annual

Purple Knight Alternanthera

Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight'

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Purple Knight Alternanthera (Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight') at New Garden Landscaping & Nursery

Purple Knight Alternanthera

Purple Knight Alternanthera

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Purple Knight Alternanthera (Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight') at New Garden Landscaping & Nursery

Purple Knight Alternanthera foliage

Purple Knight Alternanthera foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 inches

Spread:  12 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  Calico Plant, Joy Weed, Parrot Leaf

Description:

This showy, heat loving ground cover plant is perfect as a landscape edging plant, and is great for basing containers, tolerates partial shade, but most vivid color is produced in full sun

Ornamental Features

Purple Knight Alternanthera's attractive pointy leaves emerge olive green in spring, turning deep purple in color the rest of the year. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Purple Knight Alternanthera is a dense herbaceous annual with a ground-hugging habit of growth. 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 plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Purple Knight Alternanthera is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Purple Knight Alternanthera will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. 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 does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Purple Knight Alternanthera is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. 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
Massing  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Applications
Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features