Party Time Plant (Alternanthera ficoidea)

Alternanthera ficoidea, commonly referred to as the Party Time Plant, is an excellent pond plant for hobbyists looking to brighten their vivarium with a touch of color.

If you’re new to vivarium keeping, the Party Time Plant is an excellent choice.

This species is highly resilient and can thrive in any level of humidity, making it an ideal option.

This beautiful plant is highly lowmaintenance and provides a great pop of yellow and red to any enclosure or pond.

Quick Stats:
Scientific Name Alternanthera ficoidea
Common Name Party Time Plant, Joseph’s Coat Plant, Calico Plant
Family Name Amaranthaceae
Habitat Tropical, Temperate
Temperature 55°F to 85°F
Height Up to 12-18 inches
pH 5.0 to 7.0
Lighting Bright, Indirect

What Is Party Time Plant?

Alternanthera ficoidea is a species of flowering plant in the amaranth family.

It earns its nickname, Party Time Plant, from its unique and vibrant color pattern.

The top side of the leaves is a bright yellow and the underside is a deep red, giving each leaf a multicolor look.

Alternanthera ficoidea is also an extremely hardy species of plant, surviving in nearly any environment.

The stems of the plant tend to grow upwards and outwards in a fountainlike fashion, creating an eye-appealing display in any riparium or paludarium.

Alternanthera ficoidea "Party Time Plant" | The Care Guide

Party Time Plant Facts

Alternanthera ficoidea originated from tropical and temperate regions, which explains its high level of adaptability.

It is known to thrive in any environment, so long as it is in a stable, contained area.

Additionally, this species is highly safe for pets, making it great for pet owners looking to introduce a safe and colorful addition to their tanks. 


Alternanthera Ficoidea consists of long branches that grow upwards and outwards, leading to a fountainlike look.

The leaves of the plant are oval-shaped with a bright yellow top side and a deep red underside.

It can reach a maximum height of 6.6 inches and can be planted around the base of larger plants.


Alternanthera ficoidea originated from tropical and temperate regions, though it can be found all over the world.

It is a highly adaptable species and can do well in nearly any environment, so long as it is in a contained stable area.

pH Preference

Alternanthera ficoidea prefers a pH range of 5.0 to 7.0, with 6.5 being an ideal number.

However, it can handle levels slightly outside of this range, as long as it does not stay in an acidic or alkaline environment for extended periods.

Vivarium Type

The Party Time Plant is quite an easy-going species.

With that in mind, it will not be too complicated when it comes to choosing the type of enclosure it is grown in.

It is best to try and replicate the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible.

Doing so will make it easier to provide this foliage plant with its basic needs.

The proper setup and theme of the enclosure will make a big difference to the overall look and health of the pond plant.

Be sure to choose setups that are moist and high in humidity.

Here are recommended vivariums it will do well in:

  • Paludariums – Half aquatic/ half terrain-based enclosure.
  • Ripariums – Mostly aquatic-based enclosures with some terrain features present.
  • Terrariums – Fully terrain-based enclosures with little to no aquatic features.

Vivarium Placement

The Party Time Plant does best when placed in the foreground of an enclosure, around the base of larger plants.

It‘s also a great species for filling any empty areas within the vivarium as it can grow in any shape.

Alternanthera ficoidea also works well as a foreground accent when used with live mosses, as its vibrant colors complement the picturelike look of the mosses.


The best substrate for Alternanthera ficoidea is sandy aquatic soil with good drainage coupled with heat lamp lighting.

The sandy soil should be wellaerated to allow for adequate air to the roots and be kept moist enough to encourage growth.


Alternanthera ficoidea does best when exposed to indirect, or filtered sunlight.

This plant does well in bright, indirect lighting for 1214 hours a day, making it a great pond plant for indoors.

Additionally, this species loves filtered light and will not tolerate direct sunlight.

Aim for a warm, dim aquatic light that mimics a sunny day to get the best look out of this plant.

Buy Party Time Plant

When buying Alternanthera ficoidea, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Making sure the plant is healthy when purchased is essential for its success in a vivarium or pond.

Vegetation that is already in poor conditions will have a very hard time adjusting to new environments.

Click the image below to learn more about the current price and other relative info about this plant.

Party Time Plant Care & Propagation

Alternanthera ficoidea is an extremely hardy species of plant and almost no maintenance is required to keep it alive.

This species is low on the difficulty scale and requires minimal attention when in a stable environment.

How To Grow

Propagation of the Party Time Plant is extremely simple and can be done easily at home.

To propagate, simply divide up existing plants and place the sections into other vivariums or soil.

In the wild, Alternanthera ficoidea has a low form of growth, but when kept in a vivarium, it will grow at a faster rate with plenty of light, water, and ventilation.

Water Requirements

Alternanthera ficoidea does best on moist soil.

The soil should be kept moist if used in a terrarium.

Overwatering shouldn’t be an issue since this pond plant will do well in bog setups as well.

Additionally, water that is low in sodium should be used, as this species is sensitive to high salt levels.

Plants Similar To Party Time Plant

Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing setup.

Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same types of environment.

Furthermore, if for some reason you find the Party Time Plant hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this riparium plant

Here are other pond plants you might find will do well with or in place of Alternanthera ficoidea:

Acorus calamus "Sweet Flag" Plant Care Guide
Coleus scutellarioides "Painted Nettle" Plant Care Guide
Ruellia brittoniana ‘Katie’ "Katie Ruellia" Plant Care Guide


Alternanthera ficoidea is an excellent plant to have in any vivarium.

It is easy to care for, requires minimal maintenance, and adds a great pop of color to any tank.

It is also a great plant for beginners thanks to its hardiness and forgiving nature.

If youre looking for a fun and extroverted addition to your semi-aquatic vivarium or pond, the Party Time Plant is a perfect choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, a Party Time Plant (Alternanthera ficoidea) is an indoor plant, suitable for growing in a vivarium or pot.

Yes, Alternanthera ficoidea is edible. It is often used as a leafy green vegetable in Brazilian, Bolivian, and Mexican cuisines. It is sometimes also used as an herbal medicine in certain parts of the world.

Yes, partytime plants typically need high humidity levels to thrive. Humidity levels around 5060% are ideal. Keeping the humidity levels above 40% will help prevent leaf wilting and ensure the plant grows healthy.

Alternanthera ficoidea can grow up to 12 to 18 inches (3045 cm) in height.

To make Alternanthera bushy, prune the plant to maintain a compact and wellbranched shape. Remove the longest stems to encourage new growth and pinch off the tips of the stems to encourage a bushier shape. Regular fertilization and adequate irrigation will also help the plant to grow fuller and denser.

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