Hemigraphis alternata: Red Ivy, Metal leaf


Family: Acanthaceae
Common name: Red ivy, Red flame ivy, Waffle plant, Metal leaf, Metallic plant

For beautiful metallic shades in your garden, grow Red ivy plants as green cover. These short shrubs grow to a height of 8-10 inches, spreading proliferously in pots, ledges, or on the ground, covering the ground with metallic grey-green-purple leaves. The upper side of the leaves is metallic green and lower side is purple. They also have a pink shading from the tip inwards.

Red ivy plants look very beautiful around large trees or palms, encircling the ground around the trunk very quickly. They prefer partial shade; leaves will get bleached in bright sunlight. Red ivy plants also produce small white flowers, though they are insignificant among the beautifully colored foliage.

They are considered invasive species in many countries since their rampant growth can hamper sprouting of seeds, or growth of other natural vegetation. They spread locally over large areas when stem cuttings are discarded in empty plots or dumping grounds.

Red ivy plants can root from the nodes enabling them to grow quickly. But gardeners love these ornamental plant because of their metallic sheen. They also grown well in hanging baskets, long vines trailing down along the sides of the baskets. Since they are fast-growing plants, they need regular watering and fertilization.

Red Ivy plants also have medicinal uses, and is used in treatment of wounds, kidney stones, diarrhea and dysentery. The juice from leaves helps in healing of wounds.

Propagation is from stem cuttings that root easily.

3 thoughts on “Hemigraphis alternata: Red Ivy, Metal leaf

    1. Thank you for your comment.
      If you let me know your location, I can suggest nurseries or online stores you can pick it up from.

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