Growing and Caring Atriplex Hortensis Plant

The beautiful plant Atriplex hortensis is the species of plant in the amaranth family. It is also called French spinach, arrach, mountain spinach, orache, red orache, and garden orache. The plant’s leaves are edible (acidic in taste) and beneficial for human health. Additionally, it is considered a vegetable.

Moreover, in recent times, the leaves of the Atriplex plant were used as an alternative to spinach. Apart from the leaves, Atriplex plant seeds are also edible and source of Vitamin A. The plant is native to Europe and Asia and is an annual plant.

French spinach plant is tolerant of drought, salinity, and wide ranges of temperatures. Further, the plant contains a branching stem, thin and colourful leaves. The plant can quickly go up to 6 feet long.

However, the height is dependent on the soil type and watering accordingly. Most gardeners prefer the orache plant as saltbush plant because of its tolerance for saline soils and alkaline.

In this guide, we focus on the propagation method of the common orache plant and mention how to care for the plant.

saltbush plant
Growing and Caring Atriplex Hortensis Plant 5


Usually, the foliage contains green, white, and reddish colours, whereas the flower’s colour depends on foliage colour.

Therefore, the color of leaves may vary the variety of plants. Additionally, the plant has a tiny seed with a thin pale-yellow membrane in its surroundings.

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Genus NameAtriplex
Common NamesSaltbush, Mediterranean saltbush, Shrubby orache, Silvery orache, Sea orache, and Orach
NativeEurope and Asia
HeightThe plant can grow 2 to 6 feet long
Width12 to 24 inches wide
Zones4, 5, 6, 7, and 8
Plant typeAnnual
SunlightFull and partial sunlight
WaterModerate watering is required
ProsEdibleCulinary usesMedical usesOrnamental propertiesContains Beneficial health Properties
Foliage colourGreen, white, and red
Pests and DiseasesNo such issue of pests and diseases

How to Grow Atriplex Hortensis?

Orache is an annual plant that can survive easily in cold weather and survives on a few degrees of frost. It is essential to sow orache seeds outdoors in early spring or late fall; the soil can work ideally and grow within time.

The plant is naturally a fast grower, unlike other similar plants that take years to thrive ideally. The growing process of the orache plant is the same as growing spinach. Throughout the whole summer season, one can grow the Atriplex plant effortlessly.

Similarly, when growing Atriplex, French spinach, atriplex halimus plants or growing saltbush from seed, it is essential to bury the seed lightly into the well-drained and moist soil. The area or spot where you want to sow seeds must receive full and partial sunlight accordingly.

Also, sow the seeds around 1 to 1.5 cm deep and 20 to 25 cm apart. If your spot is getting a 50-65 degrees F temperature, the seeds can sprout within two weeks. One can also opt for thins seedlings, as they can be used as baby leaves in Salad or another similar food item.

The plant is tolerant of alkaline soils, saline, drought, and harsh weather. Therefore there’s a vast chance your plant can thrive adequately within time.

Similarly, one can grow it near the ocean or a similar spot containing salt sprays.

Hence, the plant can survive even in dry and harsh weather; keeping the plant hydrated can serve you tasty vegetables. But, on the other hand, inadequate water supply can make the leave bitter and hence, one cannot enjoy having the vegetable.

The orach plant is an outdoor plant and can be grown ideally in pots and placed indoors accordingly.

Apart from its health benefits, the plant contains excellent ornamental properties that make your indoor spots more alluring.

Atriplex plant
Growing and Caring Atriplex Hortensis Plant 6
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How to Care for Atriplex Plant?

Frequent shearing and pruning are required when caring for French spinach plants. Naturally, plants can be grown in any soil and are drought-tolerant, requiring much maintenance and care.

However, if one only supplies adequate water and thrives in partial full sun, you can have a healthy plant accordingly. Plant propagation can be done by harvesting the seeds and stem cuttings (in the previous heading, we have mentioned the harvesting process to make it easier for you).

The key to a healthy Atriplex plant is to keep the soil moist and make sure the soil is well-drained. Doing the same can minimize your regular hassle and move your plant towards faster growth.

Therefore, after two months of sowing seeds, one can effectively see the beautiful new tender leaves.

atriplex halimus saltbush
Growing and Caring Atriplex Hortensis Plant 7


If you like to grow and consume vegetables organically harvested from your veggie garden, you also need to raise the orache plant. There are numerous uses of these French spinach plants; you can put them in meals and serve them in Salad.

However, the vegetable contains attractive health benefits as the leaves are a good source of vitamin B. Apart from its medical and culinary uses, the plant is beautiful and consists of ornamental properties. Similarly, one can plant saltbush in the garden to make it more appealing. At the same time, it can ideally be grown in pots and placed indoors to make your balcony or windows alluring.

Hence, if you want to keep your atriplex halimus saltbush growing large and healthily, then keep the soil well moist and well-drained. Also, pruning and mulching are beneficial to ensure the plant’s overall adequate performance.

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