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annual

Firetail Chenille Plant

Acalypha hispida

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Firetail Chenille Plant (Acalypha hispida) at Echter's Nursery & Garden Center

Acalypha hispida flowers

Acalypha hispida flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 inches

Spread:  15 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  Strawberry Firetails, Acalypha pendula

Description:

This variety produces long pendulous tassles of vibrant red on arching branches; perfect in hanging baskets, containers, and window boxes; an interesting and graceful addition to the garden or patio area

Ornamental Features

Firetail Chenille Plant features unusual red catkins dangling from the stems from early summer to mid fall. Its serrated heart-shaped leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Firetail Chenille Plant is an herbaceous annual with a mounded form. 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 is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Firetail Chenille Plant is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting
  • Hanging Baskets

Planting & Growing

Firetail Chenille Plant will grow to be only 6 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. Although it's not a true annual, this 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 type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is 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.

Firetail Chenille Plant 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 mass of flowers 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.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Edging  Garden  Container  Basket 
Applications
Flowers 
Ornamental Features

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