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How to Grow Amaranthus — Love-Lies-Bleeding

Love-lies-bleeding, Amaranthus flowers
Love-lies-bleeding, Amaranthus

Love-lies-bleeding, Amaranthus, is a heavy-looking plant with brilliant cascading flowers. The ropey, tassel-like flowers fall from the top of the plant. Blossoms last as long as 8 weeks. Love-lies-bleeding is easy to grow.

The poorer the soil the more brilliant the foliage of amaranthus; soil too fertile will result in disappointing foliage.

Amaranthus grows readily from seed and prefers a sunny spot in the garden. They can be started in mid to late spring and require considerable space; they should be thinned or transplanted to stand 18 to 24 inches apart.

 Love-Lies-Bleeding, Amaranthus caudatus
Love-Lies-Bleeding, Amaranthus caudatus

Get to Know Amaranthus

  • Plant type: Annual
  • Growing Zones and range: 2-11
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Height and width: 3 to 5 feet (90-150cm) tall; 2 feet (60cm) wide
  • Form: Branched stems with large, oval, pale green leaves.
  • Flower form and color: Long cascading clusters of tight-packed red, golden, and deep purple-red blossoms
  • Colors: Brilliant colored foliage ranges from chocolate brown to crimson, bright green gold
  • Bloom time: Spring in warm climates; midsummer in cool climates.
  • Uses: Accent in flower beds and borders; cutting garden
  • Common name: Love-lies-bleeding and Joseph’s Coat
  • Botanical name: Amaranthus caudatus and Amaranthus tricolor
  • Family: Amaranthaceae
  • Origin: Temperate and tropical regions worldwide

Where to Plant Amaranthus

  • Plant Amaranthus in full sun in Zones 6-7 and the Pacific Northwest; plant in partial shade in Zones 8-11.
  • Plant Amaranthus in humus-rich to average, well-drained soil.

Amaranthus Uses

  • Amaranthus is a good good choice for backgrounds and borders.
  • Use as a point of interest–commands attention from midsummer until frost.
  • Picked when young and tender, the leaves and stems of some species can be cooked like spinach.

When to Plant Amaranthus

  • Sow seed in early summer when soil is at least 70°F (21°C) for germination.
  • Set established seedlings in the garden in spring after all danger of frost has passed.
  • Sow seed indoors about six weeks before the last frost or in the garden when nighttime temperatures are 50°F (10°C).
Amaranthus caudatus flowers, also known as love-lies-bleeding

Planting and Spacing Amaranthus

  • Space Amaranthus 18 inches (45cm) apart.

How to Water and Feed Amaranthus

  • Keep the soil evenly moist.
  • Side dress plant with aged compost or slow-release all-purpose fertilizer early and at mid-season.
Amaranthus
Amaranthus

Amaranthus Care

  • Mulch around plants to keep soil evenly moist.
  • Side dress plants with aged compost or slow-release fertilizer when flowering starts.
  • Stake tall plants.

Amaranthus Pests and Diseases

  • Amaranthus is susceptible to aphids, spider mites, and aster yellow virus.

Amaranthus Propagation

  • Sow Amaranthus seed outdoors in full sun or part shade after the soil has warmed in spring.
  • Germination usually takes 14 to 21 days.

Amaranthus Varieties to Grow

  • Amaranthus caudatus. Love-Lies-Bleeding. Erect or cascading plant; spike of green or shades of red tassel flower: 3 to 8 feet tall; red flowers, drooping tassel clusters; produces grain.
  • ‘Virdis’ has green flower clusters.
  • ‘Pygmy Torch’ has crimson clusters above purplish leaves.
  • Amaranthus tricolor ‘Joseph’s Coat’ grows 1 to 4 feet tall; boldly colored foliage green leaf strains used as a spinach substitute.

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