How to Grow Amaranth in Alaska

Overview

Amaranth is an annual plant that grows well in most climates, including Alaska. It is grown for its colorful foliage and is known by several names, including fountain plant, Joseph's coat and loves-lives-bleeding, according to University of Florida. It grows to a height of 1 to 4 feet, with foliage extending 4- to 6-inches long and 2- to 4-inches wide. It is a nice addition to the home garden, and while it may be short lived in Alaska, makes a fine border or accent plant that requires little care.

Step 1

Choose a spot in full sun. While amaranth can tolerate some partial shade in warmer climates, in most parts of Alaska it will produce the best foliage colors in full sun. The soil should drain water well, so if the soil is soggy or frequently has standing water, amend the soil with organic matter (e.g., compost) or choose a different location.

Step 2

Plant in the spring or summer after the last frost. Alaska's climate varies greatly across the state, but in most regions, this occurs in May or June.

Step 3

Dig a hole that is the same depth, but two times as wide as the amaranth's current pot. Take the amaranth out of the container, keeping the soil in tact. Space amaranths 12 to 18 inches apart.

Step 4

Set the plant in the hole and backfill the soil, lightly tamping it down with your hands. Do not pack it firm. Then, water the amaranths with 1 inch of water and water weekly with 1 inch of water when rainfall is lacking. Expect your amaranth to die soon after the first frost, which in the coldest parts of Alaska can occur in mid-July, but in other areas as late as mid-fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic matter

References

  • University of Florida: Amaranthus tricolor

Who Can Help

  • Utah State University: Alaska Freeze Dates
  • Grow It: Alaska USDA Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: grow Joseph's coat, amaranth annual Alaska, grow fountain plant

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.