Quinoa Plant

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) may be a angiosperm within the Amaranthaceae that’s grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds. it’s been grown for human consumption for thousands of years, originating from mountainous regions of South America. Quinoa cultivation has now grown to over 70 countries round the world. This ancient superfood is full of vitamins and minerals and features a nice mild taste. The seeds are often cooked like rice, or ground into a flour which will be used as a gluten-free alternative in cooking and baking.

Botanical NameChenopodium quinoa
Common NameQuinoa
Plant TypeHerbaceous annual
Mature Size4 feet tall
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeLoamy, well-draining, fertile
Soil pH6.0-7.5
Bloom TimeSummer
Flower ColorInsignificant, apetalous
Growing Zones4+
Native AreaSouth America
An overhead shot of quinoa in a glass bowl and in a wooden spoon.

How to Grow Quinoa Plants

Cool climate gardeners rejoice! Quinoa is that the crop for you. Originating from the high altitude slopes of the Andes Mountains, quinoa plants are familiar with short days, cool temperatures, many lights, and consistently moist conditions. Unfortunately, thanks to their size, quinoa plants are unsuitable as container plants; however, they create excellent additions to any existing vegetable or garden. Overall, quinoa plants are low-maintenance, easy-to-grow plants.


Quinoa plants grow well during a bright sunny location that receives several hours of direct light each day . However, partial shade from the foremost intense heat of the day is suggested.


Quinoa plants grow best in well-drained, loamy soil that’s high in organic matter. Before planting, the soil should be amended with compost or fertilizer. Once the seedlings are several inches tall, mulch around the seedlings to stop weeds and retain moisture.


Quinoa seedlings require consistently moist (but not waterlogged) soil until they’re established. Mature quinoa plants are considered relatively drought-tolerant, although they appreciate regular watering. Let the soil dry out slightly then water thoroughly.

Temperature and Humidity

Quinoa plants are considered to be a cool-climate crop, and that they do best when grown in cold, dry climates. High temperatures hinder the expansion and seed development of quinoa plants, ultimately affecting the number of seeds that will be harvested.

Ideal temperatures for quinoa plants range between 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 25 degrees Fahrenheit in the dark . When growing quinoa plants from seed, make sure that the last frost has passed before sowing seeds within the garden because the delicate seedlings cannot tolerate frost.


Quinoa plants require rich soil that’s high in organic matter. Before planting, amend the soil with fresh compost or a balanced organic. Beyond this soil preparation, quinoa plants don’t require fertilization during the growing period.


Quinoa plants are ready for harvest 90-120 days after planting. Once the leaves have fallen off and only the dried seed heads remain, the seeds are able to be harvested. Fortunately, quinoa is straightforward to harvest—the seeds are often stripped upwards towards the stalk which easily dislodges them.

Once harvested, sift the fresh quinoa seeds employing a grain sifter. Before storing, the quinoa seeds got to be thoroughly dried out. Spread the seeds out thinly on a tray and place it within the hot sun or near a heat source to dry. Dried quinoa are often stored during a n airtight container in a cool, dry location for up to 6 months.

Growing from Seeds

Quinoa seeds are often sown directly into the garden after the last frost has passed. In climates with warm winters, seeds can even be sown in late summer or early fall for a winter harvest. Soil temperature should be around 60 degrees Fahrenheit for seeds to sprout.

Before planting, prepare the garden bed by gently turning the soil and adding a layer of fresh compost. Space rows of seeds 12 inches apart, and 10-12 inches apart along each row. Plant 2-3 seeds together to make sure that a minimum of one survives in each spot. After the seeds are sowed, cover with a skinny layer of soil and spray the highest of the soil lightly to moisten.

Quinoa seeds take approximately 4-5 days to germinate. Once seedlings sprout, thin out the rows to make sure there’s just one plant every 10-12 inches. Keep seeds and seedlings consistently moist until well-established. Quinoa plants are usually ready for harvest 90-120 days after planting.

Common Pests/Diseases

Fortunately, quinoa seeds are covered bybitter substance called saponin which protects them from bird and pest damage. However, the leaves of quinoa plants are vulnerable to infestations of aphids, flea beetles, leaf miners, and other common pests. Most viruses found in quinoa plants are transmitted by aphids or leafhoppers from other crops within the area, however, the seed production is typically unaffected. Generally, quinoa plants are hardy plants that are vulnerable to few serious pests or diseases.

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