Growing Guide
 
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Vegetable amaranth

Vegetable (Warm Season) - Salad Greens

Also known as Chinese spinach, Tampala
Amaranthus tricolor
Amaranthaceae Family

This warm-season salad green can help fill the gap between spring and fall harvest of cool-season greens. You can also cook it like spinach or use it in stir fries. Use variegated varieties as ornamentals.

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Site Characteristics
Sunlight:
  • full sun

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates low fertility
Prefers light, fertile, well-drained soils, but grows under a wide range of conditions.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Tender annual.

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 1 to 3 feet

Spread: 0.5 to 1.5 feet

Foliage color:

  • medium green
  • dark green
  • red
  • purple
  • variegated

Leaves may be all green, all red or maroon, or red in the center with green on the margins.

Foliage texture: medium

Variegated varieties are more finely textured. Leaves are usually oval to heart shaped.

Shape:

  • cushion, mound or clump
  • upright

Pinching flower blossoms can help maintain low, bushy form.

Shape in flower: inconspicuous flower

Special Considerations
Tolerates:
  • heat
Special characteristics:
  • not native to North America - Native to tropical Asia
Special uses:
  • edible landscaping
Growing Information
How to plant:

Germination temperature: 70 F to 75 F - Germinates best at soil temperatures above 68 F.

Maintenance and care:
Sow outside in late spring or early summer approximately 1-inch apart and to 1/8 inch deep. Thin to 6 inches apart.

Seeds require a minimum soil temperature of 50 F to germinate, but germinate much quicker at temperatures of 68 F or above.

For earlier harvest, start plants inside and transplant after last frost.

A tropical plant, amaranth grows best at temperatures between 70 F and 85 F.

Do not use nitrogen fertilizer. Leaves can accumulate excess nitrates.

Varieties

Some cultivars are grown as ornamentals.

Browse vegetable amaranth varieties at our Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners website.