|ALTERNANTHERA, dentata - Joseph’s Coat|
Amaranthaceae; native to West Indies and Brazil.
Germination: For best results, sow indoors leaving the seeds uncovered and maintaining temperatures of 68° F nights and 86° F days, or sow outdoors in late spring, barely covering of seeds. Seed germinates in 7-10 days, indoors or out.
Growth: After danger of frost is past, plant in full sun to light shade in moist, well-drained soil. Alternanthera prefers a warm to hot climate.
Appearance and Use: A dramatic foliage plant for beds, borders, and containers, these upright, spreading plants reach 16-20 inches tall and spread up to 3 feet wide. Smooth purple foliage is oval and pointed, 4 inches long and 3 1/2 inches wide, darkening dramatically with exposure to heat. In partial shade, the leaf color is burgundy-bronze.
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From a National Gardening Association review:
"Since its [original] publication in 1978, ...Park's Success with Seed has been one of my favorite resources for starting seeds of vegetables, herbs, and flowers."