Copperleaf Acalypha wilkesiana 'Hoffmannii'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Jacob's coat 'Hoffmannii'


The plant commonly known as 'Hoffmannii' is a strikingly ornamental shrub characterized by its vivid and variegated foliage. The leaves of 'Hoffmannii' are its most distinctive feature, with a beautiful tapestry of colors ranging from rich reds, to bronze, copper, and green tones. Each leaf is wide and heart-shaped with serrated edges, giving it a captivating texture that is both aesthetically pleasing and tactile. Furthermore, the plant sometimes bears small, inconspicuous flowers that are often overshadowed by the showy leaves. The overall appearance of 'Hoffmannii' is lush and tropical, with the multicolored leaves creating an eye-catching display that can add a splash of color to any garden. The vibrant foliage is particularly stunning when it catches the sunlight, revealing the deep, iridescent hues and making the plant a favorite among gardeners looking to create an exotic ambiance.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Copperleaf, Jacob’s Coat, Fire-Dragon, Beefsteak Plant, Match-Me-If-You-Can.

    • Common names

      Acalypha amentacea f. macafeeana, Acalypha amentacea var. wilkesiana, Acalypha tricolor.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Copperleaf is known to contain compounds that can be toxic if ingested. Eating any part of the plant may lead to symptoms such as burning sensation in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Handling the plant can sometimes cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. It is important to avoid consuming any part of the copperleaf and to wash hands after handling to prevent possible skin irritation.

    • To pets

      Copperleaf is also toxic to pets, including cats and dogs. Ingestion can cause symptoms similar to those in humans, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. There may also be additional signs of poisoning such as drooling and difficulty swallowing. If you suspect your pet has ingested copperleaf, it is important to seek veterinary care promptly to manage the symptoms and prevent any serious consequences.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      3-6 feet (0.9-1.8 meters)

    • Spread

      3-6 feet (0.9-1.8 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Pacific Islands


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Acalypha wilkesiana 'Hoffmannii', commonly known as Copperleaf, adds a vibrant splash of color to gardens with its unique variegated foliage.
    • Landscape Versatility: It can be used for a variety of purposes in the landscape, including hedging, specimen planting, and container gardening.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The plant produces inconspicuous flowers that can attract butterflies and other pollinators.
    • Low Maintenance: Copperleaf is relatively easy to care for, requiring only basic watering and occasional pruning to maintain its shape.
    • Heat Tolerance: It thrives in warm climates, making it a suitable choice for tropical and subtropical gardens.
    • Growth Habits: The plant exhibits a robust and fast-growing habit, quickly establishing itself in suitable environments.
    • Tolerance to Varied Soil Types: Copperleaf can adapt to a range of soil conditions, although it prefers well-draining soil.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antifungal activity: Acalypha wilkesiana 'Hoffmannii' has shown potential antifungal properties against certain strains of fungi in preliminary studies.
    • Antibacterial properties: Extracts from the plant have been studied for antibacterial activity and have displayed some efficacy against a range of bacteria.
    • Anti-inflammatory effects: The plant may possess anti-inflammatory compounds, which could be beneficial in reducing inflammation.
    • Wound healing: There is some evidence to suggest that Acalypha wilkesiana 'Hoffmannii' might promote wound healing through its various plant compounds.
    • Analgesic potential: Components of the plant have been evaluated for their pain-relieving properties in research settings.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Biological Dye: The leaves of the Copperleaf can be processed to extract natural dyes for fabric and craft projects.
    • Leaf Batik Material: Large Copperleaf leaves can be used as templates in the batik fabric dyeing technique, providing a unique pattern.
    • Educational Tool: Copperleaf can be used in schools for botany lessons, teaching children about leaf variegation and plant care.
    • Privacy Screen: When planted densely, the Copperleaf shrub can provide privacy in gardens and patios due to its foliage volume.
    • Companion Planting: The Copperleaf might be beneficial in companion planting by drawing attention of pests away from less ornamental, more vulnerable plants.
    • Photography Prop: With its colorful foliage, Copperleaf plants can serve as an attractive background or focus for plant photography enthusiasts.
    • Erosion Control: The Copperleaf’s dense root system can help in controlling soil erosion on slopes and banks in tropical and subtropical regions.
    • Creative Writing Inspiration: The unique appearance of the Copperleaf can be used as visual inspiration for artists and writers creating fantasy settings and characters.
    • Litterfall for Compost: Shed leaves from the Copperleaf can be collected and added to compost piles to recycle nutrients back into the garden.
    • Themed Decorations: The vibrant leaves of the Copperleaf can be used in table arrangements and decorations for events with tropical or exotic themes.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Copperleaf is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Copperleaf is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Diversity: The Acalypha wilkesiana 'Hoffmannii', commonly known as the Copperleaf, has a wide variety of leaf shapes and colors, symbolizing diversity and variety in life.
    • Beauty: With its striking foliage, the Copperleaf represents beauty and the appreciation of aesthetic qualities.
    • Adaptability: The Copperleaf's ability to thrive in different environments makes it a symbol of adaptability and resilience.
    • Growth: As a plant that can quickly grow and fill a space, the Copperleaf symbolizes growth and expansion, whether personal or professional.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 1-2 years
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Copperleaf plants prefer consistent moisture and should be watered thoroughly whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Typically, this means watering once every week, but this can vary depending on the environment and pot size; smaller pots may require more frequent watering. Use room temperature water and provide enough so that it runs out of the drainage holes—this might be around 16 to 32 ounces for a medium-sized pot every watering session. During the winter months, reduce watering slightly as the plant's growth slows down.

  • sunLight

    Copperleaf thrives in bright, indirect light but can also tolerate some direct sun. The ideal spot for this plant is near an east or west-facing window where it will receive plenty of light without the harsh midday sun. Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, while too little can cause the foliage to lose its vibrant colors.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Copperleaf plants perform best in warm environments, preferring temperatures between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive in temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit but avoid sudden temperature drops and cold drafts. Ideally, keep the plant in a location where the temperature is stable and above the minimum threshold.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Copperleaf to maintain its shape and encourage bushier growth. This should be done in the spring or early summer to give the plant time to recover and produce new foliage. Pruning can be done every few months or as needed when the plant becomes leggy or overgrown. Remove dead or yellowing leaves periodically to keep the plant healthy and attractive.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Copperleaf thrives in a well-draining soil mix, rich in organic matter, with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. A mixture of peat, pine bark, and perlite or vermiculite in equal parts is recommended for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Copperleaf should be repotted every 2-3 years, or when it becomes root-bound. Choose a container only slightly larger than the previous one to ensure continued growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Copperleaf prefers a high humidity environment, ideally between 60-70%. Mist the leaves regularly or use a humidifier to maintain the desired humidity levels.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright indirect light and keep soil consistently moist.

    • Outdoor

      Place in partial shade; protect from strong winds and frost.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Acalypha wilkesiana 'Hoffmannii', commonly known as Copperleaf, begins its life cycle with seed germination, occurring in warm, moist soil conditions. The seedlings grow rapidly, given enough light and warmth, developing into juvenile plants with characteristic colorful and variegated foliage. As Copperleaf matures, it enters a vegetative stage where it focuses on leaf growth, and if conditions are favorable, it will branch out and increase in size. Once the plant reaches maturity, it can produce tiny, inconspicuous flowers, usually in the warmer months. After pollination, these flowers can develop into small capsules containing seeds, which, when dispersed, can give rise to new plants if they find suitable growing conditions. Copperleaf has a perennial life cycle in tropical climates, where it can continuously grow and reproduce for several years, but may be treated as an annual in colder regions.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method of propagating Copperleaf is through stem cuttings. This process is generally best done in the warmer months of the year like late spring or early summer, when the plant is actively growing. For successful rooting, a healthy, disease-free stem about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long should be cut from the parent plant, preferably with several leaves attached. The lower leaves are then stripped off, leaving a couple of leaves at the top, and the cut end is dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root growth. The prepared cutting should be planted in a mix of half peat and half perlite or sand to provide a well-draining medium. It is then important to keep the soil consistently moist and the environment humid, which can be achieved by covering the cutting with a plastic bag or container, until roots develop within a few weeks.