How to Grow and Care For Love-lies-Bleeding

How to Grow and Care For Love-lies-Bleeding

How to Grow and Care For Love-lies-Bleeding

Image by C T Johansson from wiktionary

The bushy annual Love-lies-Bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) has oval, light green leaves. It produces long, pendulous, tassel-like red flowers from summer to fall that can be used for indoor displays. Many gardeners adore this plant for its showy red, purple, or gold drooping flowers as well as its distinctive red or light green foliage. Love lies bleeding makes a good cut flower but can also be dried and used in arrangements.

Love-lies-Bleeding’s seeds and leaves are both edible, but there is an important distinction to make:

A. caudatus develops high levels of nitrates in its leaves when grown in nitrogen-rich soil, which is frequently brought about by chemical fertilisation. Nitrates have been linked to cancer when consumed.

If you want to eat the leaves, you might want to think about growing your plants in a container or raised bed because this could include lawn fertiliser run-off.

Even with a soil test, nitrogen is a volatile element that is challenging to detect in the soil. Therefore, we emphasise the importance of growing your plants organically if you intend to eat them.

Botanical Name Amaranthus caudatus
Common Name Love-Lies-Bleeding, Pendant amaranth, Velvet flower, Lovelies bleeding,
Tassel flower & quilete.
Plant Type Annual
Mature Size 1 to 2 feet wide and 2 to 5 feet tall
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Tolerate a variety of soil conditions (Moist, average, well-drained, or poor)
Soil pH 6.4-8.5
Bloom Time Summer-fall
Flower Color blood-red
Hardiness Zones 2 – 11 (USDA Zone)
Native Area Believed to have originated in northern Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru.

How To Sow Love Lies Bleeding

Around March, start sowing seeds on moist seed compost under cover. Compost shouldn’t be covered because seeds need light to germinate. To prevent seed from drying out, cover with a thin layer of perlite, polythene, or a propagator. Keep at 20°C to ensure that seeds germinate successfully. Transplant the seedlings into separate, small pots or modular trays as soon as they are manageable, and let them continue to grow until they are big enough to be planted outdoors. Alternately, direct sow outdoors in late spring into moist soil. Plant seedlings 30 to 60 cm apart.

Planting Love Lies Bleeding

Starter plants are available at many nurseries. Love-lies-bleeding grows easily from seed as well, though flowers may not appear for three months after planting. Sow seeds directly outside after the last frost, 18 to 24 inches apart. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date, then harden off plants immediately after the last frost date. Smaller varieties should be spaced 8 to 12 inches apart, while larger varieties should be spaced up to 18 inches apart. Once the seeds sprout, the plant requires little care.

Growing Love-Lies-Bleeding: Problem-Solving

Love lies bleeding is a relatively easy plant to grow. Plants with virus diseases develop pale, unhealthy, or mottled leaves; there is no cure, and affected plants should be destroyed. Because aphids spread viruses, inspect plants on a regular basis; small infestations can be controlled by hand-squashing or simple chemical-free methods.

How To Grow

Love lies bleeding can be grown in full sun locations with average to organically rich, moist, well-draining soil. Although plants are often tolerant of higher alkalinity or acidity, the ideal pH range is 6.4 to 8.
Love lies bleeding can tolerate partial shade, especially in hotter climates, but full sun is best for the most vibrant flower colour.

Leave out the fertiliser. It is unnecessary, and remember that too much nitrogen can make the leaves toxic and inedible.

One inch of water per week, including rain, is required. Plants have above-average drought tolerance once established, but keeping the soil moist contributes to their best health and most vibrant colour.

Growing Tips

For the most vibrant flower colours, grow in full sun. 8 to 10 weeks prior to the last frost, start seeds indoors. Keep the potting medium evenly moist and plant seeds shallowly. Once the threat of frost has passed, plant outdoors. Avoid fertilising. Keep an inch of water per week. There are many things to keep in mind, but once you get the hang of it, you might want to incorporate ornamental love lies bleeding frequently into your landscape.

Advice On Buying Love Lies Bleeding

Love lies bleeding is typically grown from seed, but in the spring, you might be able to find young plug plants online. Verify that you have the proper location for growing Love Lies Bleeding because it requires a sunny area.