Hopi Red Dye Amaranth, as it's name suggests, was grown by the people of the Southwestern Hopi Nation as a dyestuff. However, it has quite poor colourfastness, so we would not recommend using it to dye any heirloom items, such as fabric for a quilt.
We have nonetheless included it in our dye garden bundle, as it is a fantastic plant to grow for several other reasons. First off, it's history as a traditional dye plant, and it can indeed still be used as a dye - it is an especially good dye to use for experiments with solar dyeing.
It also produces gorgeous showy red blooms that are stunning both in the garden and as cut flowers. Many people grow amaranth as a simple ornamental plant.
The other great reason to grow amaranth is that it is edible - the leaves are tangy and delicious, and can be eaten raw in salads and also cooked. The seeds can also be eaten, they are often used as a grain replacement, or popped like popcorn. Perhaps the most fun - red amaranth can be used as a natural food dye, and was traditionally used to colour the traditional Hopi piki bread.
Begin indoors 4 weeks before last frost, or direct seed after frost danger has passed. Plant in a sunny location and keep well watered. Likes warm soil and lots of sunlight.
When to sow: spring
Ease of germination: easy
This listing is for a packet of seeds containing around 75 seeds.
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