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.

Site Characteristics
  • 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.


  • cushion, mound or clump
  • upright

Pinching flower blossoms can help maintain low, bushy form.

Shape in flower: inconspicuous flower

Special Considerations
  • 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.


Some cultivars are grown as ornamentals.

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