Roter Fuchsschwanz Illustration

Love-Lies Bleeding

Lisa Lisa
15/03/2022 · 4 minutes reading time

How to help your March plant grow big and strong.

Here´s what´s ahead:

Getting started

The bushy flowers of this plant actually look a bit like a pack of foxes hiding badly in the bushes, so that the tails are just visible. It belongs to the Amaranthaceae family, which also includes other amaranth species, for instance, beetroot and spinach. You can grow love-lies bleeding indoors or sow it directly outdoors. Note, however, that the plants can grow very large so choose the location or pot accordingly.

The most important information at a glance:

  • Germination depth: 0.5 cm (light germination)

  • Germination temperature: 15 - 22 °C

  • Germination period: 10 - 20 days

  • Sowing indoors: February – May

  • Relocate outdoors: from mid-May

  • Direct sowing outdoors: April – May

  • Flowering/seed ripening: July - October/after flowering

  • Plant spacing: 30 cm

  • Root depth: 45 - 90 cm

  • Habitat: sunny

  • Nutrient requirements: high


Sowing indoors:

  • From February to May

  • Fill seed trays or pots with growing soil, and moisten slightly.

  • Tear the calendar sheet into small pieces, each containing one seed.

  • Place the snippets 2 cm apart on the soil and let some soil trickle over them.

  • Water carefully with a ball sprayer and place on a window sill.

  • Keep evenly moist until germination.

Direct sowing outdoors:

  • From April to May

  • 2 weeks before sowing, spread some compost in the bed and work it in with a rake.

  • Tear the seed paper into small pieces, each containing one seed.

  • Poke 0.5 cm deep holes in the soil 30 cm apart, place 1-2 seeds in them, close and water carefully.

  • 2 seeds per planting hole increase the probability that a plant will grow. If both seeds sprout, you will have to remove one of them.

  • Keep seeds evenly moist until germination.

Roter Fuchsschwanz Blüten und Samen auf Tisch


  • Seedlings grown indoors should be pricked out as soon as they have reached a size of 5 cm. From May onwards, the seedlings can also be transplanted directly into the bed.

  • Fill pots with soil (diameter approx. 11 cm, preferably with a drainage hole).

  • Poke holes in the soil of the new pots according to the depth of the roots.

  • Lift the seedlings out of the old pots with a pricker or spoon handle and place them in the new pots. Hold the stem carefully and repot one plant at a time.

  • Close the planting hole, water well and press down the edges.

  • From May, plant in beds, raised beds, or individually in large pots (diameter 50 cm).

  • Final plant spacing: 30 cm


  • Sunny to semi-shady, warm and windless.

  • Soil: loose and rich in nutrients

  • Work compost into the bed before sowing or planting outdoors.

  • Good neighbours: artichoke, bean, broccoli, strawberry, fennel, carrot, cabbage, lettuce, turnip, radish, onion.

  • Bad neighbours: chard, beetroot, spinach

Roter Fuchsschwanz Blüte


  • Water regularly, but avoid waterlogging.

  • Always remove weeds and loosen the soil around the plants.

  • Cut off dry and withered leaves and flowers.

  • It is enough to work some compost in the soil as fertiliser before sowing.

  • If growth is too weak, water with diluted nettle manure.

Diseases and pests

  • Slugs and snails: Collect them, put up a preventive slug fence and do not water in the evening.

  • Aphids: Spray with a mixture of water and soap or with neem oil.

  • Powdery mildew: Leave enough space between plants, remove infested plant parts with a white coating on the lower or upper side and dispose of in the household waste.

Harvest & Storage

  • Cut whole shoots, tearing off individual leaves weakens the plant. Harvest in the evening, as the nitrate content is lowest then.

  • Cut flowers in the morning. If you want to dry them, cut them in the afternoon.

  • The seeds are ripe as soon as the seed heads rustle when touched. If you do not remove the flowers, the plant will self-sow in the garden.

  • To collect seeds, cut off ripe seed heads on a dry day and hang them over a sheet so that the seeds can fall out. Leave to dry for a few days and tap out the remaining seeds if necessary. Then sort out the remaining plant parts and grind the seeds like grain.

Roter Fuchsschwanz Blüte


  • Seeds and leaves contain many minerals, trace elements and vitamins.

  • Leaves contain oxalic acid: People with gout, rheumatism, arthritis or intolerance to oxalic acid should avoid eating them.

  • Seeds can be used as a protein-rich, gluten-free grain substitute. With few plants, however, large quantities of grain are not to be expected.

  • Prepare young leaves and shoots like spinach.