Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
James H. Schutte
Grown in flower gardens for its dazzling plumage, this large annual is an important leaf vegetable in tropical Asia, where it is native.
This fast-growing, heat-loving plant bears large, elliptic or oval leaves that are often brilliantly hued when young, forming colorful ruffs atop tall, erect stems. The new leaves may be yellow, red, purple, bronze, ivory, or combinations thereof. The leaves gradually age to medium or dark green. In tropical Asia, where this plant is grown for the flavor rather than color, most cultivated forms have all-green foliage. All forms of Joseph's coat bear insignificant clusters of green or reddish flowers at the stem tips and in the leaf axils in summer. Small capsules containing a single brown or black seed follow the flowers. Plants sometimes self-sow.
Joseph's coat performs best in sun and well-drained soil. It is best sown in place after the soil warms, but can also be started earlier in a warm greenhouse. Mature plants are drought tolerant but grow and flower better if watered during dry spells. This annual thrives in subtropical and tropical regions. Its jaunty leaves lend a bright tropical look to containers and borders. They also make a colorful garnish for salads. Many cultivars have been selected for leaf color and growth habit.
12 - 1
H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
18"-60" / 45.7cm - 152.4cm
12"-30" / 30.5cm - 76.2cm
Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Tan, Brown, Black
Yellow, Red, Green, Purple, Burgundy, Bronze, Ivory
Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Tropical
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