Amaranthus Species, Chinese Spinach, Fountain Plant, Joseph's Coat, Summer Poinsettia

Amaranthus tricolor

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus (am-uh-RANTH-us) (Info)
Species: tricolor (TRY-kull-lur) (Info)
Synonym:Amaranthus gangeticus
Synonym:Amaranthus mangostanus
Synonym:Amaranthus polygamus




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Clovis, California

Merced, California

Golden, Colorado

Clinton, Connecticut

Bartow, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Sebastian, Florida

Carrollton, Georgia

Sandpoint, Idaho

Spring Valley, Illinois

Halifax, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

Flint, Michigan

Pinconning, Michigan

Clifton, New Jersey

Rochester, New York

Utica, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio

Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Denver, Pennsylvania

Mercer, Pennsylvania

Germantown, Tennessee

Kingsport, Tennessee

Rockwood, Tennessee

Abilene, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas

Humble, Texas

La Marque, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Provo, Utah

Falling Waters, West Virginia

Liberty, West Virginia

Orma, West Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 16, 2014, Ceceliajune from Bethel Park, PA wrote:

My summer poinsettia is gorgeous, but I'm afraid to take it off the porch for fear the deer will eat it. Does anyone know if it is deer resistant?


On Jun 10, 2013, Bhead wrote:

I live in upper east Tn. (Kingsport, Tn near Bristol) and got a seed in with another plant a friend in Bristol had given me. When it came up she told me it was called Summer Poinsettia. I love how it reseeds and I never know where it will come up. It is such a unique plant and I love that it is at it's best in the hottest part of the summer. It is not aggressive at all in my garden but very easy to pull out if it is where I don't want it.


On Sep 19, 2011, GwenTn from Rockwood, TN wrote:

Have had success growing this plant. Love, love this plant! - - but so do the deer.


On Mar 29, 2011, muttlover from Marysville, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I've never seen it in real life, but the University of IL Extension service has an on-line video where they are recommending it for longer lasting color in the back of gardens. I was surprised because I thought it was strictly a southern plant, but the U of I guy said it's an annual (assuming in IL) that reseeds very heavily so you have a show continuing the next years too.


On Jan 31, 2011, Sanshapiro from Encinitas, CA wrote:

Does anyone have experience using the leaves or seeds as food (for humans) ?


On Aug 22, 2010, wvisbeautiful from Orma, WV wrote:

I grew the Joseph's Coat here in central WV for the first time this year. It was spectacular and is continuing to form new flowers along the stem. I'd like to collect the seeds to sow more freely next year but I'm not sure how to "bag the seed head". Any advice?


On Apr 18, 2007, passiflora_pink from Central, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Unusual burgundy-colored seedheads. Striking appearance from summer into fall. I left the seed heads on into the winter for the birds.


On Oct 17, 2004, Retired99 from Sebastian, FL wrote:

This plant can be seen at Disney's Epcot Garden and Flower Show each spring. That is where we fell in love with it. We just sow them directly into the soil and the plants seem to last through most of the summer. But, then they die back and actually re-seed during the end of the summer. Have not been able to keep them blooming on into Sept. and Oct. Does anyone else have this problem here in south Florida?


On Oct 16, 2004, ponderay from Sandpoint, ID wrote:

Fast growing beautiful plant loves direct sun. Planning on planting more next spring. Does anyone have suggestions about caring for these plants during the winter season? Thank you


On Aug 21, 2003, DonBender from Clifton, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Beautiful colors. Have Joseph's Coat & Early Splendor.
When colors start turning,get many,"What Is It". Likes sun & water but North NJ OK! Can go to 4/5ft.


On Jul 2, 2003, dejavu from Rochester, NY wrote:

Gorgeous colors!


On Jun 27, 2003, tsue42 from La Marque, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is very easy to grow and definitely likes the humidity of the south. I have noticed that if it is planted where it receives direct sunlight all day it stays a beautiful fuschia color with the hot pink (flowers)tips at the top. I planted some in shade and some in full sun. The ones in the shade stayed green with yellow tops and pink tops. The ones planted in full sun have stayed the beautiful hot pink and fuschia. My plants are loaded with seed pods so I should have enough for years to come...definitely an oddity but beautiful to look at. My tallest is appx. 4 1/2 foot but the person I received the seeds from, has some that are appx. 6-7 foot and just gourgeous to look at. Definitely would make you proud to have it in your garden. I am hooked.


On Jun 27, 2003, loopee wrote:

An easy to grow, full-sun loving plant. Grew very well in my garden which contained at least 50% clay soil. I live in mid-north south australia which is very dry and hot in the summer when the plant has excelled but now it has died off in the winter (we are a frost prone area).


On Oct 10, 2002, Michaelp from Piney Flats, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Nice quick growing herb/not frost tolerant/can take lots of heat/real easy to grow/good flaver,eat as you would spinach/grows from seed on most soils,even poor soils/does not need much fertilizer or water.I think it should be grown more.


On Sep 7, 2001, Schmetterling from Louisville, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Grown more for its brilliantly-colored foliage than its flowers. The foliage can be red, yellow, or green in various combinations.

Some red-leaved cultivars are referred to in catalogs as "Summer poinsettia". Provide a sunny growing area for this plant; it will also tolerate some dryness.