Temperature: Average to warm 65-80°F (18-27°C), though the Copper plant will tolerate temps as low as 60°F (16°C).

Soil: Good-quality potting mix.

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring through Fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted in half.

Propagation: Take 3 in (8 cm) stem tip cuttings in the early spring and pot them in equal parts coarse sand and peat moss. Use a heat mat to maintain a steady 75°F (24°C).


 

Troubleshooting


Bright Light Put your plant where it'll get plenty of light, but take care to keep it out of the direct sun; filtered light from a South or West facing window will give it the light it needs.

Prune You can keep your plant compact and full by pruning it back by half in the spring. Do not pinch off growing tips, though; this plant branches out naturally.

Repot in the Spring Move the plant up one pot size when its roots fill the pot.

Pests Check for mealy bugs and spider mites; if you see any signs of pests, isolate your plant and treat any infestation immediately.
Posted on September 12th, 2018
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