Calico Plant Fast Facts


Calico plant, also known as "purple knight" but more officially known as Alternanthera dentata, grows best in warm climates and makes excellent ground cover. Its leaves bear a dark, purple color that can turn almost black in high heat.


This plant grows 1 to 3 feet in both height and width, making it an excellent candidate for natural ground cover or filler.


Calico plants can grow in shade but their color will grow more vivid in full sunlight.


The calico plant is considered a tropical plant and grows best in high heat. Its color will deepen in higher temperatures as well.


The plant must be kept moist but never soaked in water. Water when needed.


Plant in well-drained soil that is able to retain small amounts of water. Mix a handful of sand in with your potting soil for best results.


When propagating calico with a cutting, it may collapse within the first few hours of planting, leading you to believe the propagation was not successful. However, wait one week as the plant may regain vigor during that time. If after one week, the leaves turn brown and begin to rot, the plant has died and will need to be removed.


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Keywords: Calico plant, Alternanthera dentata, excellent ground cover

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Lily Obeck is a copywriter based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She writes for print, online, outdoor and broadcast marketing, with expertise in health, education and lifestyle topics. Obeck holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Texas and works as a part-time children's library assistant.