Common Name: caricature plant
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Red to purple-red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen
Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 (roots surviving in Zone 9b). Best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best foliage color usually occurs in full sun, but plants will also grow in close to full shade. Prune regularly to stimulate new foliage growth and promote bushiness. Container plants should be overwintered indoors in a bright sun room. Container plants may also be forced into dormancy by cutting back foliage and storing in a dark, cool but frost-free basement or garage for the winter.
Most likely native to New Guinea, caricature plant is a tropical evergreen shrub that will grow to 6-9’ tall. Container plants in the St. Louis area typically grow as rounded 2-4’ tall plants. Caricature plant is primarily grown for its variegated foliage. Oval to elliptic leaves (to 6” long) are deep green varyingly blotched with cream along the midveins. Terminal clusters (3-4” long) of red to purple-red tubular flowers with protruding stamens bloom in summer. Flowers often do not appear on container plants, particularly if stems are regularly pinched to promote new foliage growth.
No serious insect or disease problems. Indoor plants are susceptible to spider mites, whiteflies and scale.