Whether you’re growing amaranth from seed for its nutritious leaves or its high-protein, gluten-free grains, it is easy to grow if you can provide warm soil and lots of sunlight. Amaranth is closely related to quinoa, but also beets, Swiss chard, and many other food crops. Follow along with this handy How to Grow Amaranth Seeds Guide and grow edible grains.

Latin

Amaranthus sp. (Many species are edible).
Family: Amaranthaceae

Difficulty
Easy.

We Recommend: Burgundy Grain Amaranth (MU551). This variety has very tasty, nutritious immature leaves, but can also be grown to produce grain – and it is very productive in this respect.

Season & Zone
Season: Warm season. Amaranth is very much a summer crop.
Exposure: Full sun.
Zone: Will produce reliably in Zones 7 and up. Needs a nice hot summer for its entire growth period of 40-50 days.

Timing
Direct sow in late May to early June. Optimal soil temperature: 18-24°C (65-75°F).

Starting
Sow seeds 5mm (¼”) deep in well drained soil in full sun. Seeds should germinate in 4 to 10 days. Thin seedlings to 25-35cm (10-14″) apart in rows 50cm (20″) apart.

Growing
Ideal pH: 6.0-7.5. Keep moist until germinated, and then simply keep the area weeded.

Harvest
Pick baby or mature greens as needed. Simply cut them with scissors as you would mescluns. The leaves have an appealing, nutty flavour. If growing for seed, choose A. hypochondriacus and provide ample spacing. Seed will ripen in late summer or early fall. Watcgh for birds visiting the plants. Rub the flower heads between your hands over a bucket or tray. Doing this into paper yard waste bags works well. If the seeds do not fall easily, leave the plants for one more week and try again.

Seed Info
In optimum conditions at least 70% of seeds will germinate. Usual seed life: 3 years. Per 100′ row: 1.5M seeds, per acre: 392M seeds.

Diseases & Pests
Watch for slug/snail damage to young plants. Amaranth is not prone to pest damage.

Companion Planting
Plant with corn to shade the soil and retain water. Amaranth attracts predatory ground beetles.

More on Companion Planting.

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