Amaranthus spinosus which is also known as the spiny amaranth, prickly amaranth or thorny amaranth is a native of the tropical Americas. It can be a serious weed of rice.
It is used as a grey dye for cloth and as a valued food. It is used medicinally in ayurveda for treating lukorrhoea, menorrhagia, indigestion, skin diseases, antidote, urinary diseases etc,. It is also a traditional African medicine.
It is an Antiemetic; anti-inflammatory; astringent; blood purifier; carminative; diaphoretic; diuretic; emmenagogue; emollient; expectorant; febrifuge; galactogogue; hemostatic; improves digestion; lactogogue, laxative; mucilaginous; promotes appetite; purgative; soporific, clears heat and poison, stops bleeding, treats bites and stings, used topically for eczema, psoriasis, rashes, sunburn, enteritis, dysentery, diarrhea, gastric ulcer, nose bleeds, mouth ulcers, toothache, gall stones and gall inflammation, topically used for boils, abscess, foot sores, fever, bruises and wounds. It helps in treating tumors, colic, bronchitis and wheezing.
It is high in protein and calcium and used as a spinach substitute. The seeds are used in hot cereal.
This plant is long and flowers are in red or green color. It is native to India and Philippines. This plant can grow up to a height of 2-8 feet. The leaves are oval shaped and about 2-4 inches long. The foliage is also nutritious.
Growing/Caring conditions for Amaranthus Spinosus:
- This plant needs a soil pH of 6-7.
- This plant needs monthly fertilizer dose.
- The seed should be sown abut 4- 6 weeks before the final frost of the season.
- These plants cannot hold the cold weather.
- The plant needs full sun to partial shade.
- Before sowing the seeds, fill the pots with potting soil.
- The seed should be sown about 1/4 inch deep.
- Keep the soil moist but not very wet.
- The germination needs a temperature of about 70 to 75F.
- The germination requires 10-14 days.
- Once the frost is passed, transplant the seedlings.
- Check if the roots are fully covered and in tact.
- Mulch the plant for well draining capacity and to keep the weeds away.
- This plant prefers a little dry soil side than moist and wet soil.
- Water regularly in summer though.
- Fertilize with general liquid fertilizer.
- Deadhead the dry flowers for new growth of flowers.
- Remove the old plants.
- Amaranths are susceptible to Tarnished Plant Bug, Flea Beetle, and Amaranth Weevil.
- Use an organic or chemical pesticide to remove these pests.