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Growing Amaranthus Flowers | Flower Patch | North American Farmer

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Growing Amaranthus Flowers

Amaranthus: Accent Your Home Garden with Something Unique and Exotic!

by Frances Santos

AmaranthusAmaranthus is a decorative exotic plant that is commonly used for beds and borders. Amaranthus is a very broad genus of more than 60 species of herbs that breed mostly in tropical regions. It is also called Tampala, Amaranth, Flaming Fountain, Tassel Flower, Fountain Plant, Summer Poinsettia, and many more names.

Amaranth originates from warmer climates so it is heat and drought-resistant. These are popular accent plants that are good additions to dried flower arrangements. Amaranthus flowers are remarkable braids that usually come in dark green or red. They are long rope-like beauties that cascade downward from erect branching systems. This is why they make a dramatic and quite intriguing accent to any garden.

Amaranthus is a favorite among gardeners and florists because of its eye-catching appearance and stunning long-lasting color. One remarkable characteristic is that the flower’s rich color remains even after it is dried. Interestingly, Amaranthus actually comes from the Greek word “unfading”.

Amaranth plants are large and bushy growing up to 130 cm in height. There are many Amaranth species that are cultivated as cereals, leaf vegetables or ornamental plants.

It is primarily used as an annual ornamental. However, Amaranth leaves and seeds can be eaten and have nutritional properties so these are also often used as salad or cooking ingredients.

One very interesting fact about this plant is that a single bush can produce 40,000 to 60,000 seeds.

Amaranthus Propagation

Amaranth plants are grown from seed. These can be directly seeded outdoors or started indoors for transplanting later on.

However, take note that Amaranth plants are susceptible to frost so it is best to sow Amaranth seeds outdoor after the soil has started to warm during spring. Amaranth plants prefer and thrive in warm weather. For best results, it is recommended to start indoors about eight weeks before the last frost.

Remember to sow seeds early in the season covering only lightly with soil. The seeds or seedlings should be spaced about 10 inches apart. They will tolerate a little crowding and will look great in clumps or groups.

How to Grow Amaranthus Flowers

Amaranth plants prefer partly shady to full sunlight conditions. They are easy to grow using well-drained soil. However, the soil type is not really important but a PH of 6 to 7 is ideal. In order to have the most vibrant flowers, it is best not to use soil that is too rich because this encourages overgrowth.

Always keep in mind that Amaranth seeds should be sowed outside when all danger of frost is over. Make sure that the seedling has plenty of light. Germination should be seen around 10-14 days at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember to water regularly once a week especially during dry periods. Add some general purpose fertilizer about one or two times every season. Amaranth plants are resistant to insects and disease. However, mildew problems can occur in very warm and humid weather. For insect or disease problems, remember to treat early with insect repellents or fungicide in order to prevent serious damage.