Copperleaf shrubs are show-offs. They seem to know how good they look and will work it for all they’ve got. If you live in Southwest Florida – say the Sarasota/Bradenton area – you’ll see these fiery beauties flounce everywhere. No wonder you can’t take your eyes off them.
Why? Also known as Acalypha wilkesiana, copperleafs are most admired for colors that would even inspire French painter Claude Monet to break out his brushes. There’s coppery crimson stroked with pink. Creamy whites stirred with Paris green. And swirling palettes of ruby, emerald and citrine yellows. All varieties are dotted with fuzzy catkins, but these dangling blooms are barely visible with all the foliage going on.
Can these artful evergreens stand up to the elements? Yes, given the right care and placement. They’re not as strong as shrubs like Indian Hawthorne or Podocarpus, so plant them in a place that won’t get slammed by the wind. And give them full sun for brighter leaf color. (That said, you can also plant in part shade. The white variety actually prefers it.) Fertilize spring, summer and fall with a good granular. And water regularly. Copperleafs are pretty unforgiving if you let them stay dry for too long. (Translate: They’ll look quite crappy.)
Plant your copperleafs about three feet apart and three feet away from your house. We like keeping them at five feet, but you can trim them to three feet for even bushier growth. Pet peeve alert: Don’t use hedge trimmers. Claude Monet would cringe. Use hand clippers to avoid a sawed-off look.
Create Your Own Masterpiece
Doesn’t matter if you’re aiming for an elegant estate look or a charming cottage feel. Artfully placed, copperleaf shrubs can transform almost any Florida garden into original masterpiece. Ready to start your own? Schedule a meeting with one of the award-winning designers at ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design.
- 941.488.8897 ●artistree.com ●Serving Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties