Alternanthera is a popular compact, low growing plant grown primarily for its striking foliage colour.  Available in shades of burgundy, purple, lime green and orangey-red it’s a hardy, low maintenance plant best suited to frost free zones. It does well in areas with high humidity and looks wonderful when grown as a low border plant, ground cover or planted in containers.

How to grow alternanthera in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny to semi-shaded spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with Yates Dynamic Organic Plant Food. In areas with heavy or clay soil, to help improve soil structure and drainage, add gypsum and mix in well.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball.  Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed.  Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, woodchips or pea straw, keeping it away from the stem.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.  
  6. Feed in autumn and spring with Yates Dynamic Organic Plant Food to promote strong root development & healthy foliage.

How to grow alternanthera in a pot

  1. Pick a compact variety that can be grown in a pot.  Choose a pot at least 300mm wide and deep. Position in full sun to semi-shade.
  2. Fill chosen pot with quality potting mix, such as Yates Premium Potting Mix.  Remove the plant from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well.
  4. Water regularly and deeply to ensure potting mix remains moist.
  5. Feed in Autumn and Spring with Yates Dynamic Organic Plant Food to ensure strong root development & healthy foliage.

Growing tips

  • Mulch well during summer to keep the soil from drying out,
  • Trim back regularly to keep plants neat and tidy,
  • Easy to propagate with soft wood cuttings
  • Some varieties include: 
  • 'Little Ruby' (purple cultivar)
  • 'Brazillian Red Hots' (bright red cultivar)


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Recommended products

Yates Premium Potting Mix

A premium potting mix, ideal for all potted plants and shrubs, including ornamentals, fruit trees, vegies and herbs.