annual

Fat Spike Amaranthus

Amaranthus caudatus 'Fat Spike'

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Fat Spike Amaranthus (Amaranthus caudatus 'Fat Spike') at Martin's Home and Garden

Fat Spike Amaranthus flowers

Fat Spike Amaranthus flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  Love-Lies-Bleeding, Tassel Flower

Description:

An attractive, eye catching annual or biannual that produces fat spikes of purplish-red flowers above large green leaves, from early summer until fall; perfect as a garden accent, along borders, or in containers

Ornamental Features

Fat Spike Amaranthus features bold spikes of burgundy flowers rising above the foliage from early summer to mid fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its large textured pointy leaves remain green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Fat Spike Amaranthus is an herbaceous annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Fat Spike Amaranthus is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Fat Spike Amaranthus will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. The flower stalks can be weak and so it may require staking in exposed sites or excessively rich soils. This fast-growing annual will normally live for one full growing season, needing replacement the following year.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Fat Spike Amaranthus is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Texture 
Ornamental Features