Amaranthus caudatus. Luxurious, drooping, pale chartreuse green tassels retain their colour well after picking. Green Tails amaranth seeds produce relatively tall plants that can reach of 120cm (48"). Young leaves are tasty and nutritious, but it is usually grown as an annual flower. The pendant flowers look amazing alongside any white or red flowers in a bouquet. Green Tails ornamental Amaranth looks spectacular planted among the red Amaranth varieties. Grow Green Tails Amaranth in large containers or any sunny spot with good drainage. It blooms from mid- to late summer and its seeds are easy to collect for saving and planting next year.
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.
Amaranthus sp. (Many species are edible).
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.
Direct sow in late May to early June. Optimal soil temperature: 18-24°C (65-75°F).
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.
Ideal pH: 6.0-7.5. Keep moist until germinated, and then simply keep the area weeded.
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.
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.
Plant with corn to shade the soil and retain water. Amaranth attracts predatory ground beetles.
More on Companion Planting.