From Julie Hickey of Hello Sunshine Urban Farm
Amaranthus ‘Love-lies-bleeding’ is a beautiful, tall, drought tolerant, and heat-loving plant that is both decorative and edible. While I mainly grow this plant as a cut flower for its long fuschia-red tassels, the leaves have been used in many cultures like spinach in salads and stir-fry dishes.
Typically growing 2 to 4 feet tall in our region, it needs a bit of space in the garden and grows in a range of different soils – including clay soil. Most often it is started indoors in the spring and then transplanted outside once danger of frost has passed. I have had great success with direct seeding in the garden in early summer (about ¼ inch deep) and then pulling any excess seedlings to be consumed as sprouts. Seeds can be collected from the tassels once the flowers mature in late summer/early fall. 70 days to maturity.
Julie’s plant obsession bloomed out of a seed starting lesson in one of her grade 11 biology classes. She was of the original Clearwater Farm team members and her business, Hello Sunshine Urban Farm, was started a few years ago. She also offers cut flowers, select flower and vegetable plants, and home-grown seeds to local gardeners. Somewhere tucked in amongst one of Keswick’s subdivisions is an urban garden oasis that Julie calls home.