Friday, 31 August 2012


I have grown love-lies-bleeding or amaranthus for many years, my favourite being the amaranthus caudatus which drapes down in gorgeous tassels.  This half hardy annual is extremely easy to grow and self sows everywhere, given half a chance.  The leaves and seeds of amaranthus are also edible so a good all rounder! I experimented with it in my hanging baskets last year and it attracted the attention of passing neighbours with a mix of horror, amusement and delight. Here is a picture of it today outside my house in a crevice between the wall and pavement after the seeds had dropped from a basket above last year.  It seems to be accompanied by another sneaky interloper, a festuca glauca (from a previous year’s hanging basket ‘experiment’).

Amaranthus is best just sown directly in the ground in spring and like all plants this year, in this wet, wet, growing season, it was hammered by slugs and snails. This has been to my advantage as the job of thinning out (my least favourite task) has been carried out on my behalf.  As you can see, the gastropods have not diminshed my final rows.  In fact this half hardy annual grows to such a size in one growing season, that each time I walk past the rows in the garden the musical riff of the film Jaws pops into my head.

This on reminds me of a Geisha's headdress.

The other three amaranthus plants I have grown this year are also doing well.  They include Autumn Pallet, Pygmy Torch and Foxtail.  My favourite being Pygmy Torch, I am still considering Autumn Pallet and seeing how it 'performs' in the vase.

From the reactions I receive, whenever I am selling amaranthus as a cut flower, I can confidently conclude, it is a 'Marmite' plant, 'love it or hate it'.  Well, as with Marmite, I love it, for its freaky bohemian qualities and will continue to grow it in all its varieties .... my love-lies-bleeding for amaranthus!

1 comment:

  1. I love them, too; however, I am now singing that Elton John song.