Height: 60cm-1.5m (2-5ft)
Planting distance: 30-90cm (1 -3ft)
Features:summer to autumn
Soil: varies according to species
Site: full sun
These tall, dramatic plants, some with long drooping flower tassels, look good as a focal point in formal bedding schemes. Their greenmake a refreshing contrast to the flowers until late summer, when they turn a deep bronze, adding to the impact.
Popular species and varieties:
Amaranthus caudatus ‘Crimson’, or love-lies-bleeding, is the most popular variety. Its 45cm (I 8in) long plumes of blood-red flowers appear from late summer to mid autumn on 75cm (30in) high plants. Space the plants 45cm (I 8 in) apart. The variety ‘Viridis’ has pale green flowers and is attractive in fresh or dried flower. A. hypochondriasis, or prince’s feather, has erect plumes of bright red flowers 15cm (6in) long. These last from mid summer to mid autumn. The plants reach 75cm (30in) high and have bronze-tinted leaves. Space the plants 90cm (3ft)
Amaranthus caudatus ‘Crimson include ‘Flaming Fountain’, with crimson, willow-like leaves; ‘Illumination’, with scarlet, orange, yellow, green and bronze leaves all on one plant; and ‘’, a vigorous variety with cream, scarlet and green foliage.
Sow under glass in early spring at a steady temperature of 15°C (59°F). Prick off theinto , and harden off in a frame, before planting outdoors in late spring. can be sown directly in the flowering site in mid spring, then thinned out to the required planting distance.
A. caudatiis and its varieties will grow in poor soil but the other species and their varieties prefer soil enriched with manure. All need a sunny location.
Pests and diseases:sometimes infest the plants.