Amaranth is an under utilized edible annual that makes a statement in the flower bed with its large flowers spikes. Amaranth has many uses including edible leaves that can be prepared like spinach, edible seeds that are similar to quinoa, and flowers that make a beautiful addition to arrangements.
Sow 4 weeks before the average last frost date. Plant seeds in trays and barely cover with soil as the seeds are very small. Keep the soil misted or water from below to avoid displacing seeds. Germination will occur in 7 to 10 days at 75 degrees. A heat mat is beneficial as Amaranth loves heat.
Sow seeds in the garden after all danger of frost has passed. Barely cover seeds with soil and water the area. Thin plants 12" to 18" apart depending on the variety.
Well draining soil with average fertility
To harvest the seeds for grain place a paper bag over the flower spikes after they have been pollinated, but before they start drying down and dropping seed. Once the seed has matured, cut the stalks with the bags still attached and hang them up to dry for several weeks. The seed can be shaken off into the bag and then the chaff separated until you have clean seed.
Click on the photos to learn more about each variety.