How to Care for a Gomphrena Plant
Gomphrena (Gomphrena globosa) may have an unusual name, but the little annual bloomer lights up the landscape with attractive, globe-shaped blooms in shades of bright purple, pink, white, red, orange and lavender. Each small bloom measures about 1 inch in diameter, with a single plant producing dozens of blooms from midsummer to mid-August. Gomphrena, also known as globe amaranth or globe flower, is a sun- and heat-loving plant that will attract a variety of butterflies to your garden. Once established, gomphrena is virtually maintenance-free.
Plant gomphrena in full sunlight. Select a planting spot where the soil drains well, as gomphrena is drought-tolerant but doesn't tolerate wet, soggy soil. Allow 10 to 12 inches between each plant.
Water gomphrena during periods of hot, dry weather. Provide enough water to saturate the root zone, then don't water again until the soil dries.
Pinch off wilted gomphrena blooms, as deadheading keeps gomphrena neat and tidy and prevents the plant from going to seed too early. To deadhead, pinch the faded bloom with your fingernail. Include the attached stem down to the next bloom, bud or leaf.
- Plant gomphrena in full sunlight.
- Pinch off wilted gomphrena blooms, as deadheading keeps gomphrena neat and tidy and prevents the plant from going to seed too early.
To grow gomphrena in a container on your patio, fill the container with any commercial potting soil. Place the container in a sunny spot, and water when the soil feels dry.
- Purchase gomphrena bedding plants at a nursery or garden center, or plant seeds directly in your garden after danger of frost has passed. Scatter the seeds on loose, cultivated soil, then water carefully. Don't cover the seeds with soil, as soil blocks sunlight that the tiny seeds need to germinate.
- Gomphrena is easy to dry for use in winter arrangements. Gather a bunch of six to 10 stems, then secure the ends of the stems with a rubber band. Hang the bunch upside down from a hook or hanger in a dark, dry, well-ventilated room.
- Although hungry deer eat nearly anything, gomphrena tends to be deer resistant.
- Gomphrena is a good choice for a butterfly garden.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.