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August 2010
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Love lies bleeding (caudatus) Botanical name: Amaranthus caudatus L.

Family: Amaranthaceae

This plant is a Half-hardy annual flowering plant which grows up to four feet (60-120cms). Love-lies-bleeding, love-lies-a’ bleeding, pendant amaranth, tassel flower, velvet flower, foxtail amaranth, and quelite are some of the common names of the plant.
It is perfect for using as a border plant or in rock gardens, cottage gardens or cut flowers. Putting them in a hanging casket too as a decoration plant is a pretty good use. This plant looks exotic for garden beds too. It flowers in summer. This plant is tall with its erect stems that are branching. The flowers are long enough falling to the ground. As a cut flower it can keep its color for long time. They are native of American tropics.
The plant need full exposure to sun for its full growth. The flowers bloom in mid summer to late summer to early fall. The flowers are in Pale Pink, Fuchsia (Red-Purple), and Red and Purple colors. It has herbaceous foliage. The Soil pH requirements are 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic), 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic). Some parts of the plant like the leaves and seeds are edible. In India and South America, they are a food source. The red color of the inflorescences is due to a high content of Betacyanins. It’s actually given the name because of the redness of the flower, which is blood red.

Growing conditions for “Love lies bleeding” (caudatus)

• Sow the seeds in early spring.
• Add seed compost for better growth.
• The plant needs exposure to full sun.
• The temperature should be 21-24C (70-75F).
• The depth to sow the seed is 2mm (1/16in).
• For smaller species spacing can be 20-30cms and for larger species spacing should be 50cm at least.
• The soil needs to damp.
• Wet soil should be avoided.
• It will take about 10-14 days for the seeds to germinate.
• Sow the seeds indoors before last frost.
• Directly sow the seeds after last frost.
• The seedlings have to be transplanted.
• Before transplanting keep the seedlings in cool place.
• Transplant them in a sunny area in rich soil with a spacing of 30-45cm (12-18in).

Care for Love lies bleeding” (caudatus)

• The plant requires frequent watering in the summer.
• The cut flowers last well in water without loosing its original colour.
• The cut flower can also be dried.
• The plant needs exposure to full sun.
• The soil needs to damp.
• Wet soil should be avoided.
• The plants have average water needs.
• Do not overwater the plant.

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