Hi, my name’s Byron Martin, here at Logee’s Greenhouses, and today we’re going to be talking about the Chenille Plant, or ‘Acalypha hispida.’ This is a native of South America, and it is one of the freest flowering tropical plants that we grow. It puts out these long, red catkins. This time of year is actually going into winter, so the catkins get a little bit softer in their color. Under very high sunlight in the summertime they get very dark red. But, it puts out these long, pendulous catkins that remain on the tree for months, and months, and months, and months. And, actually the only thing that causes this to go out of bloom is low light, or we have to prune it back because it’s gotten too big. So, this is what we call a high-mileage plant, in terms of its ability to put on a display for months, and months at a time. It’s quite easy to grow and, actually, it’s almost too easy to grow, in that it’s a very rapid grower– demanding quite a bit of water, and also needing quite a bit of fertilizer to grow it well. So, if you’re growing the Chenille plant and the plant is kind of yellow, and the leaves are falling off– and even though you have it in very full-sun conditions, which is what it needs– just try giving it some fertilizer; you’d be surprised what, sort of, a heavy feed will do on this plant, under good light conditions. As far as its culture goes, it has got some problems, or it’s got some weaknesses, in terms of insects. Spider mites really love this plant, and I think that’s probably the greatest challenge, in terms of an indoor gardener. You simply need to be aware of the fact that they can get spider mite. It starts out with a small pitting on the leaf, and then webbing will overcome the plant. That’s actually not too hard to control, in terms of early-management of it; you use– spray it off with cold water, or mist it with ice water. Some of the neem oils work very well with it. The downside to all of that, is that, anything that hits these catkins often damages them. So if you do have an infestation come in, it’s better to clean it up thoroughly, and then you sacrifice the flowers for a short period of time, and then you go back to growing it. They can also be susceptible to other insects– the trip and mealy bug. But, really spider mite is their biggest problem. They also can have some problems with root disease, under cold conditions– and we do not grow this cold; this is a warm grower. We keep this about 60 degrees in the greenhouses, year-round. And they even like a little bit warmer– 65 would probably be better. If you do that, and you manage your watering properly, the root diseases are really not an issue. And that is, bring the soil to dryness; allow the plant maybe to go into a little bit of a wilt– not too much, because that does encourage spider mite– and then thoroughly water it. One of the other issues with it, as I mentioned– it’s a very fast grower. So, to grow a really good plant of this, you’re going to have to prune it back a few times during the year, because they will get way out of hand. They can get gangly and the limbs will sprawl out. So, we usually on this– which is a standard– this is trained on, as a tree; it’s probably, oh I don’t know, maybe six feet tall. We will cut this back twice a year. It will be brought right back down,very hard, to the branch, this ends here. And it quickly flushes out– it can take up prune– hard pruning with ease– quickly comes back. And just remember, that once it starts to flush out, to get it back into grow– get it back into a full sun exposure, start feeding it again, and in no time the flowers will re– will appear. If you do not give it enough light, the plant will grow fine; it’ll just put out very, very thin catkins that come out, or no catkins at all– so, that would be an indicator of whether your light level is adequate or not. And, of course, under low-light, with fertilizer on it, you’re going to get some stretching of the internodes– that’s the distance between the leaves. If you see that happening, you simply need to adjust it, and bring it into a higher-light spot. Well, there’s a little bit of information on how to grow one of our freest-blooming tropical plants, the ‘Acalypha hispida’ whichever way you want to pronounce it. If you’d like more information go to our website at logees.com