Saturday, October 25, 2014


Fine Gardening calls it Alternanthera ficoidea 'Yellow Form' -- I call it Chartreuse.

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. 

In formal beds where plants are sheared as one until for mass effect, set plants 12" apart. Where displayed as individuals, 18-24" apart.

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.


  1. That chartreuse Alternanthera has performed better for me than any of the other varieties, although mine is in a pot so that may not be a perfect comparison. I'll have to try more in the ground - it certainly does light up a shaded area.

  2. Oh, my, Chris. I forgot to write about hos easy it is to root in either soil or water. The tiniest pieces will will a pot for winter and then you can separate them in spring for a neat bed. I let a potful wilt badly the other day. One good watering and it was good as new. I don't recommend doing that but it will recover.

    I root mugs full of cuttings in water over winter and pot them up for a short time in the spring before setting out so they have good root systems.

  3. The chartreuse and purple colors are wonderful together!!! I wonder if I can find the chartreuse here. Hmmm. I do have the purple heart, and it grows and spreads like crazy. I love it.

    Have a lovely Sunday ~ FlowerLady

  4. That second photo with the chartreuse Alternanthera and the Purple Heart behind, with the Rudbeckia flowering in the back, is a wonderful shot. Great combo!

  5. I hope you can find some alternanthera, Rainey. It travels fairly well if you can't.

    Alison, while I have this cold and am stuck in the house I'm reviewing past efforts for combos. Revisited Great Dixter, still feel the same about some things about which they rave, like Baccharis and Arundo Donax but found a new notion about some familiar things like Chlorophytum.

  6. I like the chartreuse/purple combination! The part that was run over with a lawn mower looks very neat. That seems to be an easy way to maintain it!


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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