When you trawl through the internet, it is awfully hard to come by any information on the Red Dari Plant except that you will find out that Red Dari Seeds are a component in many bird-food mixes that you can buy. Well, the garden doctor has done some digging for you and found out why there is limited information, and the answer is quite simple. The Red Dari Plant is a long grass grown in warmer climates and is primarily cultivated for its versatile cereal grain. The reason that there is not much information online regarding the Red Dari Plant is that it goes by many other names, but you may know it by another more popular name and that is Sorghum. Other names include milo, great millet, durra, orshallu, and Indian millet.

Red Sorghum Ready for Harvest
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What is Red Sorghum Grain?

Sorghum (sorghum bicolor) is a cereal grain originating in Africa known for being drought and heat resistant. This drought resistance is why it is now cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. After wheat, maize, barley, and rice, sorghum is the 5th most widely grown cereal crop in the world and it is becoming more and more popular all the time due to its gluten-free properties and its uses as flour.

What is Sorghum Used For?

Sorghum has many culinary uses around the globe. Sorghum is especially important as a food crop for people of South Asia, Central America, and Africa where this plant will still thrive even when it is particularly dry.

Sorghum Foods

Sorghum flour is becoming increasingly popular for its gluten-free properties and has a whole range of uses in baking including making bread. Sorghum is said to have the most wheat-like flavour of the gluten-free whole grains and makes a great wheat substitute in any recipe. Sorghum can also be boiled, roasted, and popped like popcorn.

Ethanol Production

Sorghum has become a significant crop in the United States ethanol industry, comprising approximately one-third of the nation’s ethanol production. Remarkably, 79% of the sugars present in sorghum are efficiently converted into ethanol, showcasing the plant’s viability as a biofuel source.

Animal Feed

One of the primary uses in the Western world for sorghum is animal feed as a corn substitute. Whole-grain sorghum is high in carbohydrates and protein and used to feed poultry and cattle although for the latter it must be ground and soaked to make it easily digested. Cattle are also given the stems for grazing.

Red Dari Sorghum Seed Head
Red Dari Sorghum Seed Head

Types of Sorghum

There are 2 main types of sorghum that are cultivated, and they are done so for different reasons. The two types of sorghum are grain sorghum and cane sorghum.

1. Grain Sorghum

Sorghum now accounts for around 1/3 of Ethanol production in the United States with 79% of sugars contained in the plant being converted to Ethanol – Source: Science Direct

2. Cane Sorghum

Cane sorghum is harvested a little earlier than other varieties as it is harvested for the sweet juice that is found inside the stalks.

How to Grow Red Dari Plants

Sorghum requires warm soil for it to germinate and grow so there is no rush in planting as soon as spring arrives. Sorghum will perform better when planted in late May to early June when the soil temperatures are consistently around 13°c and rising.

Sow your Seeds

Prepare your soil with a well-balanced organic fertiliser around a month before and then sow your seeds 1cm deep and 10cm apart.


Once your young sorghum is around 10cm tall, thin your seedlings to 20cm apart and add some nitrogen-rich fertiliser to boost growth.


Sorghum plants go through a milk stage where the immature kernels bleed a milk-like substance if pierced. About 2-weeks after this happens, sweet sorghum is harvested by being stripped of leaves and then cut down at ground level. The canes are then pressed until they release a green juice that is then cooked to make sorghum syrup. Grain sorghum is left until the seeds are fully matured and have a hard outer shell that does not mark when pressed. To harvest these, the seed heads should be removed and set aside to dry. Once dried, roll the seed head gently over a towel to collect the seeds as they easily come away from the seed head. The fresh seeds can then be ground or stored for winter ready to be planted the next summer.


The Red Dari plant is just another name for sorghum. Sorghum is a reliable cereal crop that grows strongly in warmer climates and has many uses around the world. From making up a large part of cattle feed to producing ethanol and a very nice natural sweetener, sorghum is an amazing cereal crop that you have never heard of.

Facts About Sorghum Infographic
Facts About Sorghum Infographic

Garden Doctor Tips

“Keep weeds away from young sorghum plants as when they are young, they are not strong enough to compete!”

“Grind sorghum seeds to make a perfect gluten-free wheat replacement flour to bake with!”

“Sorghum seeds can be popped! Yes, that is right, you can make your own mini popcorn!”

“The dried canes left over from grain sorghum can be used as decorations in dried flower arrangements!”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Red Dari?

Red Dari is one of the many names for Sorghum. Another popular name for sorghum is milo and although it has many culinary uses, it is often used around the world as an animal feed.

Can you grow Red Dari in the UK?

Some varieties of sorghum will grow in the UK although they are unlikely to fully mature enough to provide grain.  Sorghum in the UK is usually grown as a game cover due to its tall standing. 

What is Milo Seed?

Milo is another name for sorghum. Sorghum is the 5th most widely grown cereal grain in the world. Sorghum is high in protein and is gluten-free making it a celiacs dream wheat replacement.


Trevor Wright is not just a seasoned horticulturist; he’s the esteemed Garden Doctor. With a BSc in Horticulture and years of hands-on experience in the soil, Trevor has become a trusted mentor for all things gardening. As the founder of Garden Doctor, he’s committed to clarifying the intricacies of gardening, offering straightforward advice that’s rooted in years of practice. His writing is a garden of how-tos, savvy insights, and comprehensive guides that enable individuals to nurture and grow their garden dreams. When he’s not knee-deep in garden beds, Trevor is at his keyboard passing on his green-thumbed wisdom to budding gardeners, ensuring that the legacy of sustainable and joyful gardening blossoms far and wide.

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