Amaranth plant, or shiritsa, (Amaránthus) - a widespread perennial or annual decorative unpretentious flower. Grassy culture grows well both in open ground and at home.
Description and use cases in landscape design
Description of the plant is characterized by the formation of small flowers, which are collected in fairly dense and very attractive inflorescences of the spike-paniculate type. All types and varieties belong to the Amaranth family (Amaranthaceae).
The stem part can be either simple or branchy. Another, whole foliage also looks very attractive, and can have a rhomboid, lanceolate or ovoid shape. The base of the leaf is elongated into the petiole, and the apical part has a notch and a small tip. Sinus type flowers are arranged in bunches, and apical flowers are collected in dense paniculate spike-shaped inflorescences. The plant blooms profusely, after which it forms fruit boxes with seeds. The color of the plant is green or purplish red.
Amaranth in the garden
Today, there are a huge number of species that grow in natural street conditions in regions with warm and temperate climates. Almost a hundred species stand out, but in our country grows seventeen species of such a plant. The category of the most popular and well-known types of amaranth is represented by tricolor, caudate, crimson, panicled, thrown back and common pickle.
A. caudate (A.caudatus) has very beautiful drooping and delicate inflorescences that resemble a fox tail. The most popular decorative variety is "Viridis" with green or cream inflorescences. Beautiful honey plant.
Tricolor (A.tricolor) has fairly narrow, sometimes wavy leaves of three-colored staining with a red, yellow and green tint. Inflorescences are straight-growing, highly branched. Decorative varieties include FlamingFountains, Illumination, and Joseph's Coat.
Paniculate (A.cruentus, syn. A.paniculatus) is characterized by the presence of a brownish-red hue of foliage and drooping or vertical inflorescences with original hanging tips. Decorative varieties include Zwergfackel, GrueneFackel, PygmyTorch and RoterDom.
Vegetable was grown as a cereal crop, but today it is recommended for use in fresh, boiled, fried and dried form. Most often has a dark green or crimson color. The categories of the most popular varieties include "Krepysh", "Valentina", "In memory of Kvasov", "White sheet", "Kharkov-1" and "Shuntuk".
They prefer to grow indoor amaranth in the Urals, as well as in Siberia and other regions with insufficiently favorable climatic conditions. Amaranth trees grow well in standard medium-sized flower pots.Planting seedlings or growing from seeds requires the use of universal soil for flowering ornamental plants.
The best varieties of amaranth
At present, domestic and foreign breeders have bred a large number of all kinds of amaranth varieties, which differ not only in their external characteristics, but also in their resistance to external adverse factors and their demanding care.
Almost any variety can grow independently even a beginner or a limited-time amateur grower.
The popular variety “Illumination” or “Illumination”, which is often grown in the country, is a fairly powerful and well-developed plant with a height of not more than 60-70 cm with very spectacular and large foliage. Young foliage is characterized by reddish yellow stainingand older leaves have a reddish-orange color. A very original bronze hue is inherent in the lower leaves.
A feature of the variety "Molten Fire" is high decorativeness. This two-color variety successfully combines red-raspberry and chocolate-brown color in the seed. The culture is light, moisture and heat loving, characterized by rapid growth, but does not tolerate severe frosts. Preference is given to light and fertile soils.
Perfect for single and group planting, border decoration, decorating fences and the center of the flowerbed. Cut inflorescences are used in bouquets and flower arrangements.
The standard height of an adult plant does not exceed 80-100 cm. This fast-growing annual crop has a powerful and fairly branched stem part no more than a meter high.You can plant this unpretentious variety for the purpose of decorating walls, fences, low buildings and the creation of hedges. Group plantings look great on the background of decorative-deciduous and flowering shrubs.
The highly decorative variety "Cherry Velvet" refers to annual herbaceous ornamental plants that are widely used in decorating the garden space and garden, as well as used in creating bouquet compositions.
The variety is characterized by the formation of flowers collected in very neat, highly decorative paniculate inflorescences. The bush is compact, with a height of not more than 40-45 cm, with fairly dense foliage. Root inflorescences, exotic, deep cherry-violet staining.
Variety "Brazilian Carnival" is a bright decorative and deciduous mixture. Cute multi-colored bushes reach a height of half a meter. The aerial part is covered with elongated-ovoid tricolor leaves.
Foliage has a greenish-yellow, reddish-burgundy and pink-burgundy staining. The variety has proven itself both in single and in group plantings on lawns, in the background of flower rabbits or mixborders.
Other varieties for indoor and garden cultivation
Amaranth "Openwork" blooms before the onset of tangible frosts. The aerial part is powerful and slender, decorated with very lush inflorescences-sultans that resemble biscuit dough with their appearance. The annual height is 120 cm. Decorative-leafy amaranth has a very original and bright appearance. "Red Octopus". These are very nice multi-colored bushes with a height of not more than 35-40 cm with elongated-egg-shaped three-colored foliage of greenish-burgundy, red and bronze hues.
Amaranth is equally popular with amateur gardeners "Perfect." The bush reaches a height of 75-90 cm. The foliage is very decorative. The upper leaves are saturated in red, yellow and green, and the lower foliage has a green color with very pronounced burgundy blotches.
For beginner amateur gardeners, they are most suitable for very undemanding care and unpretentious to soil-climatic conditions varieties:
- dark-leaved "Mermaid";
- Grain Helios;
- Grain "Lera";
- feed "Aztec";
- stern "Sem";
- The Magic Fountain;
- Green Tamb;
- "Bronze Age";
- "Glamorous Shine";
- "Christmas tree toy";
- "Red Torch";
- "Dance of Fire";
- Polovtsian Dances;
Varietal feature of medium-sized Pigmy Torch is the formation of dark purple inflorescences, which in the autumn period acquire an unusual chestnut hue. The foliage of the plant is highly decorative, multi-colored. Amaranth "Cascade" up to 70-80 cm tall has a powerful and erect stem part. Small flowers gather in panicle inflorescences of a drooping type with a length of not more than 60-80 cm. Flowering is long and very plentiful. Unpretentious grade Cherry Jam refers to early ripe garden crops. The aboveground part is up to one and a half meters high. The plant is an excellent source of plant valuable digestible protein.
How to grow amaranth
Features of growing amaranth from seeds
Seed propagation is one of the most convenient ways to obtain a beautiful and unpretentious annual. Features of growing technology:
- sowing in the last decade of March;
- the use of soil based on humus and clean, disinfected medium-grained sand in a ratio of 3: 1;
- the height of the landing tank with drainage holes is at least 10 cm;
- seeding of seed material to a depth of one and a half centimeter;
- the use of a film coating to produce a greenhouse effect;
- germination in a warm and fairly bright place with watering from a household spray;
- compliance with air temperature at the level of 18-22 ° C.
The emerged mass seedlings are recommended to be necessarily pecked into separate seedling containers. Dive is carried out after the appearance of three or four true leaves on the sprouts. After transplantation, it is advisable to pinch the apical part of the growth point, which will quickly and well strengthen the root system of the plant. Planting seedlings on a permanent place in the open ground is made in the first decade of May. If necessary, a temporary film shelter is used.
Amaranth: features of planting and care in the open ground
After sufficient warming up of the soil, it is planted in open ground. The growing area should have good lighting and good drainage. Preference should be given to light and nutritious soils that are sufficiently calcareous. Annuals are extremely difficult to tolerate low temperature conditions, as well as waterlogging of the soil, which must be taken into account when choosing a place for growing.
At the preparatory stage, the soil needs to be dug up onto a shovel bayonet with the simultaneous introduction of 20 g nitroammophoski per square meter of flower bed. Depending on the variety and species characteristics, the planting and cultivation pattern may vary. The average distance between seedlings should be approximately 10-30 cm, while observing the distance between the rows of 45-70 cm. Immediately after planting about a couple of weeks, you need to carefully monitor the soil moisture indicators.
During the first month, seedlings differ in very slow growth and development, therefore, at this stage, amaranth needs to provide proper care, which consists in watering, weeding and loosening the soil. At the stage of activation of growth processes watering should be rare enough, only in periods too dry. Top dressing is carried out three to four times per season. For this purpose, it is recommended to use a solution based on mullein diluted in a ratio of 1: 5 and wood ash based on the calculation of a glass per bucket of water.
In order to prevent from plant parasites, the aerial parts of the garden culture are treated with drugs such as Actellik or Fufanon. To prevent the defeat of fungal diseases, it is allowed to use Colloidal Sulfur, Copper Sulphate and Copper Chloride for spraying decorative garden plants. Processing is carried out in dry and calm weather.
How to plant amaranth
How to care for amaranth at home
Recently, more and more amateur gardeners are growing undersized and compact varieties of amaranth in home floriculture. As a rule, preference in room culture is given to vegetable and grain varieties, which are able to diversify the diet. Soil can be used universal. The soil mixture, which is filled with flower pots, must be loose, well-retaining moisture and containing the full range of all necessary for the growth and development of trace elements.
To minimize the amount of fertilizing during the growing season, it is recommended to prepare a substrate on the basis of sod land, peat and humus in equal parts with the addition of potassium fertilizer, superphosphate or wood ash. The volume of the flower pot for one plant should be at least a liter, but the depth should be significant. When picking, the seedling must be buried to the first leaves, which will allow you to get a strong plant. Summer cultivation is carried out on balconies and loggias. Crop care is standard and consists in timely watering and a couple of fertilizing with complex fertilizers.
The amaranth flower garden looks very impressive up to the very frosts. The plant perfectly reproduces by seeds and can be planted in almost any areas, so that the culture has gained immense popularity among flower growers of our country.