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Love Lies Bleeding

Love Lies Bleeding - Organo Republic
Love Lies Bleeding, scientifically known as Amaranthus caudatus, is an eye-catching annual flower that is known for its unique and dramatic drooping flower clusters. The flowers are long, pendulous spikes that can reach up to 2 feet in length. The plant itself can grow to a height of 3-5 feet, creating a striking focal point in the garden.
Origin: Love Lies Bleeding is native to South America and has been cultivated for centuries for its ornamental value.
Usage: Love Lies Bleeding is primarily grown for its ornamental purposes. It is often used in flower beds, borders, and containers, where its vibrant flowers create a bold and dramatic display. The unique flower clusters also make it an attractive choice for dried flower arrangements.
Interesting facts: Love Lies Bleeding belongs to the Amaranthaceae family, which includes a variety of plants known for their edible leaves and seeds. In some cultures, the young leaves of Love Lies Bleeding are used as a cooked vegetable, and the seeds can be ground into a nutritious flour.

 

HOW TO GROW

General requirements: Love Lies Bleeding is a relatively easy plant to grow, requiring moderate care.
Temperature and Light: These flowers thrive in warm climates and prefer full sun to partial shade. They require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
Soil: Love Lies Bleeding prefers well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH (around 6.0-7.0). It can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including sandy or loamy soil. However, avoid heavy clay soil, as it may lead to poor drainage and root rot.
Water: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water the plants regularly, especially during dry periods. Avoid overwatering, as it can cause root rot. Mulching around the plants can help retain soil moisture.
Planting: Sow Love Lies Bleeding seeds directly into the garden after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up. Prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. Scatter the seeds over the soil surface and lightly press them into the soil. Maintain a spacing of 12-18 inches between plants to allow for proper airflow and growth. Water gently after planting to settle the soil.
Maintenance: Love Lies Bleeding requires minimal maintenance but benefits from a few key practices.
Thinning: Once the seedlings emerge, thin them to the strongest plant per spacing recommendations. This will prevent overcrowding and competition for nutrients.
Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, around the plants to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and regulate soil temperature.
Fertilization: Love Lies Bleeding is not a heavy feeder. However, incorporating compost or a balanced granular fertilizer into the soil before planting can provide necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Follow the package instructions for application rates.
Pests and Diseases: Love Lies Bleeding is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for common garden pests such as aphids or slugs. If necessary, use organic pest control methods to address any issues.

 

HARVESTING AND PROPAGATION

Harvesting: Love Lies Bleeding flowers can be harvested for fresh or dried arrangements. Cut the flower spikes when they are fully developed but before they start to decline. Remove any leaves from the stems and hang the flower spikes upside down in a cool, dry place to dry naturally.
Propagation (continued): Allow some flower spikes to mature and develop seed heads. Once the seed heads turn brown and dry out, carefully collect the seeds by gently rubbing the spikes between your fingers or by cutting the seed heads and placing them in a paper bag. Store the collected seeds in a cool, dry place for future planting.

 

FAST FACTS

  • Common name: Love Lies Bleeding
  • Latin name: Amaranthus caudatus
  • Growth habit: Tall annual flower
  • Flower appearance: Drooping, pendulous flower spikes
  • Flower colors: Red, purple, pink, green
  • Height: 3-5 feet
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Well-draining soil, neutral to slightly acidic pH
  • Watering: Regular watering, keep soil consistently moist
  • Maintenance: Minimal maintenance, occasional deadheading and thinning
  • Uses: Ornamental gardens, flower beds, borders, dried flower arrangements
  • Edible uses: Young leaves can be cooked and consumed; seeds can be ground into flour
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