Tuesday, December 4, 2012
A medium-size tropical shrub, reaching up to 8 x 4 feet, that is also grown as a summer annual ( up to 4 feet ) in cooler climates. It is great for use in planters in temperate climates.
The leathery leaves are up to 7 inches in length. The attractive multi-color foliage is the main reason this plant is grown.
Hardy zones 10 to 12 ( tolerating as low as 25 F though defoliating around 35 F ), thriving in sun or shade on just about any well drained soil that is consistently moist during summer. It is very heat tolerant but generally not drought tolerant except for very well established plants. They can be cut back hard if needed. It is fast and easy to propagated from softwood cuttings placed in water.
* photos taken on Aug 30 2012 in Columbia, MD