Such a plant as an amaranth, a photo of which shows the differences between species, is also known as the shirits.
You can meet in the wild in South America. There are also species that are common in China and India. Previously, it was grown in Russia and used to make bread. The plant has up to 100 species. The most popular plant in America was another 8thousands of years ago, when the Aztecs, Incas and other tribes were preparing bread, paint and used for rituals amaranth flower (photo). If from corn bread there were problems with digestion, the addition of amaranth grains solved this adversity. In Russia, the plant was popular until Peter the Great did not forbid it. Now the plant is used for decorative purposes in most cases. In Mexico and other countries of America it is used in cooking along with legumes and corn. Often grains and flour are added to the baking. Amaranth oil is popular in medicine and cosmetology. The name translates as "forever alive". By the way, in fact the flower will never really fade. The color of the plant is green and red in the main. It reaches no more than 30 cm in height, although there are varieties that grow to 3 meters. It is mostly annual.
Germination and planting
Grow an amaranth is fairly simplebusiness. In those areas where in the last weeks of April the soil will be heated to 10 degrees at a depth of 5 cm, you can plant amaranth seeds directly into the open soil. To do this, you need to prepare a garden plot. In each well, up to 30 mg of fertilizer is applied (while only mineral fertilizers are used). They need to be razvodit according to the enclosed instructions. By the way, do not zealous with the nitrogen type of fertilizer, because Amaranth is able to convert these compounds into harmful nitrates for human health. If the gardener has time to plant an amaranth, then you do not have to suffer with weeds. In the last week of April, one seed should be planted in each groove. The soil must be moistened. The depth of planting is no more than 1.5 cm. You can add sand to the seeds in proportions of 1:20. This will facilitate the sowing process. Between the rows you need to leave a space of 45 cm between the sprouts themselves should remain up to 10 cm. So it's better not to add sand or sawdust, but separately separate each seed.
After 1-1,5 weeks, the first shoots will be visible. If necessary, they are thinned out. Between the sprouts, the soil needs to be thinned out, but you should do this job carefully, so as not to catch the sprouts themselves. If the landing was carried out in May, then it will take another month to eliminate the weeds. When the amaranth has grown to 20 cm, it is time to fertilize with substances of the nitrogen type. But the volume of the substance should be taken 2 times less than what is written in the manual. Amaranth, the benefit and harm of which depends on many factors, negatively reacts to excess nitrogen. Regardless of whether the amaranth is ornamental or vegetable, it will fully ripen after 3.5 months from the moment of its planting into the soil.
You can grow amaranth from seedlings. This method is also very simple. Sowing seeds for seedlings is necessary in the last week of the first spring month. It is allowed to use plastic pots, containers and other containers. Their height should be at least 10 cm. The soil should be moistened before planting. Seeds are laid to a depth of 2 cm. Containers should be placed in the light. Watering is carried out with the help of a sprayer. The best temperature is 22-23 degrees. After 5-7 days, the first shoots will appear, if all the rules are observed. When this happens, you need to shred the amaranth, tearing out the weak sprouts. When all the shoots appear on 3 sheets, they need to be planted in separate pots, whose diameter is on average 10-12 cm.
Seedlings can be planted in the open ground, whenThe frost will cease, and the soil warms up. Most often this is carried out in the 2-4 week of May. For the amaranth the plot needs to be selected more illuminated. Requires drained area. Soil must be nutritious and easy. There must be sufficient lime content. Amaranth is quite unpretentious, but it can not survive low temperatures. The stagnation of water in the soil will also be harmful. Before planting seedlings, it is necessary to further dig up the land and process it with nitroammophous. Calculated for 20 g per square meter. Plant sprouts need at a distance of 15-30 cm from each other. Between the rows should be kept for 50 - 70 cm. While the sprouts do not take root and begin to grow actively, regular watering should be done. If suddenly it gets cold again, then the area with the amaranth will need to be covered.
Care of the plant
Amaranth, the color of which may differ independing on the species, is quite unpretentious. Care of him is required exactly until he begins to grow. In the first months of the seedlings grow very slowly. They need watering, loosening of soil, weeding of weeds. But a month after the seedlings were placed in the open ground, growth will accelerate. Now it is no longer necessary to follow the plant intensely. In the area where the amaranth grows, the photo of which is shown in the book, there simply will not be room for weeds. By the way, in some cases for a day the flower can grow 5-7 cm. As for irrigation, it should be regular only in the first month. After that, the root becomes very long and passes into deeper layers of soil, so there is already no such urgent need for watering. But if there are dry days, then you need to water the flower. With regard to fertilizing, fertilize the soil 3-4 times per season, tk. the flower develops very quickly. The best option for fertilizers is the solution of the mullein. It should be mixed with ash in a 1: 5 ratio. Add the mixture to the ground in the morning before watering.
Amaranth tailed and other types of flower are notwill bring a lot of trouble. In addition, he is very resistant to the effects of various diseases and pests. Although on rare occasions a weevil or aphids attack the flower. The larvae of the first of them develop in the stem of the flower, because of which its growth is greatly delayed. But aphids can kill amaranth only at the very beginning, and the risk rises only in a too rainy summer season. To get rid of aphids, you need to use carbofos (fufanol) or aktellikom. These funds will help to cope with the weevil. If the soil is constantly wet, then the amaranth can suffer from a fungal disease. For treatment, fungicides will be needed. For example, colloidal silver, copper oxychloride, copper vitriol and other means are suitable.
Snowy cold winter amaranth can not in any wayto survive, so basically it is one-year old. At the end of the season, the remains must be collected and processed. Be sure to collect amaranth seed. If the grower is sure that the plant was not infected by pests, then the tops can be placed in compost. Get a good fertilizer. Also ground parts are suitable for pet food (pigs, goats, poultry). The structure of stems and leaves includes carotene, ascorbic acid, protein and others.
In order to collect the seeds in the end, you needhighlight the most healthy and strong flowers. You do not need to cut off the leaves from them. When the lower ones start to blush, then they will dry up, after - they will fall off on their own. But if at this time the stem turns white, then on a dry day it is necessary to cut off all the inflorescences. Cut it off from the bottom. Then the inflorescences should be further dried in a ventilated warm place. In a couple of weeks, the inflorescence can be rubbed with hands. Amaranth croup will separate itself. In addition, you need to get rid of the husks, sifting through a sieve. Keep in a dry place in paper bags. Germination lasts up to 5 years.
Varieties of amaranth
There are several varieties of amaranth. The paniculate amaranth is also known as the purple. It is used to decorate flower gardens. It grows to 1.5 m. The leaves are brown, and the tips are pointed. Inflorescences are erect. The flowers are red. The flowering period begins in June and lasts until the onset of cold weather. Most often, low grades up to 40 cm high are used. There are such varieties as Hot Biscuit, Zwergfakel, Rother Paris and Roter Dam.
Amaranth dark is also known as sad. It differs in its low brittleness. Height up to 1.5 m. The leaves have a purple or greenish-purple hue. Panicles are located vertically. Inflorescences come in different shades, but most often there are dark or red. There is a variety with drooping inflorescences. Separately, Green Tamb and Pigmy Torch are known. The first has an emerald color and is used by designers to create dry bouquets. The second inflorescence is purple, and in the autumn time it is chestnut.
Amaranth tri-color is decorativeplant. Its height ranges from 70 cm to 1.5 m. The bush has a pyramidal appearance. The stem is straight. The leaves have three colors - yellow, red and green. They are narrow and have an ovoid shape. Flowering begins in June and continues until the first frost. There are several separate species: woolly, red-green, red. The most popular varieties are Aurora, Illuminati and Erli Splender. The latter has a crimson color on the tops, but the lower leaves are almost black. The Aurora color is almost golden at the top. The illumination is distinguished by the large size of the leaves. While they are young, have a yellowish-red hue, then gradually become orange-red. The lower leaves are bronze.
A tail variety of amaranth occurs inSouth America, Asia and Africa. It grows to 1.5 m. Stems are dense and straight. The leaves are large. Have a purple or yellowish green hue. Inflorescences are like glomeruli. Flowering lasts from June to October. The bead-like, green and white-colored forms are distinguished. The most famous varieties are the Grünschwantz and the Rothschwantz. The first one is distinguished by light green colors, and the second one by red inflorescences. Both varieties are very powerful bushes that take up a lot of space. Height not more than 80 cm.
Useful properties of amaranth
Amaranth, whose use was for a long timeforgotten, is considered a plant of the 21st century. it can feed all of humanity. The most valuable is the amaranth seed meal. It can be added to different dishes or prepared by yourself. By the number of nutrients, amaranth is not inferior to spinach. Leaves are used for salads. The composition of the plant includes palmitic, oleic, stearic and linoleic acids, carotene, pantothenic and bile acids, steroids, rutin, lysine, vitamins E, P, D, C and group B. Thanks to lysine, the leaves are digested better than soybean, corn or wheat . If every day to eat amaranth, then digestion will improve, the body will be rejuvenated. By the way, rejuvenation is associated with a substance such as squalene. It saturates every cell with oxygen. In the human body, too, there is this substance, so that its digestibility is at a high level. Previously, this compound was extracted from the liver of a deep-sea shark, but only 1 percent is contained there. But in the amaranth there are more than 8 percent of this useful substance. By the way, perhaps, amrita (a drink of the gods) was prepared from amaranth. In India, the plant is known as Ramadan - a gift of the gods. Thanks to the presence of a huge number of all kinds of trace elements and nutrients, it prolongs the life of a person, rejuvenates the body, beneficially affects all organs, strengthens immunity. A separate place is occupied by oil. It can be added to dishes, drunk as a medicine or used for cosmetic purposes. Amaranth flour is added to any pastry. It is very useful to eat sprouted seeds. You can make tea from leaves.
Amaranth is a plant that is not usedonly for decorative purposes. Its oil is very useful for the human body. Especially popular in cosmetology and medicine. Leaves and grains are used in cooking. Of course, all these components can easily be purchased in pharmacies and grocery stores, but this unpretentious plant can easily grow in your garden. Reviews about Amarante are positive, it will beautify the flower garden. In addition, this plant is very unpretentious.