The flowers are used to produce the amaranth grain, while the leaves can be used as amaranth greens. Amaranth has another edible advantage: the leaves can be harvested as a vegetable. • Special discounted prices on tools, kits, and hands-on resources in the Mother Earth Gardener Store Amaranth is a wonderfully versatile plant that’s a beautiful flower, a delicious vegetable, and a nutritious grain all in one. Leaves of the Chinese amaranth are high in protein and although nutritionally similar to beets, Swiss chard and spinach, they are actually far superior. So you can get away with growing them 10 to 18 inches apart. Use bypass pruners or sharp scissors to cut off the seedheads, and place them on a large, raised-edge baking sheet lined with newspaper. Varieties of amaranth can range from giants topping 8 feet to smaller 1- to 2-foot plants better suited for leaf harvest only. The seeds are a grain that can be eaten. Once root rot occurs, the plant must be removed. You can follow Sheryl’s gardening adventures on her blog, www.FloweryProse.com, I have seeds harvested last fall. Regardless of your cultivar, amaranth leaves can be harvested at any point. Amaranth greens are nutritious, edible leafy vegetables of Central American origin. Damping off can be an issue in newly-emerged seedlings, so select a site with good drainage, be sure plants are watered judiciously, and offer proper air circulation. Get one year (4 issues) for only $24.95! Amend the soil with a light application of compost when preparing the planting site, but don’t worry about adding any other fertilizer later on. More Details. The seeds of the plants are harvested in fall, and then they’re cleaned, sorted, and packaged for sale as a food that’s cooked much like quinoa (a relative of amaranth). Our family has been eating it since generations. These are very easy-to-grow plants, as befits a genus with many species that grow as roadside native plants. The younger leaves are mild and tender while the more mature plants are slightly fibrous and develop a bitter flavor. • Organic gardening tips to improve your health and wellness Plants are not quite as tall as Golden Giant and Elena’s Rojo; they grow to about 4-6 feet. Varieties of Amaranth as Food As they sprout in spring, the volunteers can be thinned out to about 10 to 18 inches apart, or carefully dug up and transplanted elsewhere. Germination generally takes 7 to 14 days. If consumption is the goal, choose annual amaranth varieties marketed as edibles. Already a Member but haven't activated your account? Select Amaranth leaves that have small thin stems and lack any flower buds. Amaranths don't require any feeding. Look for gorgeous. Delight your taste buds, mind and eyes with beautiful photos and inspirational techniques on everything you need to know to grow, preserve and cook your own heirloom fruits and vegetables. Vlita (βλήτα) in Greek: Smooth Amaranth’s leaves can have chevrons. Amaranth is drought-tolerant after it’s established and requires little supplementary water unless your climate is very arid. Andrey Zharkikh / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0. While amaranth plants are tall, they aren’t necessarily wide or bushy. Keep an eye on the flowers as they bloom and then begin to die back. Many of these types of pesticides are broad spectrum designed to eliminate multiple insect pests and may contain ingredients that aren't meant to be ingested by humans. Allow the seedheads to sit in a dry spot indoors for up to a week. Historically, the use of amaranth as an ornamental plant is a relatively recent development. Amaranthaceae, the amaranth family, contains some 174 genera and around 2,500 species distributed worldwide.Its members are typically herbaceous plants or subshrubs, many of which can tolerate poor saline soils.The flowers are often small and borne in dense inflorescences, and the simple leaves are usually arranged alternately along the stem. This powerhouse plant will pump out nutty-tasting seeds and spinach-flavored leaves throughout the growing season, while its seedheads add interest to your garden. It even has medicinal qualities. Amaranths are usually planted from seeds as soon as the last frost has passed in the spring. Edible amaranth is often grown for the plentiful tiny seeds that hang in tassels from the top of the plant after the attractive red flowers fade. Amaranths produce enormous quantities of tiny seeds that will rampantly self-seed around the parent plant if you don't carefully harvest the seed heads when they mature. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, 2 to 7 feet (depends on species and variety). Amaranth isn't fussy about soil types. Read … Five centuries later, during the 1970s, interest in growing amaranth gained traction because of its healthful attributes — amaranth is high in protein and fiber — and today a few thousand acres of the crop are sown annually in the United States. Can anyone tell me if I need to cold stratify them in order to plant / grow them this summer? Store the harvested dried seed in glass jars for up to six months in a refrigerator or in a dry location out of direct sunlight. Amaranth greens nutrition facts. Most amaranth cultivars are harvestable 100 to 120 days after sowing. Just wanted to let you know, amaranth is a very popular leafy vegetable eaten in India. Slugs are a common predator — if you’re not too squeamish, you can remove them by hand-picking and dropping them in a bucket of salted water in early morning. Identify palmer's amaranth via its pictures, habitat, height, flowers and leaves. You can also use the leaves of amaranth as a leafy vegetable; the taste is similar to spinach and they can be used in the same way as many of the leafy vegetables, especially in mixed-green salads. • Access to exclusive online content -- seasonal recipes, organic pest control & more. Or, you can cut the whole plant down off at ground level when it is 1 to 2 feet tall. Barbara Gillette is a Master Gardener, Herbalist, beekeeper, and journalist with decades of experience propagating and growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamentals. Aphids and flea beetles are common; insecticidal soaps are a good remedy for the former, and floating row covers will protect the plants from the latter. The plant is edible from tender stems through leaves, flowers and seeds. Amaranth seeds are harvested in fall and cleaned, sorted, and packaged for sale as a food that's cooked much like quinoa (a relative of amaranth). Amaranthus edulis is a grain amaranth that is exceptionally high in lysine, a critical amino acid that is often not found in plants. Before they all turn brown, cut the flowers off and place them in bags, where they will dry. Unavailable for 2021 . The seeds are extremely nutritious and protein-packed with a slightly nutty flavor. Botanically a pseudo-grain rather than a true grain, such as wheat and rye, amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) Large size and heat won’t turn amaranth leaves bitter, as often occurs with other leafy greens. This is a very tasty, healthy plant and shame on them for classifying it as a weed… Amaranth is a group of more than 60 different species of grains that have been cultivated for about 8,000 years. Leaves can be harvested within a few weeks of outdoor planting. Only dense clay soils are likely to be completely unsuitable for amaranth. Deep burgundy-red flower heads with even darker stunning foliage. Although edible, the blossoms usually indicate that the leaves are past their prime for eating. Presently, its growth is mainly concentrated in tropical climates of Latin Americas, Asia and Africa. Green Round Leaf Edible Amaranth Plant. Root rot can be a problem in wet, dense soil or in periods where rainfalls are frequent and copious. It can also have many branches Some varieties are marketed as best for seed production, while others are bred for attractive, tasty leaves that work well in salads. Other cultivated varieties with green leaves are sometimes cultivated as a potherb. This is a crop that likes the heat! Very rich soils are not necessary for amaranth, and may even hinder flowering and seed production. Due to the brilliant red color of its seedlings, ‘Hopi Red Dye’ is also prized as a microgreen. Summary of Invasiveness Top of page. nutty breakfast alternative to white-flour pancakes. Amaranth has another edible advantage: the leaves can be harvested as a vegetable. Amaranth has been grown continuously in the Americas for thousands of years. Cultivars grown for use as leaf vegetables are usually harvested when they reach a height of 1 to 2 feet. It’s possible that it will resprout for another harvest, though you do risk introducing pests to the open stem. The Amaranthus genus is a complicated one, featuring at least 75 annual and perennial species that easily cross-breed and hybridize. They mixed the seeds with honey and occasionally human blood to render images of deities for worship. The soil doesn’t need to be especially fertile — in fact, too much nitrogen (especially for amaranth grown as grain) will cause the plants to become leggy and difficult to harvest. The amaranth plant is a grain and greens crop plant. Chose the fresh bunches and for a healthy treat, lightly steam them, sprinkle a few spices and a drizzle of your favourite oil. Angela England is the author of "Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less)," and edits the online publication Blissfully Domestic. When planting outdoors, sow seeds about 4 inches apart, barely covering them with soil. You’ll want to cultivate larger plants specifically grown for their seeds if you want the amaranth grain. Nearly all amaranths are edible, including love-lies-bleeding and even the common road-side weedy forms. Not only are its leaves delectable, its seeds are also edible and nutritious as well. Join today and save off the newsstand price! After the seedheads have completely dried, shake the seed into the pan. Photo by Univ. Purslane can often be found in moist garden beds, lawns, and shady areas, where it lies … You can pick them as microgreens as soon as they sport two sets of true leaves, or … Palmer Amaranth, leaf petiole is as long as leaf or longer. Register Today! Unlike other leafy green vegetables, amaranth is fairly happy in the heat. Amaranthus caudatus known by common names as love-lies-bleeding, pendant amaranth, tassel flower, velvet flower, foxtail amaranth, and quilete.. The differences are more or less cultural preferences, as all types are edible and highly nutritious. Hopi Red Dye was new to our garden last season and it is a stunning Amaranth. Amaranth grows well in average soils and will grow adequately in poor soils. Amaranth Recipe Ideas. To harvest grains, let the plant go all the way to flower. The seed, oil, and leaf are used as food. The youngest leaves have the best flavor and texture, but even the large, old leaves can be chopped up and included in any food needing a vegetable. Some amaranth species produce an edible seed head that forms a fuzzy spikelet. Red Stripe Leaf Edible Amaranth Plant. Don't overwater, or you run the risk of root rot or fungal diseases. You can pick them as microgreens as soon as they sport two sets of true leaves, or you can wait and harvest baby leaves for fresh salads. The seeds, like that of quinoa, are high in protein and taste similar to true grains grown from grass seeds. If you gently shake a seedhead and seeds easily fall off, you’ll know you’ve chosen the right time to harvest. Purslane. of Fla. EDIS: Amaranth viridis, Calalu, Smooth Amaranth, leaves can notched. If consumption is the goal, choose annual amaranth varieties marketed as edibles. As a bonus, amaranth grains can be heated until they pop, much like corn kernels. Leaf also has white ribs on back. In spite of some wild rumors, all amaranth can be eaten — even glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed — with a couple of caveats. Amaranth cultivars grown mainly as ornamentals are true showstoppers in the garden, with brilliant color and feathery flower plumes. The plant develops long flowers, which can be upright or trailing depending on the variety. Edible Asian Chinese Red Stripe Tender Round Leaves Amaranth Seeds :18,000 Seeds (15g) by Viablekitchenseeds. Note that some species of amaranth leaves, particularly purple amaranth… Above: Amaranths are nutritious, stuffed with vitamins, folic acid (vitamin B9), minerals, and protein. • Heirloom seed-saving techniques While the leaves on all 60 varieties of Amaranth are edible, some have prickly spikes on the surface – somewhat like stinging nettle. Be aware, though, that if the original plants were hybrids, the volunteer seedlings may not "come true" and may look different than the parent plant. The common garden and lawn denizen, redroot pigweed (A. retroflexus) is a member of the genus. Amaranth will not grow well in consistently damp plots, so be sure drainage is good in the chosen location. Many species are native to the southern U.S. and Mexico, so you can expect it to thrive even when late spring and summer is unusually warm. When harvesting the leaves, make sure to leave the crown and some leaves around the top to continue growing. Try delicious A. tricolor ‘Red Leaf,’ with its thick burgundy foliage, or A. tricolor ‘Joseph’s Coat,’ which has striking red, green, and yellow leaves. Amaranth is enjoyed by birds, insects, and also makes a great cut flower. The botanical genus name, Amaranthus, (am-a-RANTH-us) comes from the Greek word “amarandos, (Αμάραντος) which means non-fading, since its flowers last a long time. Thanks! For example, Chinese amaranth leaves contain three times the amount of both calcium and niacin (vitamin B3) compared to regular spinach leaves. Home gardeners can grow amaranth (Amaranthus spp.) Some amaranth grain is milled into flour. Amaranth contains more protein than many grains and is high in calcium, antioxidants and minerals. Like so many fresh Asian greens, amaranth greens need no embellishment aside from a few cloves of crushed garlic. Grain amaranth species tend to grow fairly large, and many will top out at a height of 5 to 7 feet. Older leaves may be enjoyed steamed, sautéed, or baked in a variety of dishes, in the same way you would use spinach, beet greens, and Swiss chard. First, remember that amaranth produces edible leaves, similar in taste to spinach. Root rot can also affect amaranth, but you can combat it by regulating water use. (email@example.com). Unavailable for 2021 . Don’t forget to harden off tender seedlings before transplanting outdoors in late spring. Thankfully, its propensity to spread isn’t shared by all amaranth species. The soil should be loose, not too heavy with clay particles, and have a pH in the range of 6.5 to 7.5. The seed and leaves are both edible, tasty and highly nutritious. If you are planting amaranth in containers, make sure your container is at least 10” deep. Home gardeners can easily grow amaranth for grain and microgreens. All amaranth foliage, which ranges from green to yellow, orange and red, like Hopi red dye amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus x A. powelli), is edible. Harvesting Amaranth Plants. The leaves are high in vitamin A & C, assorted necessary minerals and also fiber. The high nutrient content and ease of growing amaranth make it an ideal plant for the future. (USA only), • 1 year of Mother Earth Gardener magazine both print and digital Many parts of the plants, including the leaves and seeds, are edible, and are frequently used as a source of food in India and South America – where it is the most important Andean species of Amaranthus, known as kiwicha. Amaranth seed can also be popped one tablespoon at a time in a hot pan without oil, shaken every few seconds to avoid burning. Cultivated in Mexico thousands of years ago, both the leaves and seeds of amaranth are edible. Be sure to harvest amaranth seeds on a dry, warm day, because picking in cool, damp conditions may contribute to rot before you get a chance to use the seed. Amaranth is a plant that falls into one of four categories: grain, vegetable, ornamental or weed. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. In fact, once-upon-a-time, this was the primary reason amaranth served as a staple in home cottage gardens. The entire plant is used to make medicine. Amaranthus tricolor is a rapidly growing annual, widely cultivated as a garden plant for its showy, often variegated, distal leaves of striking colours---red, scarlet, maroon, purple, yellow, cream, and green. Rinse away the dried seed “chaff” and enjoy your grain harvest. for grain and microgreens. Amaranth does best in full sun in the northern part of its range, but in warm southern climates, it benefits from some shade in the afternoon. Although amaranth leaves are edible and a good nutrition source in their own right, many people harvest the small seeds which grow on the plants (up to 60,000 per plant) and eat them either whole or ground into flour. Don’t miss a single issue of Mother Earth Gardener. 15 Red-Flowering Plants to Consider for Your Garden, 10 Tall Annual Flowers that Make a Strong Impact, Amaranth Adds Drama to the Sunny Flower Garden. It is easy to cook. ‘Hopi Red Dye’ (A. cruentus) is a versatile heirloom amaranth — the flowers produce a deep red dye, and the plants supply large quantities of black seeds that are excellent as a grain. If you are eager for early harvest, you can start the seeds indoors as much as eight weeks earlier. Certain to turn heads is the fascinating A. tricolor ‘Elephant Head,’ a cultivar that was brought to the United States in the 1800s and is known for its gargantuan upright burgundy seedheads that resemble elephant trunks — beautiful and chock-full of seeds for harvest. Amaranth nearly disappeared from the region after this practice was forbidden by the Spanish in the 15th century. The closer you can get them, the better they look once fully grown. The leaves of the amaranth have a medicinal value and are used as herb effective for the treatment of ailments such as diarrhea and stopping bleeding. Sow amaranth seed directly into warm soil in late May or early June in most regions. Winter Herbal Remedies from the Medicinal Garden, Fabled Heirloom Potatoes from the High Andes. Find more Amaranth varieties here. More Details. You may have seen highly-touted amaranth listed as an ingredient on a box of cereal or in baked goods, such as bread, pasta, and crackers. Published by the editors of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Mother Earth Gardener provides decades of organic gardening experience from the most trusted voices in the field. Flea beetles may be deterred by installing a floating row cover after the plants have sprouted. It's also possible to collect some of the seeds in fall and replant them the following spring. The edible leaves are known as Chinese spinach. It’s important to time the harvest so the plants don’t drop seed onto the planting site, which would encourage innumerable volunteers the following spring. Don’t expose them to moisture or cool temperatures. Amaranth is susceptible to many of the same pests as other vegetables. That's an amaranth species, Amaranthus caudatus, and yes, the leaves and seeds are edible and nutritious like any other amaranth. If starting indoors, use a general seed-starting mix and make sure to harden off the seedlings before transplanting outdoors. The leaves with the spikes must be washed thoroughly to remove them before consuming the leaves raw or cooked. 4.3 out of 5 stars 7. You can harvest both leaves and grain from any amaranth, but if your goal is an edible plant, choose a variety based on your goals. You often hear amaranth called an ancient grain because it was once grown and harvested by Aztec and Inca civilizations. Shake the bag once they are dry, or knock the seeds loose over a cloth. You can consume them raw, stir-fried, or sauteed. Amaranth doesn’t contain gluten, so it’s becoming increasingly popular among people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. But those sold as edible varieties are selected for their good seed production and especially tasty leaves. For fresh salads, you can harvest amaranth leaves as a microgreen after they sport two true leaves, or pick baby leaves. Growing Amaranth in Containers. At the same time, they need enough space to provide good air circulation. The Aztecs, who called amaranth huauhtli, used it as food and in religious ceremonies. The bulk seed is uses as a "grain" in porridges or added as a thickener to soups and stews. Benefit 1: Treatment of Diarrhea. In Mexico, the popped seeds are mixed with honey and other foods, such as chocolate and nuts, for a tasty snack called alegría. In fact, excessive nitrogen will cause the plants to become leggy and less suitable for harvesting. [tweet_quote] Amaranth is a vibrantly colored plant, and both its seeds and leaves are edible. A pop of color can be important if you’re using amaranth as a microgreen or in a salad mix, especially for restaurant use. Amaranthus caudatus is a species of annual flowering plant.It goes by common names such as love-lies-bleeding, pendant amaranth,  tassel flower, velvet flower, foxtail amaranth, and quilete. Far from it, the amaranth is a nutritious plant with many health benefits. Already a Member but haven't activated your account? Look for gorgeous A. caudatus ‘Green Tails,’ which has bright green drooping flower plumes, or the well-known A. caudatus ‘Love-Lies-Bleeding’ — its deep red flower plumes are an absolute standout in hanging baskets. There are at least 50 species of the genus Amaranthus, including some grown primarily for ornamental use. But those sold as edible varieties are selected for their good seed production and especially tasty leaves. As they sprout, thin the plants out to a spacing of 10 to 18 inches. Avoid using commercial pesticides with a "wait to pick" or any other type of warning regarding consumption. Amaranth leaves can be eaten raw or used as a spinach substitute in any dish. You won’t want to miss the stories about plants passed down from generation to generation. Green Pointed Leaf Edible Amaranth Plant. For one, any plant that survives the onslaught of toxic petro-pesticides will most likely harbor the toxic constituents of the pesticide and pass them on to whomever eats the plant.Amaranth also has a propensity to accumulate nitrates and oxalates, which can make it unpalatable and unsafe for eating, especially w… Amaranth can fall prey to many of the same pests and diseases that affect other vegetables. Average outdoor temps need to reach about 55 degrees Fahrenheit before planting the seedlings outdoors. Certain cultivars of amaranth are especially desirable for use as a vegetable crop due to superior leaf taste, texture, and color. Many Asian and African dishes make use of amaranth greens. Amaranth plants have average needs for water (no more than 1 inch per week). Amaranth grains are especially good in a porridge that also contains other grains, such as millet and quinoa. Depending on variety, this may take several rinsings due to the amount of chaff. The cooked leaves can be used variously as simple green side dishes, in quiches, green Mediterranean-style pies, bruschetta toppings, pestos, soups, and saags. Boil in water with twice the amount of water as grain by volume (or 2.4 times as much water by weight). Space individual plants a minimum of 5 to 6 inches apart (commercial growers usually increase the crop density and space plants 3 inches apart). Palmer's Amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) is wild, edible and nutritious food. You can always thin them, and eat the thinnings. Read on to find out how to harvest amaranth and other information about harvesting amaranth grains. Amaranth greens may be eaten raw or cooked. Small leaves are more tender, but the larger leaves also have a full flavor. To ensure continued production, it's a good idea to stagger planting every two to three weeks, beginning a week or two after the last frost date in your region. You can try our nutty breakfast alternative to white-flour pancakes. Find more Amaranth varieties here. has been grown for its tiny, nutritious seeds for thousands of years in Central America, India, Africa, and China. Make sure the site you choose has good drainage and air circulation. Amaranth is an annual and grows very rapidly, but if your frost-free season is short and you’re eager to grow it for grain, you can step up the process by starting the seeds indoors in late April. Top of leaf may or may not have a white chevron watermark. This may include the practice of spacing plants out more in rows so the foliage is not so dense. One of the most commonly grown and top-producing grain cultivars is ‘Burgundy’ ( A. hypochondriacus), which has dark purple leaves, red flowers, and white seeds. Amaranth leaves and grains were one of the staple foods of Aztecs and Incas in pre-Columbian times. For a tasty treat, heat amaranth grains until they pop, and mix them with chocolate and nuts. Register now to get access to ALL current video workshops and prerecorded webinars plus anything new that we add through the end of 2020. Young leaves and shoot tips are eaten between 3 to 6 weeks after seeds are sown. Become a Preferred Subscriber and start enjoying the benefits today! Amaranth grows well in any average well-drained soil, but it will struggle in dense clay soils. With their plentiful seeds, amaranth plants will readily self-seed in the garden. The leaves arae nutritious and amaranth seeds too are used to make sweetmeats and flour for making chappatis and dosas! One of the most commonly grown and top-producing grain cultivars is ‘Burgundy’ (, The seeds of most grain amaranths are tiny, ranging from, Amaranth cultivars grown mainly as ornamentals are true showstoppers in the garden, with brilliant color and feathery flower plumes. Amaranth needs plenty of sunlight to be at its most productive, so you should choose a site with a minimum of six hours of full sun. Nearly all amaranths are edible, including love-lies-bleeding and even the common road-side weedy forms. In other words, it’s the ideal plant for edible landscaping. Sheryl Normandeau is a freelance writer and homesteader from Calgary, Alberta. Today, most gardeners are familiar with Amaranthus species such as A. caudatus (love-lies-bleeding) as ornamental plants, and many don't even realize that amaranths are also edible plants that can be grown for the grain-like seeds and edible leaves. (Sadly, little can be done if the growing season is cool and rainy.) Amaranth germinates in 7 to 14 days at a minimum ambient temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. When heated, the seeds can burst like popcorn. The same goes for the gomphrena (bachelor's button) and celosia (cock's comb or woolflower) species. If you want to harvest the plants for seeds, it will take about 12 weeks for the plants to reach full maturity. Find more Amaranth varieties here. Spiny amaranth has edible leaves and might be a medicine and sex aid. The seeds of most grain amaranths are tiny, ranging from 1/25- to 1/16-inch in diameter, and a single plant can produce up to 100,000 seeds! Aphids are another potential problem, but you can easily dispatch them with strong blasts of water from the garden hose or an application of insecticidal soap. There are some 60 amaranth species, maybe 70 (it depends on who’s counting.) In cooked and edible forms, amaranth retains adequate content of several dietary minerals.