Spotlight On: Iresine
Scientific Name: Iresine
Common Name: Beefsteak Plant. Bloodleaf, Chicken Gizzard
Plant Type: Annual
Sun: Part Sun, Shade, Sun
Foliage Color: Green, Burgundy, Bicolor, Purple
Height: 1 to 3 feet
Iresine, or bloodleaf as many gardener’s call it, is a great accent foliage for almost any container, as well as a great houseplant. Much like coleus, iresine is known for its brightly colored foliage rather than a flower.
Iresine can be grown in sun or shade containers, and is a great for adding height. The more sun the iresine gets, the more colorful its leaves will appear. Plants can grow to be anywhere between one to three feet in both height and width depending on the variety. You can also keep the plant from getting to leggy and the shape fuller by pinching back the iresine plant.
Iresine is an annual in the Midwest, but can be brought in as a houseplant during the winter months. When you keep iresine as a houseplant, keep the plant in a bright, southern-facing window. You can tell if it is not getting proper light because it will begin to stretch for light, becoming quite leggy in appearance. While iresine does not need as much water when it is indoors in the fall and winter months, do not let the soil dry out.
Whether it’s indoors or in your containers, iresine gives a great burst of color without a lot of maintenance.