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Tricolor Copper Plant

Acalypha wilkesiana 'Tricolor'

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Tricolor Copper Plant (Acalypha wilkesiana 'Tricolor') at Roger's Gardens

Tricolor Copper Plant foliage

Tricolor Copper Plant foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  15 feet

Spread:  15 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  10a

Other Names:  Wilkes' Acalypha, Copperleaf

Description:

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

Ornamental Features

Tricolor Copper Plant has attractive burgundy-variegated coppery-bronze foliage with hints of orange. The serrated heart-shaped leaves are highly ornamental and remain coppery-bronze throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Tricolor Copper Plant is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub 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;

  • Insects
  • Disease

Tricolor Copper Plant is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • 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, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub 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 makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use 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. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Garden  Container  Basket 
Applications
Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features