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Video: Amaranth Tailed, Growing In An Apartment
According to the horoscope, plants are ranked as the sign of the zodiac Leo (July 24 - August 23): bristly-haired akalifa; protruding aphelandra; Ethiopian zantedeschia (feces); hybrid calceolaria; Japanese camellia; gardenia jasmine; balsam; bashful mimosa; Pelargonium (geranium) royal; Chinese rose; amaranth tailed (squid).
I understand a certain bewilderment of some flower growers: how is it that tall amaranth (otherwise - the squid) got into the number of indoor plants? However, this is how floral astrologers classify this plant. Indeed, although amaranth is usually grown in flower beds in the open field, sometimes these plants are kept at home - in large flower pots.
About 90 species of this genus Amaranthus (Amaranth family) are found in warm and temperate zones of North and South America, Africa, Asia and Europe, although experts “tie” its origin to India. Some species of this plant are used as food crops, others are grown as ornamental plants. The name of the genus Amaranthus, translated from Greek, means "immortal" or "unfading".
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Among the ornamental annual species, the most interesting are tricolor (A. tricolor), paniculate (A. paniculatus) and caudate (A. caudatus). These plants are large, up to 1.8 m high. In the tricolor amaranth, the inflorescence is directed upwards, it is strongly branched, the leaves are often variegated, brightly colored, and in the paniculate plant, the terminal panicles are red, drooping or vertical with hanging ends.
The most popular in ornamental floriculture amaranth caudate has very effective inflorescences: branched, spike-shaped long hanging thin panicles (like clusters), elongated, similar to tails, blood-red or yellowish-green. It is for such a bright, peculiar shape that it is sometimes called the "fox tail". It has ovoid leaves with red veins. Extraordinarily decorative varieties with white, purple and even green flowers are obtained from this species. For example, the Viridis cultivar has pale green flowers.
To keep these types of amaranth in room conditions, choose the most illuminated place (preferably from the south side), since this plant requires a lot of light for the normal formation of inflorescences.
It is able to withstand even direct sunlight for a long time. During active growth and development, amaranth requires abundant watering, has a positive attitude to high humidity, so its leaves are sprayed (but preferably in the evening). If its content is partly in the winter period, then watering is reduced, and the temperature should be at least 12 0 C.
Amaranth is propagated by seeds, which are so small that they are often sown at room conditions on the surface of damp earth, covering the top of the container with glass to create high humidity. Seeds are very demanding on this factor (sometimes they also moisten the soil with a spray bottle). Seeds are usually planted in boxes at the end of March. When the seedlings grow up, they dive into large-sized containers, increasing the volume of the latter with each transplant.
If the amaranths want to be taken out into the garden or on the lawn or on an open balcony (loggia), they are tied up so that the wind does not fall to the ground. If the grower plans to get the seeds himself, then it must be borne in mind that the growing season for amaranth is long - the plants bloom from July to October. Usually, the plant begins to bloom at home in the middle of summer, and outdoors at the end of summer. In this case, it should be planted with seedlings and only when late frosts have passed.
A sunny place is selected in the amaranth garden. During the summer, the plants are fed (once every two weeks), and the culture is very responsive to nitrogen fertilizers, since they need nitrogen to form a large vegetative mass. Amaranth soil is preferable with a high lime content.
By the way, amaranth is a relatively drought and salt tolerant plant. Tall (up to 120-150 cm) plants of annual amaranth species - caudate (A.caudatus), with long drooping inflorescences - and paniculate (A.paniculatus), with large leaves of green or maroon color and large inflorescences of red, light green or dark red color scheme - immediately attract attention in the garden, serve as a real decoration of flower beds.
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Amaranth is very popular among amateur flower growers as a material for drawing up dry bouquets: its inflorescences, cut in full beauty, retain their attractiveness for a long time.
It is worth noting that due to the many positive properties of this plant, a number of experts attribute amaranth to vegetable crops, often now in numerous scientific and popular journals it is called a "plant of the XXI century", since it is able to compensate for the deficiency of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, trace elements and other useful compounds in the diet of humans and animals.
On the territory of Russia, there are 16 types of amaranth, among them - food, feed, decorative and weeds (they are also distinguished by the type of application: grain, food and feed).
So, indoor tailed amaranth can also be adapted and eaten, which has been practiced in America since ancient times, long before the appearance of Europeans and Indians there. Then this plant was considered the second most important grain crop after corn, they made cereals, flour from it, baked bread and cooked porridge.
Young leaves of indoor amaranth can be used as a vegetable, greens (spinach), harvesting them while they are still young and tender. They are added to soups, mashed, stewed or boiled. The leaves contain a protein that is well balanced in amino acids, which is readily soluble and easily extracted by the animal organism.
The most important indicator of the nutritional value of protein is the presence of lysine: if wheat contains up to 8.7 g of protein in 1000 g, in amaranth - 16.5 g. If we take the content of 8 essential amino acids, say, for 100 points, then wheat gains 57, soy - 63, milk - 72, amaranth - 75. Amaranth protein in terms of amino acid ratio is one of the best plant proteins. It is worth noting that half of the vegetable protein consumed by the population of India, as well as the countries of Asia and Africa, comes from protein obtained from amaranth.
Senior Researcher, All-Russian Research Institute of Plant Protection