Tricolor Copper Plant
Acalypha wilkesiana 'Tricolor'
Tricolor Copper Plant foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 15 feet
Spread: 15 feet
Hardiness Zone: (annual)
Other Names: Wilkes' Acalypha, Copperleaf
Widely grown as an annual in colder areas, this variety will grow up to 4 feet in one season; in frost free areas it can become a very large shrub; leaves in shades of copper, burgundy and orange are impressive in the garden, or containers
Tricolor Copper Plant's attractive serrated heart-shaped leaves remain coppery-bronze in color with showy burgundy variegation and tinges of orange throughout the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Tricolor Copper Plant is a multi-stemmed annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Tricolor Copper Plant is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
- Hanging Baskets
Planting & Growing
Tricolor Copper Plant will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground. Although it's not a true annual, this fast-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets.
Tricolor Copper Plant is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.