Thursday, January 20, 2011

" Party Time"!!!!!!!!! Alternanthera....... That is

Alternanthera ficoidea
"Joseph's Coat"

This striking plant is an annual and will turn to mush at the 32 degree mark, But it will thrive in heat and cause your neighbors to swoon (well maybe a slight exaggeration). This particular cultivar really takes center stage and is  named "Party Time" it is truly a striking plant...pinks, reds, and greens, WOW, that almost makes me want to break-out into a Christmas carol. The colors will intensify as the season approaches fall's cooler weather. See... Party Time becomes more attractive as she prepares to make her exit that way you will never forget her, now that is style....
It is a full sun plant but in Texas give it some afternoon relief.....with that afternoon protection it will thrive through out the summer. This is an excellent companion to the copper plant, marigolds..especially the pom marigolds, and our favorite lantana.
Plant in rich humus soil with  with good drainage and you will be rewarded with plants that grow 12 to 18 inches the plants 12 to 18 inches apart. Party Time works great in a massed planting and as the height backdrop to the shorter color plants listed above. These plants should be readily available from your local nursery, if not..... show them the blog and pitch a fit.....they will surely be in stock the next time you visit, if they allow you back in the store....(just kidding.) They will have the plant. I have noticed several landscapers using Party Time in some unique "color" installations. 
That brings me to another point, an idea for an urban adventure: take your camera...some snacks (gotta have snacks)...your traveling companion and visit several large high-end commercial buildings around town. These fellows make drive up appeal a work of art...take pictures of the color bed designs and then incorporate in your home landscape (on a smaller scale of course), take note of the color combinations and the layout design. A great design will utilize color, layout, and "distinctive uniqueness" when Mr. Big Business is driving by at 60 mph, smoking  a big cigar, and overworking his blackberry...that color bed design will reach out and slap him in the face... He may not say it, but he will be thinking "Hey.... that was buildings need that type of appeal"....Now.....don't you want a color bed, that reaches out and slaps someone in the face (yeah...I thought so!)?

Try this wonderful "multi-colored" plant in your garden this summer, then when your friends come over and rave about it's can modestly say " Oh..that is Joseph's Coat....a plant of many colors...then you can explain the derivation of the name...............................

Enjoy the life 


  1. Hello, Could you be kind enough to provide information on the root depth of this plant? How deep should be container be at minimum. Thanks for your assistance.