Alternanthera (Alternanthera spp.)

Alternanthera Plant Features

We adore alternanthera for its colorful foliage and its versatility! There are varieties grown as houseplants and also for use outdoors as colorful annuals with variegated foliage in landscapes and container gardens.

As a small indoor plant, alternanthera's texture adds bold appeal to desks, tabletops, and other surfaces. The fine-textured leaves complement just about every houseplant, especially broader-leafed types such as begonias, nerve plants, and pothos. Accent alternanthera's foliage with neutral or contrasting pots. 

Outdoors, low-growing varieties of alternanthera are useful as an edging plant next to sidewalks, pathways, or the front of the border. Taller varieties are fun mixed in the middle of the border where their colorful foliage adds playful hues without flowers. Their compact size and bright color also makes varieties of alternanthera excellent choices for container gardens. 

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Alternanthera Growing Instructions

Indoors, grow alternanthera in bright light. It's one houseplant that can tolerate a lot of direct sun on its foliage (in fact, the more light it gets, the better its foliage color will be). Water enough to keep the soil moist, but not wet or soggy. Alternanthera wilts fairly easily if it gets too dry, but quickly recovers when you water it. 

Outdoors, grow alternanthera in sun or shade. Just like as a houseplant, alternanthera has better color in the garden or container gardens when it gets more light. Water regularly to keep the plant from wilting. In the garden, it thrives with about an inch of moisture a week; in container gardens, it benefits from watering every day or two in hot weather. 

Please note: Alternanthera is not intended for consumption by humans or animals.
  • Water


  • Light

    Indoors: High light

    Outside: Part sun

    Outside: Shade

  • Colors






  • Special Features

    Colorful foliage

Complement your Alternanthera

Grow creeping variegated creeping ficus with alternanthera for a stunning, easy-to-grow pair of houseplants.

For a fun foliage combination, you can't go wrong with coleus and alternanthera.

In the garden, alternanthera pairs beautifully with petunias of just about every color.