How to Care for Amaranth

Amaranth needs minimal care to grow. image by daviza/Flickr.com

Overview

Amaranth is a highly adaptable grain that is disease resistant and drought tolerant. For this reason, amaranth needs very little maintenance. Its harvested grain can be boiled or mixed into flour to make bread. Amaranth is rich in vitamins A, K, B6, and C. It also can be used as a raw or cooked leaf vegetable in a similar way as spinach. Here's how to care for your amaranth:

Step 1

Make sure the soil is rich and well-drained. Amaranth does best in these conditions, but will do well in others.

Step 2

Add a general purpose fertilizer and compost to the soil. Soil rich in nitrogen and phosphorus is best for amaranth.

Step 3

Keep the plants in a sunny location, and thin them out so that they are 1 1/2- to 2-feet apart. Use the the plants you pull in a salad.

Step 4

Weed around amaranth plants, especially when the plants are young.

Step 5

Wait till the amaranth has 2 to 3 leaves to water them by hand. They will get plenty of moisture naturally in early spring. Water the plants just enough to keep the soil damp.

Step 6

Harvest the seeds after 3 months when they fall easily when shaken. Collect the seeds by shaking the tips into a paper bag.

Step 7

Harvest the entire plant about 3 to 5 days after the first frost in dry weather. The leaves can be used in salads or cooked like spinach.

Things You'll Need

  • General purpose fertilizer
  • Compost
  • Paper bag

References

  • Growing Amaranth and Quinoa
  • Nutrition
  • Advanced Home Gardening; Miranda Smith; 2001.
Keywords: amaranth, grain, green

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.

Photo by: daviza/Flickr.com