Hopi Red Dye Amaranth – buy seeds here!
A gorgeous annual 4 to 6 feet tall with long, draping flower heads, this amaranth is a stunner in the garden and has so many uses! Find organically grown seeds here!
How to grow:
Site Selection: Annual, support of mature plants may be necessary. Plant in well drained soil. Full sun is preferred.
Start seeds: Sow 4-6 weeks before the last frost indoors. Barely cover seed. Bottom water or mist to avoid covering seeds with displaced soil. Transplant outside after last frost. Or, direct seed after last frost, sow thinly, barely covering the seed. When seedlings have first true leaves, thin to 12-15″ apart. I like growing as a border, or intermixed with taller sunflowers (like Hope Black Dye).
Harvest: Anytime after flowers open.
Processing: Soak entire seed head, stem and leaves in warm to cool water immediately to extract color. Here is the blog post with details about how I’ve gotten GREAT, lasting color from this plant! Can also be multipurpose; eat young leaves, eat seeds or pop like popcorn!
Buy organically grown seeds here.
Smart Gardener: Growing Amaranth
MN Weaver’s Guild: Amaranth Overview
Other dye plants:
6 thoughts on “Growing Hopi Red Dye Amaranth”
There are a ton of plants listed in the Amaranthus, which one is used for dying and is it a native plant to Texas?
This was originally harvested by Native Seeds/Search from the Hopi reservation in Arizona.
I hope you do write down your experience with amaranth! I’ve tried and did get a light pink dye on wool last year, but not this year and there seems to be no information anywhere except to say that the Hopi used it for red dye.
You most likely overheated your dye bath. Reds ands blues ar VERY temperature sensitive and the compounds break down very quickly at higher temps.