Love Lies Bleeding: How To Grow, Care And Harvest

Everybody wants to have a lovely garden with a collection of various shiny plants that not only spread fresh smell in the air.

But also attract beautiful birds and butterflies or at least make their land look good. There are many plant species present in the world that can grow without seeking much care. 

These bright colored plants not only look good but also make you feel better. Love lies bleeding is one of those plants. The Deep-crimson color of this plant makes it different from other plants.

Love lies bleeding

Despite being colorful this plant is also used for eating and medicine purposes. There are way more facts about this lovely plant than I have mentioned in this post.

Here you will get everything that you need to know before growing love lies bleeding.

So, let’s see them one by one

Quick Growing Guide

Common NameLove lies bleeding and Tassel flower
Scientific NameAmaranthus caudatus
Life span2 years
Mature Size2 – 8 feet
Sun Exposurefull-sunlight 
Soil TypeCompost soil and well-drained
Soil pH5.5 to 6.0
Bloom Timelate spring to late summer
Flower ColorDeep-crimson 
Hardiness Zones2 to 11
Native AreaNorth America 

How Love lies bleeding looks like 

Amaranthus caudatus is a species commonly called as love lies bleeding or tassel flower due to tiny deep-crimson petalless flowers.

It is an annual flowering plant that blooms in the long, hanging, tassel-like, terminal, and axillary panicles throughout the growing season.

Photo by form PxHere

It has big green leaves and grows anywhere from 1 to 2.5 meters (3 to 8 feet) in height. They can handle a variety of conditions, arid as well as humid.

Love lies bleeding is also called as Pendant amaranth, Velvet flower, Foxtail amaranth, andouillette.

Many parts of this plant such as leaves and seeds are edible and are frequently used as a source for food in countries like India and South America.

In South America, the most important species is the “Andean” species of Amaranthus, known as kiwicha.

The exact origin of this plant species, as with many other amaranths is unknown but, originally they belonged to the American tropics.

With approx 60 species,” amaranthus” has spread nearly to every land of the globe offering beauty to nature, food, and medicine to others.

Many gardeners in North America familiarly call A.caudatus as love lies bleeding. This plant has a large showy with striking red plumage, that blooms in the summer and fall season.

As the plant becomes mature, large and red-tinged light green leaves are joined with a long tail of hanging flower tips covered by hundreds of tiny deep-crimson (color-type) flowers.

Related post: 10 Best Vegetables to Grow for Beginner Gardeners

Uses

While Americans might enjoy “A.caudatus” for attractiveness, in the other parts of the world. This plant is popularly used for cooking purposes, both sweet and savory.

For example, in countries such as  India, Malaysia, and Indonesia the leaves of this species are commonly used like spinach, often fried quickly in a little hot oil with chilies and spices.

This is a tasty way to cook fresh greens. In fact, it is also becoming famous in the US.

Sometimes, You’ll find this in the CSA (community supported agriculture) box from local farms also. That means it’s a good idea to grow by yourself.

How to dry flowers of love lies bleeding

This plant’s iron and calcium-rich seeds can be dried and then cooked. After that, eaten as you would oatmeal or porridge, or ground into flour.

Amaranthus caudatus

The method for dried flowers is quite simple, cut the stems and hang them upside down in a very warm and dark place for at least 10-12 days.

After that, the flower color will change into bronze when dried. As amaranth is gluten-free, it’s a nutritious option for people that are suffering from celiac disease.

With that, it also provides 3 times more fiber than wheat. You should know, Amaranth is considered as one of the important food crops for the Aztecs and Incas.

Amaranth may contain some soluble oxalates yet it’s undefined, toxic, or poisonous. Medicinally, few people use this plant as an astringent, diuretic, or anti-parasitic.

When to plant

You can plant seeds inside 8 weeks before the last frost and expect to see flowers 3-4 months later.

Where to plant

Amaranthus grow big in size, growing them in small pots or containers will not produce much yield. It’s better to provide them with a big area container or plant directly in the ground soil.

How to grow Love lies bleeding 

Despite being an unpopular native plant of North America, now A. caudatus thrives in gardens all over the continent.

As I previously mentioned, Amaranthus is also known as a tassel flower. The plant’s 2-foot-long tails can maintain their color for 6 to 8 weeks

They look especially noticeable when planted with chrysanthemum, sunflower, or viburnum.

That’s why the flower is often used in bouquets and also preserved for dried arrangements, though they can lose their vibrant color when dried.

Love lies bleeding is a low-maintenance plant. Once grown up they do not need much attention.

To grow an eye catching deep crimson colored love lies bleeding.

  • You should first find a place or container where the plant gets full sun exposure because it thrives better in the light.
  • Now sow the seeds in a container or where you have decided in the ground.
  • You can grow them from division as well as seeds. 
  • Growing from seeds takes much more time to grow than division.
  • Sow the seeds or plant division in rich compost and well-drained soil. 
  • After sowing seeds in the soil, keep the soil consistently moist till the seedlings are actively growing.
  • After a few weeks, you will see “tassel flowers” establish themselves.
  • Once the plant gets established it does not need much care. They become drought-resistant and need less care until self-seeds germinate.
  • Perennial conditions might occur in love lies bleeding, if it thrives in the area where there is no frost.

Related post: 8 Best perennial Herb to grow in the container

Propagation from division:

Growing plants from the division are easy. You can grow multiple child plants with division in less time. If your Amaranthus plant gets dry or not blooming it is time to regrow a new one.

In Spite, they are perennial but sometimes due to some disease they die. But you can grow new, divide your plant in the fall season. 

Let’s see how:

  • Pull out the stems of the plants from the ground, the stem should be 5-6 inches long in size.
  • Clear all the leaves from the bottom half of the stem, this will generate new roots when you plant.
  • Rub the soil where you have decided to grow regrow, this makes soil smooth.
  • Spread a small quantity of fertilizer power on the soil and slightly mix it.
  • Gradually, cut the end part of stem cutting with shear to make visible clear white tissue.
  • Remember the white part of the stem should be visible and cutting with a dark spot cannot be used for planting.
  • Make the stem cutting stand in the smooth soil, use your dip the stem cutting in the soil.
  • Spray water to make the soil moist and leave it for a few weeks.
  • It nearly takes 14-15 days to grow new roots, but do need to check them.

Just keep the soil moist and after a month the plant gets well established and starts growing naturally.

How to care for amaranthus

Though they are easy to grow, every plant has some basic requirements.

love lies bleeding

Let’s see some favorable condition:

Soil

Most of the time, the plant grows 2 to 8 feet tall and spreads 1 to 3 feet wide.

  • As you know, the type of soil is a vital factor in the growth of plants.
  • Amaranthus thrives taller when planted in nutrient-rich soil or compost soil rather than average soil.
  • To be clear, well-drained loam is best for Amaranthus however it can do well in almost every soil.

Water

Amaranthus grow large so it is important to give them enough water. 

Water helps to grow them large which produces more seeds. They can produce around 100,000 seeds in one growing season.

You do not need to water regularly as they are drought tolerant water. But, water, when they get wilt or the soil, looks too dry.

Remember do not overwater, it might backfire and create problems for the plant, especially when planted in a container.

If you have planted in-ground or garden then overwatering may not affect as excessive water will go deep down. Do not bother to water if you live in a region where rainfall is frequent.

When you water, do not wet the leaves, blooms, and stems of the plant. Leaving plants wet for longer can attract diseases. The best practice is to water directly in the base of the plant.

Light 

Amaranthus are big green leaves plants, they love sunlight. Plant in an area where they receive full daylight. 

They are heat tolerant and do not get affected by intense sunlight. Avoid planting in the shadier spot, insufficient light can make leaves wilt and fade off bloom color.

Fertilizer 

Add fertilizer in the growing season this will encourage more bloom and leaves. 

If you have added organic fertilizer or manure when planting, you can avoid fertilizer in the same season. They prefer liquid nitrogen fertilizer.

Pruning

Pluck or cut dried parts of the plant, will make the plant look neat and produce new growth. You can also do pruning to maintain their shape. Cut down unwanted growth of the plant with a sharp shear.

Transplant

Transplantation is necessary if you have previously planted in the wrong location.

love-lies-bleeding

However, if the plant gets too big in spite of transplantation, you should destroy it and grow a new one in another area. You can easily regrow them by standing their stem cutting in the smooth soil.

Here what to do:

  • Take the grub hook and toss out the plant from the ground.
  • Dip a hole in the new place and replant it there.
  • Cover the roots with soil so that no roots get visible.
  • The water around the plant thoroughly needs water in the initial stage.
  • Wait for a couple of weeks, it takes that much time to get settled.

Pests and disease 

Amaranthus is a pest-free plant but you have to take care of aphids.

Aphids are small insects that suck nutrients and minerals from the plant. It can be removed with a blast of water or insect soap.

Give the plant space to spread, growing plants to close can cause poor air circulation which can cause fungal diseases like powdery mildew. 

Fungal infection can also be transmitted due to overwatering. Excessive water makes the roots weak and causes diseases like root rot. 

This disease stunts plant growth, sometimes the plant might die. You can make insect soap at home by mixing 5 tablespoons of pure soap with 1 gallon of water.

For proper growth add balanced fertilizer monthly throughout the season.

From where you can buy

Buy now seed for this crimson beauty in lots of 500 from Serendipity Seeds, via Amazon.

This plant will decorate your garden by attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. For a variety, you can add “Emerald” cultivar in your mix.

Available from NIKITOVKASeeds via Amazon, this plant’s long flowerheads are green instead of the usual deep red.

The plant’s height grows around 40 to 47 inches tall. Emerald Amaranthus Caudatus Seeds. Each package contains approx 800 seeds.

FAQ

Why do amanthus called love lies bleeding?

It is called so due its tiny blood red petalless flowers that bloom in narrow tassel-like terminals.

Do deer love lies bleeding?

Its leaves and seeds are both edible which are popular in countries like India, Africa and South america. Deer and rabbits also eat them with great joy.

Do they self-seed?

This plant grows readily from self seeds, you won’t need to take much trouble growing them.

Is Amaranth good for health?

Amaranth is associated with a number of health benefits it has protein, fiber, nutrients, and micronutrients. Helps in weight loss, low cholesterol level, and reduces inflammation.

Did I Miss Anything?

Now I’d like to hear from you: which tip from today’s post are you going to try first?

Or maybe, I didn’t mention your favorite plant growing tip. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

P.S. I myself reply to every comment

Before going if you want to grow beautiful flowers in your garden? Then click on these articles also.

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