Amaranthus caudatus: important characteristics and care

If we told you “turkey mucus” the most likely thing is that you would take it as an insult. However, this is the name in Spain of the Amaranthus caudatus plant. Do you know her?

It is a plant characterized by the colors it has but also for being an evergreen. Do you want to know more about her? Know the care? Here you have the specific file for her.

How is the Amaranthus caudatus


As we have told you before, Amaranthus caudatus is also known by the name of turkey mucus. However, it is not the only one: quihuicha, ataco, amaranth, purple ataku, bledo, Castilla quinoa are other names by which you can find it and that they refer to the same plant.

It is part of the amaranthaceae family and is fast growing. But the most characteristic thing it has are the leaves, the stems and the flowers.

It is native to Peru and Bolivia, although it is known in other parts of the world (especially since Amaranthus are quite varied and there are several types).

The plant Amaranthus caudate It is composed of a central stem that can grow up to 2-2.5 meters in height. In addition, it branches into branches that can grow from the very base of the plant.

Regarding the root, it is not too big, but rather short. Of course, it is divided into several secondary roots that are the ones that secure the plant to the ground.

The leaves are green, more or less long, and they fall downwards since they are thin and the plant itself tends to push them to that side because they are not firm. Next to them come the flowers, which almost always sprout from the main stem. These are branches completely full of flowers, some even more than 90 centimeters. These can be purple, gold, or red, and in contrast to the whole shrub plant, it will appear like a wisteria (without being one, of course).

Amaranthus caudatus care

Detail of leaves and flowers

Now that you know a little more about Amaranthus caudatus, perhaps, due to its design, it will attract your attention for your garden. Would you like to have it at home? So, so that you don’t have a problem, here we leave you the main care that you should give it.

location and temperature

The Amaranthus caudatus is a plant that likes to be outdoors. In fact, you need it. And it is that this plant requires sunlight to develop correctly. Now, it all depends on the climate you have where you live.

For example, if you live in an area where the sun burns (especially in summer), then it is best to put it in semi-shade since, in this way, you will be avoiding that the hours of greatest incidence can affect the plant. Instead, if the temperatures are warm, or even cold, the best location will be in full sun so that it can be well nourished.

As for the temperature, it also adapts to what you give it, although if you want it to be good, you have to make sure that it does not drop below 0ºC since, even if you do not see it a priori, after the frost the plant will die.

With the heat you will not have a problem, because it resists high temperatures wellbut if it is very cold or there is constant frost, it is best to protect it with some mesh or similar.


The plant is not picky in this regard. The truth is that it adapts to whatever you throw at it: sand, acid, calcareous, neutral, alkaline… The only ones that could give you problems are clay (when it is heavy or compacted) as well as dry or sandy soil.

Our recommendation is that you use a soil that is rich in humus and mix it with some drainage such as perlite or even orchid soil, since it will oxygenate better and will be good for the roots.


The Amaranthus caudatus is a plant that can tolerate drought. But that does not mean that it does not require water. When the plant is young it needs large amounts of water. And keep an eye on her so she doesn’t die. On the other hand, when he is an adult, you don’t have to throw him so much.

Of course, it is not convenient to go overboard with irrigation since, having short roots (the main one) it is easy for it to rot.


Common diseases

The subscriber has two phases. On the one hand, before planting it, either in a pot or in the ground, you must add some organic fertilizer and agricultural fertilizer to nourish the base of the earth. For example, you can add a little peat.

The second phase is when the plant is growing. Being very fast growing, this means that it needs a lot of nutrients and they are quickly used up in the soil. That’s why, every 15 days, you will have to apply a fertilizer in the irrigation wateras well as a foliar one.

Of course, it only applies during the spring and summer months; the rest of the year there is not so much need although, to take good care of it, you could apply it once a month (in autumn) and every two months in winter.


The pruning of the Amaranthus caudatus consists of eliminating the withered flowers as well as the parts of the plant that are sick, deteriorated or give problems. Beyond that you shouldn’t have to do anything else.

Plagues and diseases

Regarding plants and diseases, you should know that the plant itself is a bit problematic in this regard. Leaf beetles, caterpillars and snails they can spoil the appearance of the plant (eating the leaves).

Regarding diseases, those related to excess or lack of light or irrigation are the most problematic, but there can also be a nutrient deficiency, which will cause the leaves to turn yellow (either from the base to the tip, or on the contrary).


If you have this plant and would like to propagate it, you should know that the way to do it is through the seeds of the flowers. Collecting and planting them in early spring, first in seedbeds, and then transplanting them, is the best way.

As you can see, the Amaranthus caudatus is one of the plants that will beautify your garden the most. Would you dare to have it in a pot or planted directly in the ground?

Amaranthus caudatus: important characteristics and care

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