acalypha hispida plant
With its long, trailing flower spikes, the Acalypha is an unusual plant, which looks at its best when young. Plants that grow larger tend to become rather lank and straggly, and should be pruned back in the spring to maintain some level of compactness; dead flower-spikes should also be removed. Alternatively, the plant can be renewed each year from tip cuttings. Insufficient light not only increases the legginess and untidiness but will also reduce the likelihood of flowering. However, the Acalypha should not be exposed to direct sun. Care should be taken to maintain a high level of humidity, which can often be low where light intensities are high. To keep the humidity high, stand the pot on moist pebbles and mist the foliage regularly.

Plant type : Flowering plant with erect, bushy habit
Season of interest : Summer to early autumn
Size : 30-60cm (12—24in)
Flower : Long, trailing, fluffy red spikes, 15-45cm (6—18in)
Leaf : Oval, 10-20cm (4—8in) long, 6-7.5cm(2 1/2—3in) wide, green
Temperature : 18-24°C (64-75T)
Aspect/Light : Well-lit situation with light shade from direct sun
Humidity : High
Watering : Evenly moisten compost in spring and summer; keep on drier side in autumn and winter with just sufficient water to prevent compost drying out
Feeding : Once every two to three weeks with houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Plant 7,5-10cm (3—4in) tip cuttings in seed and cutting compost at 20-24°C (68 —75°F) in early to late spring
Potting : Houseplant potting compost
Problems : Red spider mite
Availability : Occasionally available in summer
Uses indoors : Table-top feature plant or windowsill plant where some protection from direct sun can be provided; useful plant for lounge or dining room