• The most common leafy vegetable grown during summer and rainy
seasons in India.
• Fits well in a crop rotation because of its very short duration nature
and large yield of edible matter per unit area.
• The estimation of the extent of its cultivation is not available.
• Leafy types are usually grown in kitchen and market gardens.
Amaranthus is an annual herb with erect growth and scarce to profusely branching
Annual herb, erect (trailing), mostly unarmed and rarely armed, scarce to produce
branches, shallow to deep tap root system. Stem green to purple or with mixed
shades of these two colours glabrous and succulent, leaf simple, alternate or
opposite, exstipulate, entire obovate to lanceolate with acute tip green to purple or
with shades of these two colors, purple coloration prominent in young leaves and
fades away at maturity.
Inflorescence is terminal and axillary branched spikes differently
coloured from green to deep purple to orange.
Flowers small, regular mostly unisexual, monoecious, pentamerous,
membranaceous, often with persistent stamens 2-5, placed opposite to
perianth parts, often some reduced to staminoides, filaments either
free or united below, anther one or two to three styles and stigma,
carpels 2-3, syncarpous, ovary superior with one cambylotropus
ovule, styles single to 2 to 3 branched.
6. FLORAL BIOLOGY
Leafy amaranthus species takes about 80-130 days for
flowering. Monoecious species of amaranthus are chiefly self
The flowers are protogynous with stigma in pistillate
flowers becoming receptive several days before opening of
In grain amaranthus species since the inflorescences are
coloured, they are occasionally visited by bees and by this
cross pollination is encouraged.
The dehiscence of anthers and release of pollen grains are
maximum between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on sunny days.
Fruit is dry, membranous, indehiscent, opening
circularly or tearing irregularly at the end containing
one vertically compressed seed.
10. Composition of tender amaranthus (per 100 g of
Moisture 85.7 g Calcium 397 mg
Fat 0.5 g Iron 25.5 mg
Fibre 1.0 g Thiamine 0.03 mg
Protein 4.0 g Riboflavin 0.10 mg
Minerals 2.7 g Potassium 341 mg
Carbohydrates 6.3 g Nicotinic acid 1.00 mg
Magnesium 247 mg Sulphur 61 mg
Phosphorus 83 mg Vitamin A 9200 IU
Sodium 230 mg Vitamin C 99 mg
• The fresh tender leaves and stem of amaranthus are delicious when
• The tiny seeds of grain amaranthus are popped or parched and milled
• In taste, nutritional value and yield, the grain compares favourably
with maize and other true cereals.
• It’s A Source Of Key Vitamins And Minerals: Amaranth contains
calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron
12. Amaranthus is widely distributed in both tropical and sub tropical regions. Leaf
amaranth is a warm season crop adapted to hot humid climatic conditions. It is
grown throughout the year in tropics and in autumn, spring and summer seasons
in temperate regions.
Most of leaf types are day neutral in habit but differ in their day length
requirements and respond differently to changes in photo and thermoperiodism.
Grain types, A. caudatus, A. cruentus and A. edulis are short day species while
A. hypochondriacus is day neutral.
Amaranth comes up well in well drained loamy soil rich in organic matter. The
ideal is pH is 5.5-7.5 but there are types which can come up in soils with pH as
high as 10.0. Red amaranth requires bright sunlight for colour development.
CLIMATE AND SOIL
13. • Cultivars
• CO-1(A. dubius)
• This cultivar has been developed by selection from
a local type at TNAU, Coimbatore, India in 1968.
• It is mainly grown for tender green as well as
• It yields 2.150 kg of greens per 3 sq m area (7165
kg/ha) at 25th day after sowing
14. • leaves dark green with ridged appearance;
• stem dark green, round and succulent; inflorescence
terminal and axillary,
• Takes 50 days for flowering and 90 days for seed
• plants tall 150 cm
• seed yield per plant is 13 g with an yield of 1.5 t/ha
• Seeds are small and black
• tolerant to pests and diseases.
15. • Co. 2 (A. tricolor)
• selection from local type at TNAU, Coimbatore and
released in the year 1976.
• particularly suited for early harvest.
• It yields 3.230 kg of greens per 3 sq m area (10780 kg/ha)
at 25th day after sowing .
16. • Early germination and vigorous growth make
it more suitable for early harvest as tender
• Takes 42 days for flowering and 80 days for
• Plants medium tall with 125 cm.
• Seed yield per plant is 48.4 g and 2.80 t/ha.
• Seeds bolder and black.
• Tolerant to pests and diseases.
17. Co. 3 (A. tristis)
• Selection from local type at TNAU in 1981.
• This is the only type suitable for clipping of tender
• average yield of 30716 kg of greens per hectare
• This cultivar lends itself for ten clippings
commencing from 20 days after sowing and
provides a continuous supply of luscious tender
greens for a period of 3 months. .
• As a seed crop, this cultivar flowers in 35-40 days
after sowing and matures at 85-90 days.
18. Chhoti Chaulai (A. blitum)
• Selection at IARI, New Delhi.
• Suitable for its leafy shoots.
• Plants erect with thin stem, slightly dwarf; leaves
small, green in colour.
• Responds well to cutting.
• Flowers are borne in clusters in leafy axils.
• It is best suited for early summer and can be grown
in rainy season also.
19. Badi Chaulai (A. tricolor)
• Developed at IARI, New Delhi through selection.
• The economic product is leafy shoots.
• Stem thick, green; leaves large and green; responds
to cutting and distinguishable by its much longer
• It is best suited for summer season.
20. Pusa Kirti (A. tricolor)
• This cultivar developed at IARI ,New Delhi is
suitable for summer cultivation.
• The economic part is green and soft stem.
• The ratio of stem to leaf is 1 : 4.
• The crop is ready in 30-35 days for first cutting
which may continue up to 78-84 days.
21. Pusa Kiran
• Developed through hybridization between
A. tricolor x A. tristis at IARI,New Delhi.
• This cultivar is most suitable for rainy season.
Leaves are soft, green and wide.
• The ratio of stem to leaf is 1 :5.
• It provides first cutting in 21-25 days after sowing
and continue up to 70-75 days.
22. Pusa Lal Chaulai (A. tricolor)
• A high yielding, red pigmented cultivar developed at IARI, New Delhi is
suitable for growing in both summer and rainy seasons.
• It has a stem-leaf ratio of 1 : 5.
• First cutting of leaves can be taken 33 and 24 days after sowing in summer
and rainy seasons, respectively.
• It yields on an average 490 and 450 q/ha in summer and rainy seasons,
• A pure line selection from Taiwanese introduction (IIHR 13560) made at
• ideal for multicut without becoming fibrous which also regenerates at a
• The first cutting is ready in about 25 days after sowing and subsequent
cuttings can be taken at 10-12 days interval (up to 90days).
• The cultivar is moderately resistant to white rust.
• yield potential 270 q/ha.
23. Arka Arunima
• A multicut, purple cultivar with brown and dark purple leaves
• Developed at IIHR, Bangalore.
• The first cutting becomes ready at 30 days after sowing.
• Leaves contain low antinutrient factors like oxalate and nitrates.
• It grows well in rainy and summer seasons and yields about 240 q/ha
Amont (A. cruentus)
• It was developed in Montana, USA from line RRC-A362.
• Amont has a central main panicle with thick, erect to drooping,
• Days to maturity varied from 122 to 127.
25. Planting Time and Method
• Amaranthus can be grown throughout the year.
• The field is prepared to a fine tilth and beds of 2.0 m x 1.5 m size are
usually made for growing this crop.
• The field should be kept weed free by hoeing and weeding as and
• Amaranth should be sown during mid-March for summer crop and
mid-July for kharif crop.
• About 1.5–2.0 kg seed is enough for a hectare. Since seeds are very
small, they should be mixed well with sand and sown in rows at 1cm
depth at a spacing of 30cm. After sowing, a light irrigation is essential
for ensuring good germination. Seedlings 2–3cm long are thinned out
to a spacing of 3–4cm.
27. • Manures and fertilizers
• Amaranth is a heavy feeder and high yielding crop.
20-25 tonnes of FYM and 50:25:20 kg NPK / ha are
recommended as basal dose. Under pulling out
method, 20 kg N should be top dressed twice during
subsequent pulling out of seedlings. For clipping
varieties, a still higher dose of 75:25:25 is advisable.
Apply N after every clipping or cutting. Foliar spray
of 1% urea or diluted cow urine at every harvest is
good for promoting further growth and for high
28. • Irrigation
• Grain amaranth is a drought tolerant crop, but
leaf amaranth requires frequent irrigation to
keep soil moist. Frequency of irrigation
depends on soil.
• Amaranth is a short duration and shallow
rooted crop. Provide light hoeing to prevent
soil crust formation after irrigation and to keep
soil loose. Field also should be kept weed-free,
especially during initial stages.
29. • Physiological disorder
• Premature flowering or bolting is a serious
problem in cultivation of amaranth. Quality
and yield are deteriorated after flowering.
Bolting is usually associated with planting of
short day varieties during November-
December, deficiency of nitrogen, extreme
high temperature and poor soil aeration.
Practices like raising of crop at ideal time
depending on locality, frequent application of
nitrogen fertilizers and manures and keeping
soil loose by light hoeing prolong flowering.
30. Harvesting and Post harvest management
• The young amaranth seedlings grown for
commercial purpose are often uprooted when they
are 8–10cm tall (3–4 weeks after sowing).
• The first cutting can be made 3 weeks after sowing.
Subsequent cuttings are made at 10–15 days
interval depending upon the vegetative growth.
• As many cuts are made as possible until flowering
begins and suitable vegetative material is no longer
• Amaranth grown for seed is not usually harvested
for greens. Seed plants are cut when mature and
seeds can be rubbed from the inflorescence and
then removed by drying and threshing.
31. • These seeds may be separated from the chaff with fine screens and
if necessary, by winnowing. Yield of gross products (total biomass)
varies from 100–500q/ha depending on varieties.
• The leaves lose water rapidly during storage, particularly at higher
temperature resulting in rapid wilting, decrease in chlorophyll,
ascorbic acid and soluble protein content and an increase in amino
• It can be stored for 6 days at 24°–28°C temperature.
• leaf spot and white rust are two diseases which
affect the amaranth plants to a great extent
• In case of leaf spot, Cercospora sp. is the causal
organism affecting this crop.
• This disease is characterized by the presence of
numerous small brown circular spots on the leaves.
34. • White rust.
• It is characterized by white, blister like circular or
irregular pustules on the lower surface of the leaf
and opposite each pustule on the upper surface a
yellow patch develops.
• Severe infection causes leaves to die and turn
brown, giving the field a blighted look.
• spraying Dithane M-45 or any other copper
• No serious pests have been reported in amaranth.
• However, leaf webber, caterpillars and ants are
some of the pests which attack this crop.
• Leaf webber and caterpillars can be controlled by
spraying malathion at the rate of 1.5 to 2 ml per litre
36. Seed production
• The agronomic practices normally followed for
producing tender leaves and stems are also usually
employed for seed production.
• In a soil of high alkalinity, the quality of seed will
be very much affected.
• For seed crop, a spacing of 30 x 30 cm is usually
37. • Since it is a cross-pollinated crop, an isolation
distance of about 400 m.
• It is a quick growing crop and forms seed in about
• After taking a number of leaf cuttings, only a few
last cuttings can be omitted to produce seeds.
• The seed grower, should be well acquainted with
the varietal characteristics and rogue out the off-type
plants at different stages of growth.
38. • Harvesting of inflorescence starts from 35 days
after flowering when the glumes turn brown in
colour and seeds turn black.
• Initial drying of the spikes in sun and drying the
seeds to a 15% moisture content are usually
practised so that the seeds can be threshed with
pliable bamboo sticks.
• Seeds are then strained through 2 mm sieve.
• The seed yield is about 200 kg/ha.
39. Sr. No. Particulars Total Cost ( /ha)
A Manures and fertilizer
1 Farm yard manure @ 20 t/ha, including labour 11600
2 Chemical fertilizers (Urea, SSP and Mop) @ 50:50:20
Total Cost 15,001
B Layout & bed preparation , seed sowing 1980
C Land preparation and planting 3000
D Irrigation charges 2500
E Land revenue 3333
F Intercultural operation 2000
G Plant protection 450
H Transportation 1000
J Cost of seed 500
Total Cost of Cultivation 29764