Little Ruby Alternanthera
Little Ruby Alternanthera is a newly designated Texas Superstar. This variety, selected from a species of plants commonly known as Joseph’s coat, stays small and has beautiful foliage.
With a compact growth habit and full, abundant foliage, Little Ruby gets only about a foot tall and wide.
Tuck it into a shady spot and it’ll be a little more green. Plant in full sun and it will be a deeper maroon. In shade, Little Ruby will get a bit taller and need less water, and in full sun it will be more compact, maybe a bit wider, and need watering at least a couple of times a week during dry spells.
You may find that it does a bit better in loose, well-drained soil with a bit of organic matter, but Little Ruby can grow in almost any soil type, except for perhaps the overly rocky. It’s very forgiving if you miss a watering or two, perking back up quickly once you see that it’s struggling and give it a drink.
As a Texas Super Star, Little Ruby has been planted in Extension trial gardens around the state and shown to perform well with very little maintenance. It is a tropical plant, so in colder regions, it will be an annual. But in warmer areas, especially those that rarely see frost, it will be evergreen, lasting at least a few years in most southern landscapes.