Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Drooping Amaranthus

Botanical name: Amaranthus caudatus (Amaranthaceae)
Other name: Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate, Purple Amaranth, Foxtail Amaranth, Quilete, Tassel Amaranth, and Tassel Flower

Crimson tassels cascade to the ground from an exotic, showy, bushy plant. Love-lies-bleeding was popular in colonial America and Victorian English gardens, and the plant's history is as colorful as its reddish-purple tassels. 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.

How to grow
Best in hanging baskets where drooping flowers are best seen. May be used in beds or borders. Interesting edging along walks or paths.

Bloom Time: Summer to Early Fall
Height: 3' to 4'
Exposure: Full Sun
Soil: prefers a fairly dry, nutrient poor soil; it tends to be less colorful in rich, fertile soils.
When to Sow Outside: Spring, after the average last day of frost.
When to Sow Inside: 6 to 8 weeks before last frost.
Seed Depth: 1/8 inch
Seed Spacing: 1"
Days to germinaqtion: 7 - 14
Thinning: When 2" tall thin to 15" tall
USDA Zones 8-11