Fuchsia Delhommeau
Size of Pot
Decorative foliage
Edible plant

Iresines, "Bloodleaf" or "Chicken Gizzard"

Iresines belong to the family Amaranthaceae, which is a family of annual and perennial herbaceous plants comprising about 60 genera and over 1700 species. Plants in this family have simple, opposite leaves, catkin-shaped flowers and capsule or seed-shaped fruits. Members of the Amaranthaceae family are mainly native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world, although some species are also found in temperate regions.

Plants in the Amaranthaceae family are often cultivated for their ornamental value, such as green Iresine, or for their food value, such as amaranth or quinoa. Some species are also used for their medicinal value, such as amaranth leaf, which is used to treat health problems such as diabetes and hypertension.

Iresine herbstii is also known as "Bloodleaf" or "Chicken Gizzard". It is a tropical houseplant native to Central and South America. It is known for its colourful leaves, which can be red, purple or pink.

Iresine plant is considered an indoor plant because it prefers warm, moist growing conditions, similar to those found in a controlled indoor environment.
The leaves of Iresine herbstii can vary in colour depending on growing conditions and variety. Common colours include: dark green with red or purple spots / bright red / pink / purple / dark purple / dark green.

It is important to note that the colour of Iresine plant leaves can vary depending on light and temperature. Iresine leaves exposed to direct sunlight may become darker, while leaves exposed to less light may become lighter. Plants grown in warmer temperatures may also have more colourful leaves than those grown in cooler temperatures.

  • When to plant Iresine?

It is generally advisable to plant "Bloodleaf" in spring or summer, when temperatures are warmer and there is less chance of frost. This allows the plant to grow quickly and produce healthy, colourful leaves. It is also important to choose a location with good drainage and moderate light. It is possible to plant this plant all year round if you have a warm, humid environment or if you can grow it in a pot and maintain it indoors.

If you plan to plant your Iresine herbstii outdoors, such as on a balcony, we advise you to bring your pots or planters inside before the first frost.

  • What type of soil for the Iresine?

Iresine herbstii prefers moist, well-drained soil to grow well. It is important to use a soil mix that allows water to flow freely, while retaining enough moisture to keep the plant hydrated. A soil mix rich in organic matter, such as peat moss or sphagnum moss, can be used to help retain moisture. It is also important to keep the soil slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. It is recommended to use a special substrate for tropical plants, or a mixture of potting soil, garden soil and sand to improve drainage.

  • How do I water Iresine?

It is important to maintain a high level of humidity for Iresine herbstii, so it is important to water it regularly to prevent the soil from drying out. However, it is important not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. It is advisable to water the plant when the surface soil starts to dry out, making sure to water the soil until it is well moistened. It is also important to check the drainage regularly and to empty the saucer if water has accumulated. It is also best to use water at room temperature to water the plant, to avoid thermal shock.

  • What kind of fertiliser should I use for Iresine?

To maintain healthy growth and beautiful leaf colour, it is important to provide Iresine herbstii with a balanced fertiliser. It is recommended to use a liquid fertiliser specially formulated for tropical plants with a good proportion of nitrogen. It is important to follow the instructions for using the fertiliser and not to use too much, as this can cause root damage. It is advisable to fertilise the plant every fortnight during the active growing season (spring and summer) by diluting the fertiliser to half the recommended dose. It is important not to fertilise during the winter dormancy period.

  • When should I prune my Iresine?

It is strongly recommended to prune the stems of Iresine to maintain the shape of the plant or to reduce it if it becomes too large for its location. It is advisable to prune the stems using a knife, small secateurs or simply your fingernails. It is best to prune the stems of the plant during the growing season, i.e. spring and summer, to encourage good branching, denser and fuller growth.

Finally, a much more important pruning is necessary at the beginning of winter to force the plant into a vegetative rest. To do this, you will need to cut back 1/3 of the plant's height. Don't worry, the "Chicken Gizzard" likes to be pruned. You will simply have to reduce the watering after this important pruning.

  • How do I take cuttings of Iresine herbstii?

Cutting is a common method of propagating Iresine herbstii. Cutting is a method of vegetative reproduction in which pieces of stem, leaf or root from an existing plant are used to create new plants. The cuttings are placed in a moist substrate or in water, where they develop roots and can then be transplanted into separate containers to continue growing. This method is often used to reproduce plants that are difficult to propagate by seed or to produce plants that are identical to the parent plant. There are several types of cuttings, such as stem, leaf and root cuttings. Stem cuttings are used to propagate Iresine herbstii. It is important to note that cutting can vary depending on the species of the plant and it is important to follow the appropriate steps for each species to achieve successful cutting. The following are the general steps for taking cuttings from the Iresine plant:

a. Choose a healthy and robust stem of the mother plant, preferably one that has already started to branch.
b. Cut the stem to a length of about 15 cm using a sharp knife.
c. Remove the leaves from the bottom of the cut stem, leaving only a few leaves at the top.
d. Place the cut stem in a pot filled with moist substrate, making sure it is stable and upright.
e. Cover the pot with a plastic bag to maintain moisture and place it in a warm, bright place, but out of direct sunlight.
f. Monitor the substrate regularly to ensure that it remains moist, but be careful not to flood.
g. Roots should appear after about 2-3 weeks, and the plant can be transplanted to a larger pot once it has developed sufficient roots.

It is important to note that the success of the cuttings can vary depending on the growing conditions and the variety of the Iresine plant. It is therefore important to regularly monitor the cuttings and ensure that they receive sufficient light, water and heat to promote root growth.

  • What diseases do Iresines suffer from?

Iresine herbstii, also known as "Bloodleaf" or "Chicken Gizzard", is not very susceptible to disease or insect attack. However, indoors, it can be susceptible to powdery mildew, aphids and mites.

  • What are the different types of Iresines?

Purple and pink Iresine (Alternanthera 'Raspberry Rum')
Iresine Robusta Rubra
Red Iresine
Red and Green Iresine (Alternanthera 'Party Time')
Green and Yellow Iresine