29. April 2020

My Beautiful 'Red Garnet' Amaranth

Some of you have been asking me about the beautiful tall red flowers I grew last summer. This is one of the amaranth varieties I grow in my garden, called Red Garnet.

Drömsk trädgårdsbild. Red garnet amaranth, a dreamy garden.

My companion planting project with vegetables and flowers here in my kitchen garden, summer 2019. I'm going to grow plenty of amaranth flowers this year too!

 

Last summer, a new plant completely dominated my kitchen garden as well as the new little cottage garden on Oak Hill. And I couldn't be happier about it! The beautiful deep red flowers really added an extra boost and the tall plumes showed up in my companion planting projects in both locations. A few of you have been asking me about this regal-looking plant, so I wanted to write a bit about it for the coming season.

There are several amaranth varieties out there, and this particular one is called Red Garnet. I decided to go for it at Oak Hill Cottage Garden since both the leaves and the flowers are a deep crimson and I thought it would look nice against the many green plants in the beds. Most of the leaves there are green after all. Watch the video below to see more of my lovely amaranth Red Garnet:

 

Beautiful and useful

You might actually not believe me when I say that the amaranth is a vegetable. But it is! You can eat the leaves just like spinach (you need to cook the larger ones before eating though), and you can use the seeds instead of quinoa. I haven't tried eating the seeds myself. I heard that the process of drying and processing the seeds takes a lot of work. A bit too much work for that amount of food, in my opinion!

The leaves taste alright and look lovely in a salad, with their bright red color. But I actually prefer growing them purely for aesthetic reasons. I have so many delicious leafy greens to choose between in my garden, and I think that both spinach and chard taste better than amaranth.

Amaranth grows upright and develops several tall and sturdy shoots on each plant. They look very neat, at least in the beginning. Then after a while, the plant develops the beautiful red flowers. These flowers can grow quite heavy and the plant starts to droop. So you might want to support them if you can.

 

More about flowers: My beautiful clematis

 

Samplantering med växter i olika färger och former. Amaranth, companion-planting them with other plants.

I'm growing the Red Garnet amaranth in my cottage garden together with lots of other vegetables and flowers. Check out the link above to learn more about what the bed looks like!

 

Närbild på växterna som växer tillsammans. Close-up of the plants growing with the amaranth Red Garnet.

This is what the amaranth looks like in early summer before the flowers develop.

 

Beautiful amaranth bouquets

The amaranth looks really beautiful in the garden, but it works really well in bouquets too. You can use them both fresh and dried, they look lovely!

If you want to grow really large flowers, the best way to go is to just leave the amaranth alone and not cut it at all. If you prefer smaller flowers though, you might want to prune it a few times so that the plant creates new little shoots.

 

Närbild på amarantens blomspiror.

This is what the Red Garnet looks like up close.

 

En annan typ av amarant med hängande röda vippor.

This is a different variety called Red Tails. The leaves are green and the flowers are as you can see, very long. So pretty!

 

More about amaranth

  • sow amaranth in March (I live in zone 3)
  • sow indoors
  • transplant to individual pots and plant outside when it gets warm outside
  • prune the tops to get a bushier plant
  • dry some of the flowers and use in a winter bouquet

 

Samplantering i morgonljus med röda vippor från amaranten.

I'm growing giant verbena, amaranth, fennel and plenty of other plants here.

 

Närbild på samplanteringen med växter i grönt och rött i motljus.

Most plants are green, that's why I love the little pop of color that the amaranth offers.

 

More about flowers in the kitchen garden: My flowering peach tree

 

Many different varieties

There are plenty of lovely amaranth varieties out there. Just like the flowers, the Red Garnet leaves are red too. The color of the leaves is most intense when the plant is small, the leaves turn greener with time. I also have the Red Tails amaranth in the same bed, with green leaves and droopy flowers.

The amaranth comes in many different sizes, shapes and colors. A really fun plant to explore!

I just love amaranths and plan on growing even more of them this year.
/Sara Bäckmo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *