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Amaranthus caudatus

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© RHS 2003

Characteristics

Plant type

Annual/Biennial or Bedding

Habit

Bushy

Resilience

Hardiness

old H3 (may need winter protection)

Colour

Flower

Red in Autumn and Summer

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

1-1.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.5-1 metres

Time to ultimate height

1-2 years


Preferred common name

love-lies-bleeding

Family

Amaranthaceae


Amaranthus can be upright or spreading annuals or short-lived perennials, with simple leaves and tiny flowers borne in dense, erect or pendulous, catkin-like inflorescences in summer and autumn

A. caudatus is a bushy, erect annual or biennial, with large ovate leaves and drooping, crimson tassel-like racemes of tiny flowers in summer and autumn

Other common names

  • careless
  • cat tail
  • chenile plant
  • floramor
  • Inca wheat
  • lady's riding whip
  • tassel flower
  • teasel flower
  • thrumwort
  • tumbleweed
  • velvet flower

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in moist, fertile, humus-rich soil in full sun, in a sheltered site. Will tolerate poor soil, but then requires watering freely during dry periods in summer. Large enough to make an architectural feature, the flowers can be used for fresh or dried arrangements and birds love the seedheads

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in-situ in mid-spring , thin to 60cm apart

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Cut Flowers, Prairie Planting or Wildlife Gardens


How to care

Pruning

Cut back after flowering

Pests

Can get aphids

Diseases

A virus may cause problems