Learn More About Love Lies Bleeding Care

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Growing love lies bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) can provide an unusual, eye-catching specimen in garden beds or borders. Drooping panicles of deep red to crimson-purple appear as the love lies bleeding flower blooms in summer. The love lies bleeding flower, also called tassel flower, is an interesting way to utilize open space without a perennial commitment.

Tips for Growing Love Lies Bleeding

Love lies bleeding care is minimal after the seeds sprout. Until seedlings are actively growing, they should be kept consistently moist. Once established, the love lies bleeding plant is somewhat drought-resistant and needs little looking after until seeds develop.

Love lies bleeding plant should be planted in full sun after the soil has warmed. Gardeners with short growing seasons may want to start seeds indoors or purchase seedlings, as growth and flowering in maturity may take the better part of the season. Love lies bleeding plant can reach 5 feet (1.5 m.) in height and 2 feet (0.5 m.) across, adding bushy texture in the landscape. Perennial performance may occur from this plant in areas that do not experience frost.

Cultivars of the Love Lies Bleeding Flower

The foliage of the love lies bleeding plant is an attractive, pale green in many cases. The love lies bleeding Amaranthus cultivar ‘Tricolor’ has striking, multi-colored foliage and is sometimes calls ‘Joseph’s Coat‘. ‘Viridis’ and ‘Green Thumb’ cultivars of the love lies bleeding flower offer green tassels.

Growing love lies bleeding in the landscape attracts butterflies and numerous pollinators. The love lies bleeding flower is long-lasting and has the best color when planted in poor soil.

If there is no spot in the landscape to accommodate this large annual flower, the love lies bleeding flower can be grown in containers and is particularly attractive in hanging baskets. Tassels of the love lies bleeding plant may be used in dried arrangements as well.

The exception to minimal love lies bleeding care is removing seeds before they spill to the ground and create a plethora of love lies bleeding. Amaranthus, of which this plant is a family member, is sometimes said to be invasive and even noxious in some areas. If prolific sprouting occurs next year, weed out the seedlings before they become established.

This article was last updated on

Tips On Growing Love Lies Bleeding Flower - garden

Organic Love Lies Bleeding Amaranth

60 days to flower | Amaranthus cruentus

HEIRLOOM Vibrant cascades of deep magenta seedheads topple six feet to the ground below and friends, don’t be daunted, Love Lies Bleeding is just so easy to grow. She seems to thrive in any soil and needs no trellis. If you’re looking for any easy flower to grow that blossoms for a long time, amaranths and cosmos are a dream come true. She’s glorious both fresh and dry in bouquets as well as for our friend’s chickens to enjoy when she sets seed! Amaranth is also a delectably quick-growing microgreen.

If you’re growing amaranth as a cut flower, sow several successions through early July for consistent harvest through frost.

Dreadlocks Amaranth

New! Amaranthus caudatus var. gibbosus. An over-the-top version of Love Lies Bleeding, this unique Amaranth’s red-stemmed stalks of light green foliage are topped with fuzzy, bodaciously knobby ropes of magenta flowers that drape up to three feet! Height: 3’ to 5’.

One packet of about 1,500 seeds

  • Love Lies Bleeding Sowing Instructions
    Planting Depth
    Seed Spacing:2”-3”
    Plant Spacing:6”-18”
    Days to Germination: 3-10 days
    Germination Temperature:60°-80°F

Amaranthus caudatus. Heat-loving, it can be direct-sown outdoors after all danger of frost has passed in warmer areas. In colder areas, it may be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting out after the threat of frost has passed. Sow seeds in good seed-starting medium with even moisture, strong light and good ventilation. Prepare bed in full sunlight with rich, well-draining soil. Harden off the seedlings by gradually acclimating them to outside conditions for 1 to 2 weeks before transplanting out. When plants are 4" to 8" tall, thin or transplant 6" to 18" apart. Love Lies Bleeding has verdant green foliage and luminous fuchsia-garnet flowers composed on long rope-like stems that appear like thick, cascading dreadlocks. Prized in Victorian gardens, this old-fashioned drama queen puts on a big show. Summer flowering. Height: 3' to 5'.

  • Love Lies Bleeding Sowing Instructions
    Planting Depth
    Seed Spacing:2”-3”
    Plant Spacing:6”-18”
    Days to Germination: 3-10 days
    Germination Temperature:60°-80°F

Amaranthus caudatus. Heat-loving, it can be direct-sown outdoors after all danger of frost has passed in warmer areas. In colder areas, it may be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting out after the threat of frost has passed. Sow seeds in good seed-starting medium with even moisture, strong light and good ventilation. Prepare bed in full sunlight with rich, well-draining soil. Harden off the seedlings by gradually acclimating them to outside conditions for 1 to 2 weeks before transplanting out. When plants are 4" to 8" tall, thin or transplant 6" to 18" apart. Love Lies Bleeding has verdant green foliage and luminous fuchsia-garnet flowers composed on long rope-like stems that appear like thick, cascading dreadlocks. Prized in Victorian gardens, this old-fashioned drama queen puts on a big show. Summer flowering. Height: 3' to 5'.

Amaranthus Species, Love-Lies-Bleeding, Love Lies Bleeding, Velvet Tassel Flower

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus (am-uh-RANTH-us) (Info)
Species: caudatus (kaw-DAH-tus) (Info)
Synonym:Amaranthus edulis
Synonym:Amaranthus mantegazzianus


Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From seed sow indoors before last frost

From seed direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Waynesville, North Carolina

Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Parkersburg, West Virginia(2 reports)

Gardeners' Notes:

On Sep 12, 2019, atvchick95 from Muncie, IN wrote:

Does anyone know when the Love Lies Bleeding plant changes to red? Mine is supposed to be Crimson, I planted the seedling June 5 2019, it is huge, had to put poles in with it and tie them to it, because it kept falling down with the wind from being so big, stalks are super thick, But here it is 3 months later (Sept 12 , 2019) and the seed pods are still green when they should be crimson red!
The week before I planted the seedling (started in a pot on my porch), We had a bad storm and that storm took down a huge tree out of my front yard, so we burnt the stump out, and planted the Love Lies Bleeding Seedling in it's place. It'll look much better than the tree ever did in the 10 years I lived here, If It ever turns red anyway.

On Oct 17, 2016, effie_lou from Phillipsburg, NJ wrote:

Use as a Decoy/Trap plant! They are not only beautiful (some would say, "interesting"), they can help keep away the dastardly cucumber beetle who seem to prefer it to cukes. There is some research in addition to home gardener's observations for this hard working companion plant. e.g. the leaves on mine were skeletonized and covered with cuke beetles, but just kept on growing their long red ropes to direct seed next year's decoys here in central west new jersey.

On Jul 24, 2013, Bflobred from Town of Tonawanda, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

When I moved into my new home in Tonawanda, NY last april there was a long cultivated garden strip adjacent the driveway which contained only one emerging hosta. As I awaited the last frost I was planning what to plant in that space. Then I noticed a large number of emerging seedlings, all of the same species, so I left them to see what emerged. In the meantime I planted some castor bean seedlings that I had started in late January. The unknown seedlings began to look promising and I had to pull some of them to give the castors a chance to develop.
The bed is now a riot of amaranthus caudatus and I couldn't be happier. See attachment photo.
We are in zone 6B so they shouldn't have survived the winter but there they are!

On Jul 3, 2013, Lodewijkp from Zwolle,
Netherlands (Zone 7a) wrote:

I like to experiment indoors, most plants i try have never been grown indoors or are rarely grown indoors.

i knew that this one could be grown indoors so i tried it. it germinates and grown well in a indoor enviroment BUT this plant is such a insect magnet - it does good for a while but it needs daily care - you have to mist it a few times every day and you have to clean the leaves with a cloth.

if you don't look after this plant for a day or maybe 2 expect mites. it reminds me of indoor brugmansia the times when i involuntary gained 100000 room mates.

it's really a pretty plant and very attractive, maybe one of the most attractive indoor plants but it needs too much care in order to keep it pest free.

On Apr 17, 2012, papa1 from Dearborn, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Grew these from seed last year. Tried to start them in the house in peat pots on the window sill with no luck. Moved them to a raised bed outdoors when the weather warmed and that worked. Very unusual plant that attracts a lot of attention and comments. Trying them again this year from last years seeds.

On Sep 26, 2011, Gedakt from Markinch,
Canada wrote:

I came across this a couple of years ago and thought it would remain small in a container planter. my mistake but such a wonderful mistake. It self seeds wonderfully and is very robust in our 2-3 climate zone. It makes a very dramatic statement when planted with my sunflowers. red and gold everywhere. Very easy to control or transplant where you what them. Needed some support in a new bed as the root system didn't go deep enough to support all those tassels.

On Aug 29, 2011, marysiamom from Clinton, NY wrote:

I love this plant, but, yes--sadly, so do the deer!

On Aug 22, 2011, Lazlo57 from Redding, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

These can get huge. The seeds like sunlight to germinate. While scattering in my yard I inadvertently got some in my ash bucket for my grill. They germinated in the ash after a rain storm. The seedlings easily pulled from the fine ash and I distributed them. More germinated in the ashes than those sprinkled in the garden. Go figure..

On Jul 31, 2011, Digitalis from New Orleans, LA wrote:

I love the unusual appearance of love-lies-bleeding and since discovering it I now include it in the back border of my main flower and herb bed every year.

Amaranth self sows readily in my subtropical New Orleans garden I wouldn't call it invasive, but I do spend a bit of time plucking amaranth sprouts from the areas of my garden I intend to use for other flowers/herbs.

This plant does very well with hardly any attention from me, even in dryer-than-usual conditions, and thrives until the first frost. It easily reaches heights of 8 - 10 feet in my garden, which is significantly taller than the advertised maximum height of 4 - 5 feet. The foliage of my plants is typically ox-blood red, rather than the green depicted on the original seed packet and which I see i. read more n most photographs online.

On Oct 22, 2010, mlsaxton from La Crosse, WI wrote:

I started from seed in 3 different areas of a garden clay soil in zone 4. 1 area survived. However, it not only survived, it thrived growing to 3 x3'. With its long fuchsia tassels, It is a beautiful specimen. I will try it again next year.

On Aug 12, 2010, histdistrict from Parkersburg, WV wrote:

I have this plant which was sown directly from a late fall transplant. It is about 6 or 7 feet tall and has pendulus flowers are at least two feet long. A smaller form of this plant was known in England by 1596 and was in use in American gardens by the late 1700's, according to Plants of Colonial Williamsburg, by Joan Parry Dutton. At the time I planted it I had no idea how it was propagated,so I'll try to do it right this time. any bets?

On May 18, 2010, brtworks from Waynesville, NC (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have grown different types of flowering amaranth for the last 20+ years. I've grown it in NE, MO and NC and it thrives! It never disappoints! I find it surprising that some people are saying they have trouble growing it! I just scatter the seeds and stand back! No maintenance. They reseed and I just pull the ones that are not where I want them. The plants have cross-pollinated over the years, but they are always big and very red! I don't even mind that they are everywhere in my veggie and flower gardens. They are easy to get rid of, so they are not a pest at all.

On May 17, 2010, shirleyd from Starkville, MS wrote:

I adore this plant----------but have only been able to get it to grow for me in Zone 7b (Starkville, MS) one summer out of 15 years of trying. I have been told that they are not happy with our humidity. I have tried sowing it in the soil----and seeds in pots. Anyone got any suggestions?

On May 17, 2010, beachwoman from South Kingstown, RI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I'd not heard of Amaranthus until receiving a packet of seeds last spring as part a gift basket and they have quickly become a favorite. I planted some in the ground and some in a hanging pot. Those in ground certainly did become a conversation piece! The potted plant came inside and wintered over quite nicely (no blooms, just foliage). It is now hanging back outside . three times the size. Newly planted seeds are just beginning to sprout. Sunny spot is a must in the Rhode Island area.

On Feb 27, 2010, tripodbob from Union, IL wrote:

Very tropical and unusual looking plant/flowers. I love this flower! The first time I saw it was at the Chicago Botanical Gardens. I tracked an employee down to ask what it was called. Next was during a vacation to Mass. and a botanical gardens. I knew I just had to try this flower in my garden, so I did, and was not disappointed. I did direct sow in the garden, since the seed packet states it does not recommend sowing indoors. However, this year I plan on trying to sow some seeds indoor and some direct seed in garden to see how each fairs. Yes, this plant does need some method of support once the flower heads begin to form and hang. But please do not let this deter you from growing such a beautiful plant. It's not the only plant out there that requires staking/support.

On Oct 12, 2009, jen13421 from Oneida, NY wrote:

I bought some wild flower seeds and all of a sudden I ended up with this unusual plant.This was the summer of 08. I had so many people stopping to see this plant and take pics. Did research on it and found its not from USA..Now this year we have a lot of them so we brought the tallest one in the house for the winter..AND sad to say its wilting. Cant figure out why just yet.So if anyone can help us out how to save this plant please let me know. Thank You

On Jun 15, 2009, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

I tried growing this as an annual last summer. It produced lots of flower tassels, but the plant's stems were so weak that they bent under the weight of the flowers. Most of them ended up dragging on the ground. I harvested some of the flowers for a winter arrangement and they were very attractive.

On Oct 14, 2008, elfenqueen from East Tawas, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Wonderfully plant! I started with purchased seed and sowed in spring, now they reseed themselves readily in my zone 5 landscape

falling to just beneath the parent plant. I move the young seedlings at will, to where ever my hearts content. including friends and nabors. The deer will munch on them but this only causes them to become bushier and not as tall. This year I have included the green tassel variety.

On Feb 17, 2008, nedward1 from Cloverdale, IN wrote:

Always had a a thing for this plant since the first time i saw it . This is my first year to give it a try. I got some of the seeds today and man they are small small. I noticed a lot of folks are in close to my zone (5) What i need to know is did those who started them start indoors or did they do good starting outdoors?

On Jul 18, 2007, thetripscaptain from Durango, CO wrote:

I've got a couple of little sprouts going. It's cool to see them turn from red to green as they grow.
What many people don't know is that the seeds from this plant are edible. In fact, this plant has been cultivated throughout history for food purposes.

On Jul 3, 2007, bocaginger from Coral Springs, FL wrote:

This gorgeous plant seems to be more red if it's in partial shade. It also needs to be supported. I planted it next to a fence, but I had to tie it to get it supported. It grows readily from seed. In fact, take one of the ropes of flowers, lay it on soil and you'll be blessed with hundreds of tiny seedlings

On Jul 18, 2006, hidi from Algonquin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

What a surprise! A giant stalk that produced amazingly soft 'dread- locks' of rich collor. What a fun plant!
It is easy to grow from last years seeds, once you get them collected. The size of a grain of salt and resembles a tiny ball of gelatin.
The size of the seeds (1mm) makes this 'Jack- in- the- Bean Stalk' plant even more amzing!
I have grown the red Love-lies-Bleeding, the green, and the multi-color.
Background: A. caudatus Love-lies-bleeding is a grain originating in South America, where it was also domesticated. An interesting background to read, the leaves and seeds, like others in the Amaranthus genus, are edible and highly nutritious.

On Mar 29, 2005, twiggybuds from Moss Point, MS (Zone 8b) wrote:

I got lucky when I chose this as a new gardener and now I don't want to be without it. It is carefree and stops traffic. It is prone to damping off when started indoors.

My love-lies-bleeding isn't taking anything lying down. A friend gave me a small seedling (1" tall), which I immediately planted in my front bed. Many things grow poorly there, I think because in the wintertime the salted ice and snow from the road get piled on that flower bed. But this! It's now eight feet tall and has two-foot-long chains of blossoms. Unfortunately, it looks a little silly in a bed of short flowers.

On Jun 8, 2003, mgmarcks from Roseville, MI wrote:

It thrives on the heat of summer in Michigan and gets more and more colorful as the summer season wears on. Requires no care whatsoever after planting.

On Jun 7, 2003, Oregonguy from Salem, OR wrote:

Discovered this curious plant by mistake from a packet of wildflower seeds and became so intrigued by it after it sprouted and flowered that I ordered some seeds from an internet shop. Started the seeds indoors in a plastic starter "greenhouse" kit, coddled the sprouts, fed them, watered them, transplanted them and they all died. Became frustrated at this failure, so I simply poured the remaining seeds in the garden in various spots, scraped some topsoil over them and ignored them. They are sprouting like crazy. have them all over and can't wait until they flower. I nicknamed them Pink Dreadlocks.They are a great addition and a nice conversation piece. I've since read that they are a member of the Pigweed family, grow wild all over India and are used as a grain. The leaves are . read more like Spinach. We harvested them last summer and made a salad out of them. This is a neat plant. Also planted the Joseph's Coat variety, but haven't had any good sprouts yet.

On Sep 11, 2002, broots from Cochrane, ON (Zone 2b) wrote:

I tried this for the first time this year. What a great plant for those sun-baked areas of your garden. It is Sept 11 & still going strong. I only started three plants this year but will definitely start more next year. Very pleased with this plant's performance.

On Jan 4, 2001, lantana from (Zone 7a) wrote:

On Oct 31, 2000, gardener_mick from Wentworth, SD (Zone 4a) wrote:

This is a fast growing plant and can grow from 3 to 5 feet tall. It has a long tassel-shaped flower in shades of red to purple. The taller varieties are great for at the back of a bed.
Love-lies-bleeding prefers full sun and dry, well-drained soil. Tall plants may need staking.

Love Lies Bleeding Care

As a plant that stays in the soil for anything between 4 to 6 months, if not longer, amaranthus is a little demanding in terms of care and maintenance. But seeing that you can use it as food and landscaping, this hard work is totally worth it.

Temperature and Light

As a tropical plant, you would think that hot temperatures better suit the plant than moderate to cold ones. And you’re right about that. Amaranthus thrives in hot temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees F. It can still tolerate temperatures as low as 45 degrees F, although that might impact the quality of the seeds and the flavors of the leaves. Anything under 40 degrees F will be detrimental to the life of the plant.

It needs plenty of sunlight, although, during the dog days of summer, it would appreciate some shade to protect it against dehydration. It has a USDA hardiness zone between 2 and 11.


It’s easy to assume that whoever came up with this outlandish name must have stared for too long at the flowers of the amaranthus. The flowers are amazingly red and grow in clusters or long tassels. This explains the other name, Tassel Flower, that it’s known by in some regions.

The bloom season starts in July and goes on until mid-September. The flowers stay looking fresh and bright even when dried out. Each drooping tassel grows to about 2 feet long.

Pest and Diseases

With such delicious parts of the amaranthus serving in so many cuisines, other insects and bugs have the plant on their menu as well. The leaves in particular attract all kinds of bugs so you’ll need to keep an eye out for any infections.

The roots of amaranthus are susceptible to root rot in badly drained soil. Make sure to add mulch and organic matter to improve aeration. In excessively humid environments, powdery mildew can be a serious problem. You can either go with chemical pesticides or choose an organic solution such as neem oil which is more environmentally friendly and doesn’t pose toxicity risk.

Watch the video: Love-Lies-Bleeding

Previous Article


Next Article

Sowing calendar for 10.03 - gardeners and gardeners