Amaranth – kiwicha

Amaranthus caudatus is a very old food plant that can be grown for both it’s edible seed and it’s edible leaf. If it’s given a long sunny growing season and a good soil it will grow to 1.5m or more and each individual plant will produce up to 300gm of seed or more at harvest. It grows at altitude so it’s not so cold sensitive as it comes in to harvest time at the end of the autumn but it does need a dry sunny period at this stage for the seed to develop and ripen fully.

It’s fairly easy to look after and if you keep the root ball with good full sun exposure and a little on the dry side on the surface it almost needs nothing else done for it.

As soon as the first seed starts to drop when you shake the inflorescence it’s ok to harvest in about 1-2 weeks as the seed heads dry out. The seed comes away easily from the flower head so any wind or bumping will start the seed dropping as soon as it reaches this point.


The seed is very fine so you need to remove the seed in a large container that does not have holes.


It can be air dried in the sun for a few days and then stashed away for use later.

There are various colours of seed available. I am growing the white/pink version.