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Illumination Amaranthus

Amaranthus 'Illumination'

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Illumination Amaranthus (Amaranthus 'Illumination') at Chalet Nursery

Illumination Amaranthus foliage

Illumination Amaranthus foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  24 inches

Spread:  18 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  Summer poinsettia, Chinese Spinach


A unique and attractive annual or biannual plant that is primarily grown for stunning foliage color; scarlet new growth with illuminating yellow variegation, matures to deep burgundy-green; leaves are edible; great for borders or containers

Ornamental Features

Illumination Amaranthus' attractive large textured pointy leaves emerge scarlet in spring, turning olive green in color with showy yellow variegation and tinges of burgundy throughout the season on a plant with an upright spreading habit of growth.

Landscape Attributes

Illumination Amaranthus is an herbaceous annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Illumination Amaranthus is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Illumination Amaranthus will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. The stalks can be weak and so it may require staking in exposed sites or excessively rich soils. This fast-growing annual will normally live for one full growing season, needing replacement the following year.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

Illumination Amaranthus is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Garden  Container 
Foliage Color  Texture 
Ornamental Features