Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Acalypha monostachya:
Round Copperleaf

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Form: Herb.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen in regions without freezes.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 6" to 1' high and 3-4' in diameter.
Flowers: Tiny, fuzzy red to pink styles and stamens, with male and female flowers usually on separate plants. The thin red filaments are the styles of the female flower.
Bloom: Spring into fall.
Fruit: Seed.
Leaves: Small, round to heart-shaped, green to gray-green, covered with fine hairs.
Stems: No thorns, fine hairs, branching.
Wildlife: Female plants do not appear to attract insects or wildlife.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Texas and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8-11. This plant dies to the ground in freezes and comes back from its hardy roots in the spring.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Part shade to full sun. Best in part shade.
Water once established: Once or twice a month in part shade.
Soil: Well drained, dry, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline).
First Year Care: Water daily except after rain. It may take off on its own after the first heavy rain.
Prune: After the danger of freezes is past, cut to the ground.
Litter: The entire plant dies after a frost.
Propagation: Seed, root division. Pieces of the plant which include roots will grow readily when transplanted.
Uses: Ground cover, grass substitute.


This plant is a member of the Spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). After freezing temperatures, this plant does not put on new leaves until spring, becoming one of the last garden plants to leaf out. The name Copperleaf derives from the tendency of the leaves of this genus to turn a copper color in high temperature with insufficient water. 'Raspberry Fuzzies' is an available cultivar.

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Acalypha monostachya: Round Copperleaf - flowers
Left - male flower spike. Right - female flower.

Acalypha monostachya: Round Copperleaf

Acalypha monostachya: Round Copperleaf

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Latest update: February, 2022