Gomphrena: globe amaranth

Height 15-60cm (6-24in)

Planting distance 15-23cm (6-9in)

Flowers mid summer to early autumn

Ordinary well-drained soil

Sunny position

Half-hardy annual

Globe amaranths grow in the wild in India; in Britain they thrive if they are treated as half-hardy annuals and given a sunny position in the garden.

One species and its varieties are generally grown. Botanically known as Gomphrena globosa, it bears clover-like flowers in bright orange, yellow, purple, pink and white, accompanied by hairy, light green leaves. The 30cm (1ft) high stems are upright, and the flowers last well, making them excellent for dried flower arrangements. In the garden use them in bedding schemes.

Popular varieties

Single and mixed colour strains are available: ‘Buddy’ is a compact, dwarf form reaching 15cm (6in) high. Its flowers are a vivid deep purple. ‘Full Mix’ is a mixture with orange, purple, pink, red, lavender or white flowers. Also available as single colours. The plants reach 45-60cm (1-½-2ft) high.

Cultivation

Sow the seeds in pots or pans of seed compost in early spring under glass and keep at a temperature of 15-18°C (59-64°F). When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into boxes. Harden off before planting out in late spring when danger of frost has passed.

Plant them in ordinary well-drained garden soil in a sunny position.

For dried flowers, cut the blooms just before they are fully open and hang to dry in bunches upside down in a cool airy place. Gather the blooms in dry weather.

Pests and diseases

Trouble free.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Gomphrena: globe amaranth

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: