Planting Green Amaranth: See How To Grow Green

planting green amaranth

Green amaranth is one of the vegetables used for cooking in Nigeria 

They are used in soup, sauce and stew.

In Nigeria the common specie is Amaranthus Hybridus with is readily available in the market,

Other species in the country are Amaranthus Viridis, Amaranthus spinosus; they are all referred to as green amaranth.

Description of Amaranth (Green) Plant

This is a brief description of the amaranthus hybridus species.

The plant is an erect annual herbaceous plant which reproduces only by seeds. 

It consists of the roots (tap root), upright stem which most times branches out, the leaves and tassel (flower).

The stems are green in color sometimes tinted with red, thick and can grow up to a height of about 100 cm (39.3 in), the branched stem can grow from 10 cm (3.9 in) to 50 cm ( 19.6 in).

The leaves are simple (undivided), there is one leaf per node along the stem, the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes.

The flowers are light green or yellowish green in colour, 

Seeds are round, black or dark brown in colour, shiny,with a diameter of 1-1.5 mm.

Planting Season For Green Amaranth 

Amaranth (Green) can be grown at any time of the year as long as it’s been watered properly.

It’s a common practice by many to grow green during the rainy season,

Which is usually between March to October. 

It’s easier to grow it during the rainy season; you don’t have to worry about watering it.

That’s why it’s usually in abundance in the market during this time,

And the price is low.

On the other hand green amaranth grows very well too during the dry season

Which is usually between November to February.

The crop will thrive if well watered by irrigation.

Planting Green Amaranth

Step 1: Choose a Location 

Choose a location that’s not water logged 

Ensure it’s open to good amount of sunlight 

Although green (amaranth) can thrive on any kind of soil or good yield sandy – loamy soil is best.

Step 2:  Land Clearing and Preparation 

Once a good location has been chosen 

Remove weeds, shrubs or dirt from the soil,

Do the same if you’re planting in containers 

Till the soil

Add manure to it and incorporate it into the soil.

Step 3: Means of Propagation (Seed Selection)

Green is propagated through the seed

Buy seeds from the market, garden store or collect seeds from an amaranth plant.

If you have a green amaranth plant at home you can harvest seeds from them.

How to harvest seeds from green amaranth plant

To collect seeds from an existing plant

Select one or two plants, (the number of plants depends on the quantity of seed you want to harvest).

Leave the selected plants to grow without harvesting leaves from them. 

Harvesting leaves from the plant delays the production of flowers.

Once the plant begins to produce flowers or tassels

Do not tamper with it until it begins to dry

The flowers (tassels) are green at the beginning when they start to dry they begin to turn yellow.

Once this happens, cut off the tassel with a knife or scissor 

Over a tray with your palm rub the tassel on both hands

This separates the seed from flower

You’ll begin to see tiny black or dark brown seeds drop down

Carefully blow out the tassels and what’s left on the tray are the black seeds.

Use for planting immediately or store in a dry container or nylon until ready for planting.

Step 4: Planting

Make a bed 

On the bed make rows about 1.3 cm  (½ in) deep

And the spacing between each row is about 30 cm (11.8 in).

Spread the seeds in each row and cover up with soil.

After about a week after germination thin the crops, you can transplant the plants taken out to a different spot.

On the other hand this bed can serve as your nursery 

Once the plant has germinated and grown for about a week 

Transplant it to the chosen location 

With a spacing of 30 cm (11.8 in) by 15 cm (5.9 in)

Nursery trays can be used as well.

Step 5: Water

Water the plant immediately after planting

at least once a day water the plants.

They require a good amount of water to grow well, that’s why they thrive well during the rainy season.

But if you are growing them in the dry season ensure to give the plant a good amount of water.

Maturity and Harvest

Germination starts 10 to 15 days after planting.

Harvesting can begin as early as 2 – 3 weeks after germination or 6-8 weeks after planting.

They are harvested by pulling out the whole plant from the root (thinning) or by cutting from the stem (clipping) 

Regular harvesting extends the harvest period.

When cutting the stem use a knife or scissor.


Wrap fresh vegetables in paper, Ziploc bag or nylon and place in the fridge.

Wash, slice and put cut vegetables in a nylon (Ziploc bag) and place in the freezer.

Soil Fertility

Apply compost to the soil before planting,

Continue to apply manure to it after every two to three weeks.

Pest and Diseases 



  • Potyviruses, 
  • Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) 
  • Poleroviruses, and 
  • Begomovirus infection 


  • Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides)
  • Damping-off (Rhizoctonia spp) and (Pythium spp).
  • Wet rot (Choanephora cucurbitarum)


  • Amaranth stem weevils
  • Beet webworm
  • Leaf miner
  • Aphid

Pest and Disease Control 

  • Use disease-free seeds.
  • Avoid over watering.
  • Avoid dense planting.
  • Destroy affected plants.
  • Weed regularly

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