Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Joseph's Coat, Parrot Leaf, Calico Plant
Alternanthera ficoidea 'Partytime'

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Alternanthera (al-ter-NANTH-ur-uh) (Info)
Species: ficoidea (fy-KOY-dee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Partytime
Additional cultivar information: (PP14789, aka Party Time)
Hybridized by Saul; Year of Registration or Introduction: 2002

One vendor has this plant for sale.

41 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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9 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral chuey On May 1, 2014, chuey from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Can this plant, Joseph's Coat-Alternanthera ficoidea, be grown as a houseplant (low or bright light?)

Positive Welix On May 11, 2013, Welix from Amity, OR wrote:

My younger brother got this plant for me years ago for my birth day, we had no idea what it was an no one at the store did either. I thought it would be a goner since we had no care information, but the thing is hardy! Its never bloomed but it has lived through two murder attempts by family members, being accidentally left out in the cold, too much water, too little water...its immortal, and always beautiful. Absolutely adore it.

Positive Anne_Ealy On Oct 20, 2012, Anne_Ealy from Baytown, TX wrote:

I'm not sure how they got a patent on this plant since it has been a passalong plant for many years. I got mine from a garden friend in Florida and he has grown it for a long time before he shared it with me. However, even if it was under patent, if you are not selling it I believe you can propagate it for your own use in your own garden.

Positive sapensacolafl On Aug 23, 2012, sapensacolafl from Pensacola, FL wrote:

Isn't this plant patented? If it is, propagation is only allowed by those licensed to do so--correct?

Positive maconkat On Jul 15, 2010, maconkat from Macon, MO wrote:

I just bought my first start of this plant and it is beautiful. I can't wait to add it's beauty to my garden. I had to look it up here to find out how to care for it since the clerk didn't know anything about it...not even if it was a perennial or an annual. I would like to know if I should cover it with a jar for at least the first winter since it is already the middle of summer and I am not sure how fast it's root system will be able to be established. Our winters can be harsh with temps getting into the minus 10's and 20's. I read that it is being grown in Ohio so I believe it should do fine here. Anyone's help would be much appreciated.

Positive silly_jilly On May 20, 2010, silly_jilly from Keystone Heights, FL wrote:

Love this plant! Everytime I trim it back to help it get bushy.... I just stick the cuttings in with other plants or create new pots. No special treatment. They almost always root & do well. I live in Florida, so I do try to water mine almost daily or more. But, honestly sometimes I forget for days & they still do quite well!

Neutral Blackwill On Nov 1, 2009, Blackwill from Bakersfield, CA wrote:

I gave a Neutral rating, because I have not yet planted the seeds for this plant. However, I do have some information:

For those of you interested in growing Joseph's Coat from seed, they are readily available through the Thomas Jefferson Memorial at Monticello.

The pictures they show in reference to this plant are remarkable, and I am sincerely hoping that they mature at least as beautiful.

I will post pictures as the seeds progress, and the plants grow. They are scheduled to arrive here in South-Central California on November 4th.

Positive gardengirl1960 On Jul 6, 2007, gardengirl1960 from Seabrook, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I just got this plant yesterday. It was a lot of small Joseph's Coat in a big pot. It was an unmarked plant so I did not know the name until I asked at DG.
It is such a beautiful plant with it's hot pink and green leafs.
Since I know what it is now. I will move some of the ones that I put in full sun, since we are in zone 9a Texas and the sun really bakes our plants.
So far so good!

Positive DaBenDan On Dec 22, 2006, DaBenDan from Vancouver
Canada wrote:

Did extremely well in shaded high indirect lighted balcony container in Vancouver BC..Unable to locate further plugs/seed in Canada, however.

Positive cflowerseal On Oct 28, 2005, cflowerseal from Arlington, TX wrote:

Propagation easy by cuttings, has done good in part shade.

Positive fmhayes48 On Apr 11, 2005, fmhayes48 from Valrico, FL wrote:

This plant is very sensitive to the sun in Florida. It droops when direct sunlight has been fully on it for a couple of hours yet magically revives the minute the sun moves enough to allow shade to take over. It has been very tender during the start period and takes its time establishing its root system. But TLC is well rewarded by its lively colors...a real show off.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bakersfield, California
Chula Vista, California
Merced, California
Bartow, Florida
Clermont, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Delray Beach, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Leesburg, Florida
Naples, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Pensacola, Florida (2 reports)
Riverview, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Spring Hill, Florida
Valrico, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Barbourville, Kentucky
Lafayette, Louisiana
Pembroke, Massachusetts
Macon, Missouri
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Columbus, Ohio
Spencerville, Ohio
Amity, Oregon
Durham, Oregon
Houston, Pennsylvania
Ladys Island, South Carolina
Lugoff, South Carolina
Greeneville, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Colmesneil, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Freeport, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
Hillsboro, Texas
Houston, Texas
Jacksonville, Texas
La Porte, Texas
Lockhart, Texas
Plano, Texas
Rockdale, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
San Marcos, Texas
Victoria, Texas
White Center, Washington

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