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Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Acalypha hispida
Also known as : Foxtail, Philippines medusa, Monkey Tail
Red hot cat's tail (Acalypha hispida) is an evergreen shrub that grows in tropical climates. Red hot cat's tail is named for the French word, Chenille, meaning caterpillar. This is due to its fuzzy red flowers that resemble a caterpillar. This plant grows best in full sunlight.
Planting Time
Planting Time
Early spring
care guide

Care Guide for Red hot cat's tail

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Watering Care
Watering Care
Average water needs, watering when the top 3 cm of soil has dried out.
Details on Watering Care Watering Care
Fertilizing Care
Fertilizing Care
Fertilization once every 2-3 months during the growing season.
Details on Fertilizing Care Fertilizing Care
Pruning
Pruning
Trim the dead, diseased, overgrown branches in winter.
Details on Pruning Pruning
Soil Care
Soil Care
Sand, Clay, Chalky, Loam, Neutral, Alkaline
Details on Soil Care Soil Care
Ideal Lighting
Ideal Lighting
Full sun, Partial sun
Details on Sunlight Requirements Ideal Lighting
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Red hot cat's tail
Sunlight
Sunlight
Full sun
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
10 to 13
Planting Time
Planting Time
Early spring
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Questions About Red hot cat's tail

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Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Temperature Temperature Temperature
Fertilizing Fertilizing Fertilizing
What is the best way to water my Red hot cat's tail?
Your Red hot cat's tail will not be too picky about how you choose to water it. As such, you can use just about any common watering tool to moisten this plant’s soil. Watering cans, hoses, and even cups will work just fine when it is time to water your Red hot cat's tail. Regardless of which watering tool you use, you should typically apply the water directly to the soil. In doing so, you should ensure that you moisten all soil areas equally to give all parts of the root system the water it needs. It can help to use filtered water, as tap water can contain particles that are harmful to plants. It is also beneficial to use water that is at or slightly above room temperature, as colder or hotter water can be somewhat shocking to the Red hot cat's tail. However, the Red hot cat's tail usually responds well to any kind of water you give it.
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What should I do if I water my Red hot cat's tail too much or too little?
For outdoor plants, especially newly planted plants or plant seedlings, they can be prone to lack of watering. Remember that you need to keep watering enough for a few months when the tree is small or just planted. This is because once the roots are established, Red hot cat's tail can rely on rain most of the time.
When your Red hot cat's tail is planted in pots, overwatering is often more likely to.When you accidentally overwater your Red hot cat's tail, you should be prepared to remedy the situation immediately. First, you should stop watering your plant right away to minimize the effect of your overwatering. After, you should consider removing your Red hot cat's tail from its pot to inspect its roots. If you find that none of the roots have developed root rot, it may be permissible to return your plant to its container. If you do discover signs of root rot, then you should trim away any roots that have been affected. You may also want to apply a fungicide to prevent further damage. Lastly, you should repot your Red hot cat's tail in soil that is well-draining. In the case of an underwatered Red hot cat's tail, simply water this plant more frequently.
Underwatering is often an easy fix. If you underwater, the plant's leaves will tend to droop and dry out and fall off, and the leaves will quickly return to fullness after sufficient watering. Please correct your watering frequency as soon as underwatering occurs.
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How often should I water my Red hot cat's tail?
Most plants that grow naturally outdoors can be allowed to grow normally with rainfall. If your area lacks rainfall, consider giving your plants adequate watering every 2 weeks during the spring and fall. More frequent watering is needed in summer. In winter, when growth becomes slower and plants need less water, water more sparingly. Throughout the winter, you may not give it additional watering at all. If your Red hot cat's tail is young or newly planted, then you should water more frequently to help it establish, and mature and grow up to have more adaptable and drought tolerant plants.
For potted plants, there are two main ways that you can determine how often to water your Red hot cat's tail. The first way is to set a predetermined watering schedule. If you choose this route, you should plan to water this plant about once every week or once every other week. However, this approach may not always work as it does not consider the unique conditions of the growing environment for your Red hot cat's tail .
Your watering frequency can also change depending on the season. For instance, a predetermined watering schedule will likely not suffice during summer when this plant's water needs are highest. An alternative route is to set your watering frequency based on soil moisture. Typically, it is best to wait until the first two to four inches of soil, usually ⅓ to ½ depth of the pots, have dried out entirely before you give more water.
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How much water does my Red hot cat's tail need?
When it comes time to water your Red hot cat's tail, you may be surprised to find that this plant does not always need a high volume of water. Instead, if only a few inches of soil have dried since your last watering, you can support healthy growth in the Red hot cat's tail by giving it about five to ten ounces of water every time you water. You can also decide your water volume based on soil moisture. As mentioned above, you should note how many inches of soil have dried out between waterings. A surefire way to make sure your Red hot cat's tail gets the moisture it needs is to supply enough water to moisten all the soil layers that became dry since the last time you watered. If more than half of the soil has become dry, you should consider giving more water than usual. In those cases, continue adding water until you see excess water draining from your pot’s drainage holes.
If your Red hot cat's tail is planted in an area that gets plenty of rain outdoors, it may not need additional watering. When the Red hot cat's tail is young or just getting established, make sure it gets 1-2 inches of rain per week. As it continues to grow and establish, it can survive entirely on rainwater and only when the weather is hot and there is no rainfall at all for 2-3 weeks, then consider giving your Red hot cat's tail a full watering to prevent them from suffering stress.
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How can I tell if i'm watering my Red hot cat's tail enough?
Overwatering is a far more common problem for the Red hot cat's tail, and there are several signs you should look for when this occurs. Generally, an overwatered Red hot cat's tail will have yellowing leaves and may even drop some leaves. Also, overwatering can cause the overall structure of your plant to shrivel and may also promote root rot. On the other hand, an underwatered Red hot cat's tail will also begin to wilt. It may also display leaves that are brown or brittle to the touch. Whether you see signs of overwatering or underwatering, you should be prepared to intervene and restore the health of your Red hot cat's tail.
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How can I water my Red hot cat's tail at different growth stages?
When the Red hot cat's tail is very young, such as when it is in a seedling stage, you will need to give it more water than you would if it were at a mature age. During the early stages of this plant’s life, it is important to keep the soil consistently moist to encourage root development. The same is true for any Red hot cat's tail that you have transplanted to a new growing location. Also, the Red hot cat's tail can develop showy flowers and fruits when you give them the correct care. If your Red hot cat's tail is in a flowering or fruiting phase, you will likely need to give a bit more water than you usually would to support these plant structures.
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How can I water my Red hot cat's tail through the seasons?
The seasonal changes will affect how often you water your Red hot cat's tail. Mainly, during the hottest summer months, you will likely need to increase how much you water this plant, especially if it grows in an area that receives ample sunlight. Strong summer sunlight can cause soil to dry out much faster than usual, meaning that you’ll need to water more frequently. By contrast, your Red hot cat's tail will need much less water during the winter, as it will not be in an active growing phase. During winter, you can get by with watering once every 2 to 3 weeks or sometimes not at all. For those growing this plant indoors, you should be somewhat wary of appliances such as air conditioners, which can cause your plant to dry out more quickly, which also calls for more frequent watering.
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What's the difference between watering my Red hot cat's tail indoors vs outdoors?
In some cases, your Red hot cat's tail may not need any supplemental watering when it grows outside and will survive on rainwater alone. However, if you live in an area of little to no rain, you should water this plant about every two weeks. If you belong to the group of people who live out of this plant's natural hardiness zone, you should grow it indoors. In an indoor setting, you should monitor your plant's soil as it can dry out more quickly when it is in a container or when it is exposed to HVAC units such as air conditioners. Those drying factors will lead you to water this plant a bit more often than if you grew it outdoors.
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Key Facts About Red hot cat's tail

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Attributes of Red hot cat's tail

Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Shrub
Planting Time
Early spring
Bloom Time
All year around
Plant Height
50 cm to 3 m
Spread
1.5 m to 2.5 m
Leaf Color
Green
Flower Size
30 cm
Flower Color
Red
Fruit Color
Brown
Stem Color
Green
Red
Dormancy
Non-dormant
Leaf type
Evergreen
Ideal Temperature
20 - 41 ℃
Growth Season
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Growth Rate
Moderate

Usages

Garden Use
The showy, drooping "tails" of red hot cat's tail make it a popular shrub in tropical or subtropical gardens. Gardeners use it as an exotic, colorful accent to other plants or as an ornamental hedge plant. Its drooping nature also makes it perfect for use in hanging pots and baskets, either indoors or on patios.

Scientific Classification of Red hot cat's tail

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pests

Common Pests & Diseases About Red hot cat's tail

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Common issues for Red hot cat's tail based on 10 million real cases
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Solutions: For less serious cases: Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread. To treat more serious infestations: Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Brown spot
Brown spot Brown spot
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Caterpillars
Caterpillars Caterpillars
Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Solutions: If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
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Leaf beetles
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Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Overview
Overview
Leaf beetles range in size from 1.5 mm to 2 cm. Both adult beetles and their larvae eat the leaves of many different types of plants. There are over 35,000 different species of leaf beetles, in a variety of colors including gold, green, yellow-striped, and red striped. Some of these have been mistaken for ladybirds because of their shape and coloring. They can be oval, round, or elongated in shape. These insect pests are most active in spring and summer.
If not controlled, leaf beetles can do a lot of damage to vegetable crops and ornamental plants. They feed on the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and fruits of different plants. They can fly, which means it's easy for them to move from one plant to another. Some species of leaf beetles only target one specific crop, while others will target many different types of plants. Although a lot of the damage that they cause is cosmetic, an infestation can weaken a plant and leave it prone to other more problematic diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The first signs of a leaf beetles infestation are small visible holes in leaves. Leaves then become discolored and dark beetle droppings can be seen. As the leaves turn yellow and brown, they will drop off the plant onto the ground. Some leaves will appear skeletonized with only the veins still remaining.
Infestation begins in spring, when the adult beetles emerge from the soil and lay their eggs on the leaves of plants. When these eggs hatch, the young nymphs start munching on the leaves as they grow up. Once leaf beetles are large and mature, they'll fall to the ground and pupate in the soil over winter before starting the cycle all over again.
Leaf beetles also eat holes in fruits and vegetables. These can be seen as small round holes that sometimes have a larger brown area surrounding them.
Solutions
Solutions
For less serious cases:
  1. Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread.
To treat more serious infestations:
  1. Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions.
  2. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
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Brown spot
plant poor
Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
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Caterpillars
plant poor
Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
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Aged yellow and dry
plant poor
Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Overview
Overview
Regardless of the type of plant or where it is grown, at some point, it will begin to aged yellow and dry. This is a natural, unavoidable process that happens when the plant has completed all of the steps in its life.
Annual plants go through this process at the end of a single growing season. Perennial plants live for multiple years, if not tens or hundreds of years, but will still ultimately exhibit these symptoms.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
When plants have progressed through their natural developmental stages and are nearing the end of their lifecycle, they begin showing signs of decline. Leaves will start to yellow and droop, and over time they turn papery brown and dry.
Once completely dry, the leaves begin to fall from the plant until the entire plant has dried out.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
At the end of its life, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence or natural aging and death. Cell division stops, and the plant begins catabolizing resources to use in other parts of the plant.
As this happens, the tissues begin yellow and drying until the entire plant is desiccated and perishes.
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distribution

Distribution of Red hot cat's tail

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Habitat of Red hot cat's tail

Secondary forest, roadsides
Northern Hemisphere
South Hemisphere

Distribution Map of Red hot cat's tail

Red hot cat's tail is a plant native to the tropical and subtropical regions that has established itself in various parts of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. This species thrives in warm climates and has been introduced and cultivated extensively beyond its original range due to its ornamental appeal. Although not native to these continents, red hot cat's tail has become naturalized in certain regions.
distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
habit
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More Info on Red Hot Cat's Tail Growth and Care

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Basic Care Guide
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Lighting
Full sun
Red hot cat's tail needs constant exposure to sunlight for healthy growth. In its natural environment, it receives a consistent amount of light. Lack of adequate light causes stunted growth and lack of vibrant color, while too much can lead to leaf burn. This plant can survive in areas with less sun exposure, though not as ideal.
Best Sunlight Practices
Temperature
5 - 45 ℃
The red hot cat's tail is native to tropical regions with temperature range between 68 to 105.8 ℉ (20 to 41 ℃). In order to maintain its health, it prefers warm temperatures between 70 to 85 ℉ (21 to 29.4 ℃) in indoor settings. During winter, the temperature can be reduced to 60 ℉ (15.6 ℃) to ensure a healthy growth.
Temp for Healthy Growth
Transplant
18-24 inches
For optimal growth, transplant red hot cat's tail during the refreshingly cool period between early to mid-spring. Choose a well-drained location with plenty of sunlight. Remember to gradually acclimate the plant to outdoor conditions for a successful transplant. Happy gardening!
Transplant Techniques
Pruning
Spring, Winter
Characterized by its vibrant, tassel-like flowers, red hot cat's tail benefits from regular trimming. Key pruning techniques entail cutting just above leaf nodes to encourage bushiness, and removing dead or weak stems to enhance growth and airflow. The optimal pruning window stretches from early spring to late fall, aligning with active growth phases. Pruning red hot cat's tail improves plant vigor and maintains an attractive form. Avoid heavy cutting in winter to prevent stress on the plant.
Pruning techniques
Propagation
Spring
Red hot cat's tail's preferred propagation method is sowing during spring for optimum growth. The propagation difficulty is moderate, with the key sign of success being new leaf development. Pay attention to maintaining adequate humidity for successful propagation.
Propagation Techniques
Feng shui direction
South
According to Feng Shui principles, the red hot cat's tail plant, with its fiery-red, feline-inspired appearance, is believed to stimulate vibrant energy or 'Chi'. Compatibility with a South-facing direction is often noted, possibly due to the plant's lively essence enhancing the Fire element associated with South. However, Feng Shui interpretations vary across individuals and settings, so results may differ.
Fengshui Details
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Pygmy water lily
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Chinese hibiscus
Chinese hibiscus
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Little white soldiers
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Pohutukawa
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Mandacaru
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Cape jasmine
Cape jasmine
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Golden pothos
Golden pothos
The golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a popular houseplant that is commonly seen in Australia, Asia, and the West Indies. It goes by many nicknames, including "devil's ivy", because it is so hard to kill and can even grow in low light conditions. Golden pothos has poisonous sap, so it should be kept away from pets and children.
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Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail
Acalypha hispida
Also known as: Foxtail, Philippines medusa, Monkey Tail
Red hot cat's tail (Acalypha hispida) is an evergreen shrub that grows in tropical climates. Red hot cat's tail is named for the French word, Chenille, meaning caterpillar. This is due to its fuzzy red flowers that resemble a caterpillar. This plant grows best in full sunlight.
Planting Time
Planting Time
Early spring
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Questions About Red hot cat's tail

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Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Temperature Temperature Temperature
Fertilizing Fertilizing Fertilizing
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Key Facts About Red hot cat's tail

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Attributes of Red hot cat's tail

Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Shrub
Planting Time
Early spring
Bloom Time
All year around
Plant Height
50 cm to 3 m
Spread
1.5 m to 2.5 m
Leaf Color
Green
Flower Size
30 cm
Flower Color
Red
Fruit Color
Brown
Stem Color
Green
Red
Dormancy
Non-dormant
Leaf type
Evergreen
Ideal Temperature
20 - 41 ℃
Growth Season
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Growth Rate
Moderate
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Usages

Garden Use
The showy, drooping "tails" of red hot cat's tail make it a popular shrub in tropical or subtropical gardens. Gardeners use it as an exotic, colorful accent to other plants or as an ornamental hedge plant. Its drooping nature also makes it perfect for use in hanging pots and baskets, either indoors or on patios.

Scientific Classification of Red hot cat's tail

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pests

Common Pests & Diseases About Red hot cat's tail

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Common issues for Red hot cat's tail based on 10 million real cases
Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles Leaf beetles Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Solutions: For less serious cases: Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread. To treat more serious infestations: Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Learn More About the Leaf beetles more
Brown spot
Brown spot Brown spot Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Solutions: In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary. Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Learn More About the Brown spot more
Caterpillars
Caterpillars Caterpillars Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Solutions: Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. For severe cases: Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps. For less severe cases: Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Learn More About the Caterpillars more
Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry Aged yellow and dry Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Solutions: If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
Learn More About the Aged yellow and dry more
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Leaf beetles
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Leaf beetles
Leaf beetles are a class of colored insects 1 to 2 cm in size. They gnaw on leaves and petals resulting in small, round holes scattered over the surface.
Overview
Overview
Leaf beetles range in size from 1.5 mm to 2 cm. Both adult beetles and their larvae eat the leaves of many different types of plants. There are over 35,000 different species of leaf beetles, in a variety of colors including gold, green, yellow-striped, and red striped. Some of these have been mistaken for ladybirds because of their shape and coloring. They can be oval, round, or elongated in shape. These insect pests are most active in spring and summer.
If not controlled, leaf beetles can do a lot of damage to vegetable crops and ornamental plants. They feed on the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and fruits of different plants. They can fly, which means it's easy for them to move from one plant to another. Some species of leaf beetles only target one specific crop, while others will target many different types of plants. Although a lot of the damage that they cause is cosmetic, an infestation can weaken a plant and leave it prone to other more problematic diseases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
The first signs of a leaf beetles infestation are small visible holes in leaves. Leaves then become discolored and dark beetle droppings can be seen. As the leaves turn yellow and brown, they will drop off the plant onto the ground. Some leaves will appear skeletonized with only the veins still remaining.
Infestation begins in spring, when the adult beetles emerge from the soil and lay their eggs on the leaves of plants. When these eggs hatch, the young nymphs start munching on the leaves as they grow up. Once leaf beetles are large and mature, they'll fall to the ground and pupate in the soil over winter before starting the cycle all over again.
Leaf beetles also eat holes in fruits and vegetables. These can be seen as small round holes that sometimes have a larger brown area surrounding them.
Solutions
Solutions
For less serious cases:
  1. Remove beetles, nymphs, and eggs. Remove all life stages of the beetles and kill them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This can be done more easily by placing the bucket under affected leaves and shaking the plant. This method is most effective in the afternoon when leaf beetles are more active. Always dispose of insects in a sealed bag or container to avoid escape and spread.
To treat more serious infestations:
  1. Apply organic insecticides. Use naturally-derived insecticides before moving on to synthetic insecticides. Neem oil and pyrethrum are naturally-derived insecticides that should be applied following label instructions.
  2. Apply synthetic insecticides. Examples of insecticides effective for leaf beetles include carbaryl, permethrin, and bifenthrin. Apply insecticides according to label instructions.
Prevention
Prevention
To prevent infestations of leaf beetles, follow these practices.
  1. Regularly check for beetles. To prevent large pest infestations, be proactive about frequently checking plants for pests and removing them quickly.
  2. Clear debris. Clear weeds and debris to remove areas where these beetles may overwinter and hide.
  3. Attract natural predators. Birds and other insects, such as wasps and ladybugs, are effective natural predators of leaf beetles. Encourage them to visit by including a diverse array of plants to provide habitat and food. Also, avoid applying broad-spectrum herbicides that can harm and kill beneficial insects.
  4. Plant aromatic herbs like mint, garlic, or rosemary, as these can repel leaf beetles.
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Brown spot
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Brown spot
This infection can cause brown spots or patches to appear on the plant.
Overview
Overview
Discolored spots on the foliage of plants are one of the most common disease problems people observe. These spots are caused by fungal and bacterial diseases, with most infections related to a fungal pathogen.
Brown spot can occurs on all houseplants, flowering ornamentals, vegetable plants, and leaves of trees, bushes, and shrubs. No plants are resistant to it, and the problem is worse in warm, wet environments. It can occur at any point in the life stage as long as leaves are present.
Small brownish spots appear on the foliage and enlarge as the disease progresses. In severe cases, the plant or tree is weakened when the lesions interrupt photosynthesis or cause defoliation.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
In most cases, brown spot only affects a small percentage of the whole plant, appearing on a small amount of the leaves. A small infection only puts minor stress on the plant. However, if left untreated and the disease progresses over numerous seasons, it will severely impact the health and productivity of the infected specimen.
  • Sporulation begins (reproduction of the fungal spores), and tiny spots appear on leaves.
  • Placement is often random and scattered as diseases are spread through raindrops.
  • May appear on lower leaves and the interior of the plant where humidity is higher.
  • Brown spots enlarge and grow large enough to touch neighboring spots to form a more prominent blotch.
  • Leaf margins may turn yellow.
  • Tiny black dots (fruiting bodies of the fungi) appear in the dead spots.
  • Blotches grow in size until the entire leaf is brown.
  • The leaf falls off the plant.
Severe Symptoms
  • Partial or complete premature defoliation
  • Reduced growth
  • Increased susceptibility to pests and other diseases
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Brown spot, or leaf spot, is a common descriptive term given to several diseases affecting the leaves of plants and trees. Around 85% of diseases exhibiting leaf spots are due to fungus or fungus-like organisms. Sometimes brown spot is caused by a bacterial infection, or insect activity with similar symptoms.
When conditions are warm and the leaf surfaces are wet, fungal spores being transported by wind or rain land on the surface and cling to it. They do not rupture the cell walls but grow in the space between the plant plasma membrane and the plant cell wall. As the spores reproduce, they release toxins and enzymes that cause necrotic spots (i.e., dead tissue) on the leaves, allowing the fungi to consume the products released when the cells degrade.
Solutions
Solutions
In minor cases of brown spot, there isn’t any need to treat the disease. However, if much of the foliage is affected and defoliation occurs, the plant will benefit from getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to start by applying organic treatment options, working up to the more potent synthetic, chemical fungicides if necessary.
Organic options won’t kill the fungus, but will prevent it from spreading.
  1. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water. Using a spray bottle, spray on tops and bottoms of leaves until the mixture drips off. Repeat every two weeks until existing spots stop enlarging and new spots no longer appear.
  2. Spray a copper-based fungicidal soap on the leaves, coating the top and bottom leaf surfaces. Reapply as directed on the product label. Copper penetrates the leaf surface and prevents germination of spores so the fungus cannot spread.
  3. Apply an all-purpose fungicide to the entire plant, following the label instructions carefully.
Prevention
Prevention
Like many other diseases, it is easier to prevent brown spot than cure it, and this is done through cultural practices.
  • Clear fall leaves from the ground before winter to minimize places where fungi and bacteria can overwinter.
  • Maintain good air movement between plants through proper plant spacing.
  • Increase air circulation through the center of plants through pruning.
  • Thoroughly clean all pruning tools after working with diseased plants.
  • Never dispose of disease plant material in a compost pile.
  • Avoid overhead watering to keep moisture off of the foliage.
  • Keep plants healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
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Caterpillars
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Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fleshy moth or butterfly larvae that come in an array of colors, patterns, and even hairstyles. They chew on leaves and flower petals, creating large, irregular holes.
Overview
Overview
Caterpillars can cause problems for home gardeners. If not managed, these insects can defoliate a plant in just a matter of days. However, home gardeners face a challenge because these caterpillars eventually turn into beautiful butterflies and moths, which are important for pollination and the general ecosystem.
There are thousands of different species of caterpillars and many will only target certain plants. If caterpillars are posing a problem, they can be removed by hand, or gardeners can use insect-proof netting to protect their valuable plants.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. During the warmer months, butterflies and moths that visit gardens will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.
When the tiny eggs hatch, the young larvae emerge and start feeding on the leaves of the plant. Depending on how many larvae have hatched, they can easily defoliate the plant in a very short period of time. Caterpillars will shed their skin as they grow, around 4 or 5 times during this feeding cycle.
Symptoms of caterpillars eating plants appear as holes in the leaves. The edges of the leaves may be eaten away as well, and flowers can be affected as well.
Some are easy to see, but others need to be searched for. This is because their bodies are often camouflaged to look like part of the plant. Gardeners need to look carefully along the stems of the plant as well as under the leaves. Also, look for tiny white, yellow, or brown eggs that can be found in groups on the underside of leaves.
Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it transforms into a pupa or chrysalis. Then, after a period of time that varies according to the species, a butterfly or moth will emerge from the pupa and the cycle begins again.
Solutions
Solutions
Even though caterpillars are diverse, they all chew on plant parts and can cause significant damage if present in large numbers.
For severe cases:
  1. Apply insecticide. For an organic solution, spray plants with a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which specifically affects the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Be sure to coat plants, since caterpillars need to ingest Bt for it to be effective. This will not harm other insects.
  2. Spray a chili extract. Chili seeds can be cooked in water to make a spicy spray that caterpillars don't like. Spray this mixture on the plants, but be aware it will also be spicy to humans.
  3. Introduce beneficial insects. Release beneficial insects to the garden that eat caterpillars, such as parasitic wasps.
For less severe cases:
  1. Hand pick. Using gloves, pick off caterpillars on plants and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Dust plants with diatomaceous earth. This powder is harmless to humans but irritates caterpillars. Therefore, it will make it difficult for caterpillars to move and eat.
Prevention
Prevention
Prevention may require less effort than attempts to eradicate infestations that have already begun. Here are our top steps for prevention:
  1. Monitor plants. Check plants regularly for caterpillar eggs on leaves. If they do not belong to an endangered species, they should be squished.
  2. Use insect netting. Cover plants with insect netting to prevent butterflies and moths from laying eggs on plants.
  3. Apply diatomaceous earth. Apply DE to plants early in the season and reapply after rain.
  4. Encourage plant diversity. This will attract predatory insects including parasitic wasps.
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Aged yellow and dry
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Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Overview
Overview
Regardless of the type of plant or where it is grown, at some point, it will begin to aged yellow and dry. This is a natural, unavoidable process that happens when the plant has completed all of the steps in its life.
Annual plants go through this process at the end of a single growing season. Perennial plants live for multiple years, if not tens or hundreds of years, but will still ultimately exhibit these symptoms.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
When plants have progressed through their natural developmental stages and are nearing the end of their lifecycle, they begin showing signs of decline. Leaves will start to yellow and droop, and over time they turn papery brown and dry.
Once completely dry, the leaves begin to fall from the plant until the entire plant has dried out.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
At the end of its life, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence or natural aging and death. Cell division stops, and the plant begins catabolizing resources to use in other parts of the plant.
As this happens, the tissues begin yellow and drying until the entire plant is desiccated and perishes.
Solutions
Solutions
If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
Prevention
Prevention
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent plants from dying of “old age.” To help prolong their life, and put off symptoms of aged yellow and dry for as long as possible, take care of them by giving them enough water, fertilizing them appropriately, and making sure they get enough sunlight.
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distribution

Distribution of Red hot cat's tail

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Habitat of Red hot cat's tail

Secondary forest, roadsides
Northern Hemisphere
South Hemisphere

Distribution Map of Red hot cat's tail

Red hot cat's tail is a plant native to the tropical and subtropical regions that has established itself in various parts of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. This species thrives in warm climates and has been introduced and cultivated extensively beyond its original range due to its ornamental appeal. Although not native to these continents, red hot cat's tail has become naturalized in certain regions.
distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
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Plants Related to Red hot cat's tail

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Lighting
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Indoor
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Outdoor
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Requirements
Full sun
Ideal
Above 6 hours sunlight
Partial sun
Tolerance
About 3-6 hours sunlight
Watch how sunlight gracefully moves through your garden, and choose spots that provide the perfect balance of light and shade for your plants, ensuring their happiness.
Essentials
Red hot cat's tail needs constant exposure to sunlight for healthy growth. In its natural environment, it receives a consistent amount of light. Lack of adequate light causes stunted growth and lack of vibrant color, while too much can lead to leaf burn. This plant can survive in areas with less sun exposure, though not as ideal.
Preferred
Tolerable
Unsuitable
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Artificial lighting
Indoor plants require adequate lighting for optimal growth. When natural sunlight is insufficient, particularly in winter or in less sunny spaces, artificial lights offer a vital solution, promoting faster, healthier growth.
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Indoor plants require adequate lighting for optimal growth. When natural sunlight is insufficient, particularly in winter or in less sunny spaces, artificial lights offer a vital solution, promoting faster, healthier growth.
1. Choose the right type of artificial light: LED lights are a popular choice for indoor plant lighting because they can be customized to provide the specific wavelengths of light that your plants need.
Full sun plants need 30-50W/sq ft of artificial light, partial sun plants need 20-30W/sq ft, and full shade plants need 10-20W/sq ft.
2. Determine the appropriate distance: Place the light source 12-36 inches above the plant to mimic natural sunlight.
3. Determine the duration: Mimic the length of natural daylight hours for your plant species. most plants need 8-12 hours of light per day.
Important Symptoms
Symptoms of Insufficient Light in %s
Red hot cat's tail thrives in full sunlight but can tolerate partial shade. However, when cultivated indoors during winter, it's often placed in rooms with insufficient lighting, leading to easily noticeable symptoms of light deficiency.
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Small leaves
New leaves may grow smaller in size compared to the previous ones once they have matured.
Leggy or sparse growth
The spaces between leaves or stems of your red hot cat's tail may become longer, resulting in a thin and stretched-out appearance. This can make the plant look sparse and weak, and it may easily break or lean due to its own weight.
Faster leaf drop
When plants are exposed to low light conditions, they tend to shed older leaves early to conserve resources. Within a limited time, these resources can be utilized to grow new leaves until the plant's energy reserves are depleted.
Slower or no new growth
Red hot cat's tail enters a survival mode when light conditions are poor, which leads to a halt in leaf production. As a result, the plant's growth becomes delayed or stops altogether.
Lighter-colored new leaves
Insufficient sunlight can cause leaves to develop irregular color patterns or appear pale. This indicates a lack of chlorophyll and essential nutrients.
Solutions
1. To ensure optimal growth, gradually move plants to a sunnier location each week, until they receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Use a south-facing window and keep curtains open during the day for maximum sunlight exposure and nutrient accumulation.2. To provide additional light for your plant, consider using artificial light if it's large or not easily movable. Keep a desk or ceiling lamp on for at least 8 hours daily, or invest in professional plant grow lights for ample light.
Symptoms of Excessive light in %s
Red hot cat's tail thrives in full sun exposure but can also tolerate partial shade. They have a remarkable resilience to intense sunlight, and symptoms of sunburn may not be easily visible.
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Chlorosis
Chlorosis is a condition where the plant's leaves lose their green color and turn yellow. This is due to the breakdown of chlorophyll from excessive sunlight, which negatively affects the plant's ability to photosynthesize.
Sunscald
Sunscald occurs when the plant's leaves or stems are damaged by intense sunlight exposure. It appears as pale, bleached, or necrotic areas on the plant tissue and can reduce the plant's overall health.
Leaf Curling
Leaf curling is a symptom where leaves curl or twist under extreme sunlight conditions. This is a defense mechanism used by the plant to reduce its surface area exposed to sunlight, minimizing water loss and damage.
Wilting
Wilting occurs when a plant loses turgor pressure and its leaves and stems begin to droop. Overexposure to sunlight can cause wilting by increasing the plant's water loss through transpiration, making it difficult for the plant to maintain adequate hydration.
Leaf Scorching
Leaf scorching is a symptom characterized by the appearance of brown, dry, and crispy edges or patches on leaves due to excessive sunlight. This can lead to a reduction in photosynthetic capacity and overall plant health.
Solutions
1. Move your plant to the optimal position where it can receive abundant sunlight but also have some shade. An east-facing window is an ideal choice as the morning sunlight is gentler. This way, your plant can enjoy ample sunlight while reducing the risk of sunburn.2. It is recommended to trim off any completely dehydrated or withered parts of the plant.
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Temperature
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Indoor
Outdoor
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Requirements
Ideal
Tolerable
Unsuitable
Just like people, each plant has its own preferences. Learn about your plants' temperature needs and create a comforting environment for them to flourish. As you care for your plants, your bond with them will deepen. Trust your intuition as you learn about their temperature needs, celebrating the journey you share. Lovingly monitor the temperature around your plants and adjust their environment as needed. A thermometer can be your ally in this heartfelt endeavor. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you explore your plants' temperature needs. Cherish your successes, learn from challenges, and nurture your garden with love, creating a haven that reflects the warmth of your care.
Essentials
The red hot cat's tail is native to tropical regions with temperature range between 68 to 105.8 ℉ (20 to 41 ℃). In order to maintain its health, it prefers warm temperatures between 70 to 85 ℉ (21 to 29.4 ℃) in indoor settings. During winter, the temperature can be reduced to 60 ℉ (15.6 ℃) to ensure a healthy growth.
Regional wintering strategies
Red hot cat's tail is extremely heat-loving, and any cold temperatures can cause harm to it. In the autumn, it is recommended to bring outdoor-grown Red hot cat's tail indoors and place it near a bright window, but it should be kept at a certain distance from heaters. Maintaining temperatures above {Suitable_growth_temperature_min} during winter is beneficial for plant growth. Any temperatures approaching {Tolerable_growing_temperature_min} are detrimental to the plant.
Important Symptoms
Symptoms of Low Temperature in Red hot cat's tail
Red hot cat's tail prefers warm temperatures and is not tolerant of low temperatures. It thrives best when the temperature is above {Suitable_growth_temperature_min}. During winter, it should be kept above {Tolerable_growing_temperature_min}. When the temperature falls below {Limit_growth_temperature}, the leaves may lighten in color. After frost damage, the color gradually turns brown or black, and symptoms such as wilting and drooping may occur.
Solutions
Trim off the frost-damaged parts. Immediately move indoors to a warm environment for cold protection. Choose a spot near a south-facing window to place the plant, ensuring ample sunlight. Additionally, avoid placing the plant near heaters or air conditioning vents to prevent excessive dryness in the air.
Symptoms of High Temperature in Red hot cat's tail
During summer, Red hot cat's tail should be kept below {Suitable_growth_temperature_max}. When the temperature exceeds {Tolerable_growing_temperature_max}, the color of the leaves becomes lighter, and the plant becomes more susceptible to sunburn.
Solutions
Trim away the sunburned and dried-up parts. Move the plant to a location that provides shade from the midday and afternoon sun. Water the plant in the morning and evening to keep the soil moist.
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This cookie provides mobile analytics and attribution services that enable us to measure and analyze the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, certain events and actions within the Application. Learn more here.
Lifespan
1 Year
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