Alternanthera plant grow and care – herbaceous of the genus Alternanthera also known as Joyweed, Alternanthera plant perennial evergreen or cold annual plant used as ornamental ground cover plant, can grow in tropic, subtropical, mediterranean or temperate climate and growing in hardiness zone 9+ as perennial (depend the species) or as annual 4+.
Leaves color can be: green, pink, orange, brown, black, white, yellow, red, purple, magenta or multicolor the leaves fleshy in the shape elliptic to shapeless the structure can be: wavy to curly and the leaves can be hairy, (some spices the leaves edible and used cooked, eaten raw, salad, stir fry and more).
Humidity, rich soil with organic matter, moist soil, mulch, organic matter, when grown as annual need to take indoor new cutting for next year.
How to care: Add fertilizer at least once a year, better to put mulch, prune once a year
What is the best way to start growing? Plant / Seed (mostly not viable rarely can find viable seeds) / Vegetative Reproduction – bending a branch over and covering it with soil or cutting
How to propagate: Propagating start by cutting possible to put in water and switch the water every few days another option it’s to put in moist soil, with humidity and keep the moist soil and peat soil, temperature 23-27C (73-80F) and better to use root growth hormone
Is it necessary to use vegetative reproduction? Yes, start by cutting, because it’s almost not possible to start from seeds
Difficulties or problems when growing: Aggressive
Recommended planting season – when to plant? Spring, summer, autumn, as annual in spring after last frost hardiness zone 8-10a (possible colder if there is long summer or take cutting indoor for the winter, in hardiness zone 10b+11a spring to summer, possible in the autumn but might not survive the winter, hardiness zone 11b+ possible all the year
How to plant: Dig hole bigger than the root ball, add dead leaves and organic matter, cover the plant and put mulch to keep the soil moist, in the first two weeks need to increase the amount of water
Pests and diseases: Aphids, ants
Pruning season: All year, but better after blooming season
How to prune: Dead branches and for harvest
Size of the plant? 30-50cm, 12-20 inches
Growth speed in optimal condition: Fast growing / Medium growing
Water requirement: Average amount of water / Big amount of water
Light conditions in optimal condition for growing: Full Sun / Half Shade
Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant? No
Growing is also possible in pots, planter, flowerpot or containers: Yes, when grow in container minimum size 10-30 liter (2-6 gallon) depend if grown as annual or perennial, the plant require average to big amount of water and put mulch to keep the soil moist and makes enough holes that the water go out of the pot, when it’s grow as perennial every few years better to switch soil, and prune part of the roots and the plants, soil need to be well ventilated with good drainage, put fertilizer at least once a year, rich with organic matter, can use in potting mix or peat soil with perlite or vermiculite.
Bloom season: Spring / Summer
General information about the flower: pompon shape flower, color can be: white, green, yellow or purple, the flower small connected in the bottom and assembles pompon shape
Pollination is done by: Bees
Leaves harvesting season: All year
How to harvest the leaves? After establishes cut the leaves with the branches
Information about leaves: Leaves fleshy in the shape ovate to shapeless the structure is wavy to curly and color can be: green, pink, orange, brown, black, white, yellow, red, purple, magenta or multicolor
Uses of Name leaves: Eat raw, cooked, stir fry, salad