Chenille Plant: An Interesting Flowering Houseplant

Virtues: We love chenille plants for their fluffy, vibrant red, tassel-like flowers that bloom vivaciously throughout the year. They make a great houseplant.

Common name: Chenille plant, red-hot cattail

Botanical name: Acalypha hispida

Flowers: Acalypha hispida female plants bloom throughout the year with radiant crimson flowers resembling the furry tails of cats. The flowers droop brilliantly on top of the lush green foliage. Some cultivars have creamy, white flowering varieties.

Foliage: These exotic shrubs have large, rich green heart-shaped leaves on arching stems.

Habit: With an upright, arching habit, Chenille plants can grow up to 12 feet in height with a 4 to 6 feet spread (considerably smaller when grown in containers).

Season: Chenille plants have year-long interest on account of their luminous flowers that captivate onlookers with their unique splendor.

Origin: New Guinea and the Malay Archipelago.

How to grow Acalypha hispida as a houseplant: These easy-to-grow tropical plants thrive in humid, warm areas—temperatures 60 degrees Fahrenheit and higher—with bright, full sun exposure. Chenille plants prefer moist, well-drained soil with frequent watering. Prune vigorously while removing spent flowers to encourage more compact blooms.

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