The Q&A Archives: Chenille Plant Tips

Question: I was wondering if you had any information on a rather exotic (at least in my book) plant/flower called the firetail chenille? It's got green leaves and long hot pink banana shaped flowers(?) that are furry and soft to touch. I just bought one and am not sure how to best care for it, and have been unable to find any info about them on the web. Aany help would be greatly welcomed. Thanks . Burpee seeds are the best (And I am not just kissing up so you'll answer my question either!) J.Hall Cleveland, OH

Answer: The botanical name for the chenille plant is Acalypha hispida. It commonly flowers in fall and winter. Chenille plants like direct sun during winter for about 4 hours a day. In the summer, provide filtered sunlight. Avoid drafty locations. Keep your plant evenly moist and fertilize only during late spring and summer. Leaves will drop if the soil becomes too wet or too dry. Chenille plants are bushy and need to be pruned in the early spring to keep them within bounds indoors. Light pruning can also be done throughout the year. Provide your plant with a large enough container, and it will grow and bloom at its best.

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