Plant Identification - Knowledgebase Question

pembroke pines, fl
Avatar for iriskwpp
Question by iriskwpp
November 6, 2005
I bought a plant labeled chocolate plant. It has beautiful maroon leaves that are medium to dark almost brown in color. The leaves are about 2-3 inches and it is about 2 feet tall. I tried to research the name chocolate plant and all the information led to the cocoa plant. Can you help?

Answer from NGA
November 6, 2005
Pseuderanthemum alatum, or Chocolate Plant, is a low growing herb native to Mexico and Central America. The coppery-brown leaves with silver blotches along the midrib are broadly ovate with winged petioles. Leaves will reach up to 6 inches long by 4.5 inches wide.

From early summer to fall, the plants are adorned with purple flowers on 18-inch tall racemes. Individual flowers are up to 1.5 inches across. Very showy!

Pseuderanthemum alatum need partial shade to full shade with a moist well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mixture consisting of 1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The plants are watered and then allowed to dry slightly, but they are never allowed to dry completely. Plants are fertilized on a weekly basis using a balanced fertilizer diluted to one-half the strength recommended on the label. During the winter months, water is restricted to about once a week and the plants are not fertilized during this period.

Best wishes with your new plant!

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