Atriplex: purple orach

Height 90cm-1.2m (3-4ft)

Planting distance 40cm (16in)

Foliage plant

Well-drained good garden soil

Open sunny site

Hardy annual

The varieties of Atriplex hortensis are grown for their fine foliage -deep crimson-purple leaves covered, when young, with fine glistening white powder. The flowers are insignificant. The variety ‘Cupreata’ has bright beet-root-red foliage.

On rich soil, purple orach grows rapidly to reach 90cm-1.2m (3-4ft) high, so use it as an instant hedge, to cover up a screen, or simply to fill an awkward gap at the back of an ornamental border.


Sow the seeds under glass in early spring and transplant outdoors in late spring. Alternatively sow them straight in the ground in late spring. Thin the seedlings to 40cm (16in) apart.

Any good, well-drained soil is suitable, in full sun. The plants are wind resistant and nourish in an open site and in coastal gardens.

Pests and diseases

Trouble free.

21. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Featured Articles, Plants & Trees | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Atriplex: purple orach


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