Little Ruby Alternanthera
Alternanthera dentata 'Little Ruby'
Alternanthera dentata 'Little Ruby' foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 12 inches
Spread: 18 inches
Hardiness Zone: (annual)
Other Names: Joseph's Coat, Parrot Leaf
Little Ruby Alternanthera's attractive glossy oval leaves remain burgundy in color with curious ruby-red undersides throughout the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Little Ruby Alternanthera is an herbaceous annual with a mounded form. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant. The flowers of this plant may actually detract from its ornamental features, so they can be removed as they appear. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Little Ruby Alternanthera is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
- Hanging Baskets
Planting & Growing
Little Ruby Alternanthera will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. 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 requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Little Ruby Alternanthera is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a canvas of foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.