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The Plant Guide

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Chinese spinach

Amaranthus tricolor and cvs.

am-ah-RAN-thus TRY-kul-or

This hardy annual has vibrant, ornamental red, yellow, and green foliage that lends a tropical effect to the garden. Small flowers, borne from summer to early autumn, are inconspicuous in comparison to the effect of the foliage. Cultivars feature yellow and maroon-shaded leaves, but the species still offers the showiest foliage.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsCultivated by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. Grow massed in a bed; combines well with other bold, warm-colored heirloom annuals.

CareDoes well in full sun and all but soggy soils.

PropagationFrom seed in soil-based potting soil, in full light.

ProblemsWhite rust, brown rust, Ceroscopora leaf spot, and Phyllosticta leaf spot affect the leaves. Root rot. Prone to aster yellows and virus diseases, as well as aphids.

  • Genus : Amaranthus
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Type : Annuals
  • Uses : Containers
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Bloom Time : Early Fall, Fall, Late Summer, Summer
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Flower Color : Green, Red
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest

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