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Monday, July 15, 2024

A quick guide to growing kulitis, a.k.a. Amaranth

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Kulitis (Amaranthus spp.), also known as green amaranth or pigweed, has several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B6, C, riboflavin, K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper. It belongs to the Amaranhteceae or Amaranth family and grows well in tropical countries like the Philippines. 

There are around 60 types of kulitis, although most of them are grass or weeds. Many Filipinos use kulitis for food, especially its leaves and grains, or as an ornamental plant. Kulitis also goes by other names, including Chinese spinach, tampala, uray, and kudjapa. 

In the meantime, there are four different kinds of kulitis used as vegetables in East Asia. These are Amaranthus cruentus, Amaranthus blitum, Amaranthus dubius, and Amaranthus tricolor. One type of kulitis with thorns is the uray (A. spinosus L.), which frequently grows in the Philippines. 

It’s easy to grow kulitis in the farm or garden. It’s ideal to plant it in rich, loose soil. The plant can be propagated using its seeds through direct planting or transferring it from a container to the soil later. 

Start by planting the seed in the ground with a 0.5 to 1.0 depth and distance of 10 to 20 centimeters. Cover with compost or rice husks. Meanwhile, the transfer method requires two kilograms of seeds per hectare at 400 plants per square meter. 

Water the kulitis after planting and regularly remove any weeds during the early stage. Also, look out for pests, like kulisap, aphids, spider mites, and pigweed weevils, along with diseases such as rotting and withering. 

The kulitis plants can be harvested 20 to 45 days after planting. Since it withers rapidly, frequently water to keep it fresh. 

This information is from the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI). 

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