Above is a new planting for 2014. Plants circling around to
shade do not have the bright color.
Rethinking the configuration for 2015.
Next year, any volunteer melampodium plants will be relocated. The more aggressive Purple Heart needs pinching back when it overruns Alternanthera.
The center plant here has a dark green sport.
Light pinching of the terminal shoot throughout the season will keep it compact. In formal landscapes, plants are sometimes sheared to provide a uniform shape.
Sheared plant here where the lawn mower ran over it (sometimes I wonder if
he does that on purpose?); note back part is unsheared.
Add 3 or 4 inches of a fine mulch like pine straw at planting to help keep the soil more uniformly moist. Plants can handle dry periods and even long-term drought with infrequent watering.
"Joseph's Coat" alternanthera does not get true
colors until cool weather.
Here it grows with yellow Lantana.