Are you a lover of flowers? Then here comes the gomphrena plant to add to your beautiful flower collections.
Gomphrena globosa is a beautiful clover-like plant that belongs to the family of Amaranthaceae of plants. Having it in your flowerbed will no doubt spice up your environment.
For starters, Gomphrena also goes by the other names makhmali, globe amaranth, and vadamalli. It is an annual tropical plant with an array of beautiful colors.
Gomphrena Fun Facts
Do you know that the gomphrena plant is a symbol of everlasting love and immortality? So, does that mean to live happily ever after you should plant a gomphrena? Yeah, so says the Ancient Greeks about finding long-lasting and true friendship. Or maybe even living with that special someone, the love of your life forever?
Well, it may seem funny, but the symbolism comes from the durability of the plant. A gomphrena plant can last for a couple of years in its dried state.
General Facts about the Gomphrena Plant
- They thrive well in high temperatures and are ideal for beds, rock gardens, and borders.
- One compelling reason to own globe amaranth is that it is drought tolerant.
- The plant has little or no challenge with diseases or pest issues. Therefore it requires low maintenance.
- Growing and caring for the Globe Amaranth requires a low care landscape.
- The plant takes on purple, white, or pink gumball flowers and has a trusted marathon bloom.
- Gomphrena matures within a short period. Before you know it, the flower blooms and lasts long enough to create a pleasant ambiance.
- It takes from early summer until the first frost for the plant to attain maturity. And that’s what makes them an excellent choice for flower arrangements. Interestingly, the showy flower can start to root after discarding. Now, you see why cultivating a gomphrena plant could be like a walk in the park.
How Does a Gomphrena Plant Look?
Your kids would be naturally drawn to the gomphrena flower when it blooms. Don’t be surprised because the plant is not only beautiful but appealing. The actual flowers are a small yellow or white trumpet-like-looking plant.
Even butterflies and other pollinators find the globe amaranth fascinating too. Its colorful flowers are a bundle of stiff and papery bracts that support the actual flowers.
The structure of the Gromphrena is bracts with specialized leaves around the flowers. These leaves look like petals, and you can notice them with the yellow stamens poking out. It has a relatively short stature of two feet. Yeah, right, but it doesn’t take away from the flower’s beauty!
Gomphrena comes in an incredible variety of species aside from the classic globosa. So, get ready for some exciting colors in your home.
What are the Varieties of Gomphrena?
As a result of continuous research, new species of Gomphrena keep popping up regularly. Now, isn’t that exciting!
The two primary varieties include Gromphrena globosa and the Gromphrena Haageana.
First is the globosa, a delightful plant with a branching stem. Although it’s more challenging to grow, its multiple clover-like flowers make it great for bouquet arrangement. So, get ready to pick some lovely flowers for that special someone!
Please note that the globosa flower is fragile and could brittle or break when harvesting. So, be careful when harvesting. You just might break someone’s heart if you don’t.
The haageana variety has long, straight stems that are generally strong and sturdy. The stem is lean and taller than the classic globosa. In a way, this makes it easier for the plant to withstand high wind. Haageana is more challenging to use for designs as they require a flowing organic shape.
Other Varieties of Gomphrena Plant
These varieties of Gomphrena have undergone numerous hybrid processes. But you could find several cultivars available for use. The result of these innovations is varieties of exciting flowers for your garden.
The hybrid varieties include:
- Ping pong mix
- All Around Purple
- Buddy series,
- Strawberry field
- Las Vegas and
- Bicolor Rose.
The firework is large and can reach up to four feet in height. Its bracts are pink and feature yellow stamens that look like exploding firecrackers. In Louisiana, it blooms from spring to fall non-stop, attracting loads of butterflies.
Buddy series and the Gnome are thriving in various regions in Central American and globally. But you can find them in three exquisite color variants. They are best for border and edge arrangements, maybe for fencing purposes.
Bicolor rose is the tallest of the Gromphrena plants. The plant stands 36 inches in length. The bicolor offers a lot of health benefits that you may want to explore.
Whatever species you choose, Globe Amaranth will give you a long, happy season of blooms. Since it requires low maintenance, you sure get more value for your efforts.
What are the Benefits of Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena)
The aesthetic value shouldn’t be your only attraction to the Gromphrena plant. Yes, because the Gomphrena is laden with tons of benefits to derive from this wonder plant.
Asides from it being an attractant to pollinators, it offers much value to the human body. These values range from health benefits, nutritional and dermatological (skincare) values, and more.
When you feel like having a warm cup of tea, the dried gomphrena blossoms can serve your taste bud. But be prepared for a pleasant pink tea with a mild grassy flavor. No worries, pink tea is a popular cuisine in Central America, Panama, and Guatemala.
The medicinal benefits include:
- It serves as a good source of treatment for asthma cough
- Effective for eradicating dizziness and headaches
- Effective in the treatment of dysentery
- For treating diabetes and High Blood Pressure.
- Good for eye treatment
- Removal of toxins
- Treatment of wounds
- Skincare remedies
Other medicinal uses of Gromphrena globosa include the properties it possesses include:
A methanol extract from the plant contains antibacterial properties to ward off bacteria, including Bacillus Cereus and Staphylococcus Aureus, Escherichia, and Salmonella Typhi.
Gomphrena contains immune-boosting phytochemicals in its leaves, roots, flowers, and seeds. The same methanol extract of the plant also contains significant antioxidant properties.
Uses of Gomphrena in the Landscape
Dried flower arrangement
The dry blossom is capable of lasting for years. They have proved helpful, particularly in craft projects.
They provide effective borders and fencing for your property.
Gomphrena makes excellent flower cuts for flora arrangement.
Annual and perennial beds
If you own a cottage garden, then it’s time Gomphrena provides excellent thrillers and fillers in your cottage garden.
How to Grow Gomphrena Plant
Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth) is an easy-to-grow plant even from the seedling. Its color retention makes it a favorite even after drying. So, to spice up, your flower garden here’s what to do.
Picking a Gomphrena Variety for Your Garden
Go with the variety that works well with your climate. However, each type provides excellent value as landscaping plants. Since they can serve as borders, you can better appreciate their beauty from afar.
You could blend most Globe Amaranth of the same species in a garden. For instance, a strawberry field and hot biscuit will give a beautiful color combination.
For cut flowers, go for haageana strawberry field; a white Audray will do for a less bold appearance.
Growing the Gomphrena from Seed to Maturity
To get the best quality and value, please start the planting process from the seed stage. But ensure you have good sunlight exposure as heat makes the process relatively easy.
Basic Gomphrena Planting Methods
The primary methods required for planting gomphrena include:
- Soil blocks,
- Cell trays,
- Direct sowing.
Each of these methods comes with a prerequisite to a great outcome. A soil block would require placing the Gromphrena seeds at the top. It enables the plant to receive enough sunlight.
With a water trough, you can regularly water the plant to help it germinate properly.
If you intend to use the direct sowing method, please use a shallow trench to get good spacing.
Slight-press the gomphrena seeds into the soil. But please ensure the soil temperature is about 50 Fahrenheit. The temperature range should be 70°F to 75 °F. So, with the proper sun exposure and regular watering, your plant should do fine.
Fortunately, the gomphrena plant does not require so much fertilizer. But a little manure occasionally will help replenish the soils’ nutrients.
Gradually, the Gomphrena plant will begin to stretch out and grow stalks. After a few weeks, you should see the flower buds on the stalks. At this point, you’d realize that harvest for the cut flower is here.
Gomphrena Weed Control
A good tip to note when caring for Gromphrena is the need for regular weed control. De-weed regularly to avoid weeds from competing with the limited nutrients available to the Gromphrena. Eliminate anything that uses up the space, water, and nutrients in the soil.
Gomphrena Pest Control
Be equally mindful of common pests and problems associated with the plant. The common gomphrena plant diseases include Botrytis, Edema, Cercospora leaf blight, and numerous viruses.
Yes, I said Gomphrena does not suffer so much from pest infestation. But, they are not immune from pest issues. Commons pests include Aphids and Thrips.
Getting rid of the above pest is not so complicated. Please secure the garden hose with spray to get the job done. The application of organic neem oil by spray will do the trick.
You can avoid outright infestation by putting these necessary factors in place:
- Plant in full sun to prevent fungal growth.
- Adhere to spacing recommendations for planting.
- Regularly weed the garden.
- Don’t over-saturate with water, particularly at the seedling stage.
How to Grow Gromphrena in Pots
A field or garden is not the only place Globe Amaranth will thrive. If you prefer starting from indoors, please feel free to do so. A pot at the terrace can do the magic as well.
Gomphrena seedlings need approximately 14 to 21 days of germination time. You can start the seedling 6 to 8 weeks before late frost.
An effective way to speed up the process is to soak the seeds in warm water 24 hours before planting. Did you notice, I said, warm water? You require a pot with a minimum depth and width of 200mm will do.
It would be best if you got a quality potting mix from a recommended store. Simply press the seeds lightly into the pot and work within the appropriate temperature.
When the seedlings begin to emerge, ensure they have access to adequate sunlight. You can work with a fluorescent plant light for 16 hours to get the job done.
All the plant needs are moderate watering to thrive. Also, don’t forget to apply the right plant food every one to two weeks.
How to Harvest a Gromphrena Plant
Yeah, I guess you should be excited already! For me, this is about the most exciting part of the entire process always- harvest time!
If you only need to harvest a single stem, you may run into some murky waters. But there’s no reason to fret. It would help if you opted for cutting the whole stem from the base. Right from there, you can trim out the stem and strip the needed leaves.
Once the Gomphrena gets to maturity, you should harvest the flower regularly. That’s the best way to avoid elongated flowers gradually getting out of shape.
Remember they produce all through the season, but be ready to say goodbye to the frost.
Gomphrena epitomizes happiness, whether as a garden plant, bouquet bunch, or dried floral wreath.
Caring for the Gromphrena
Sunlight and water
The Gromphrena is an annual plant. It is particularly in love with the sun and produces effectively with full light. It can sometimes tolerate partial sunlight or shade in late summer.
Moderate watering must be a regular feature to help the soil moist. About one to two weeks of rainfall or irrigation should be good enough. In scorching seasons, ensure you provide water to saturate the roots.
Landscape and soil
Gomphrena is a beautiful bedding plant and provides a carefree show of colors. These plants are rather drought-tolerant and thrive better in well-drained locations.
Therefore, Gomphrena requires a soggy soil of 10 to 12 inches from the plant. A sandy soil to average garden soil is best for planting the Gromphrena seeds. You will do well to avoid alkaline soil conditions as they are not gomphrena-friendly. You could use heavy clay soil but watch out for a stunted plant.
Temperature and Humidity
The Globe amaranth will do best in virtually any climate. Nevertheless, do not plant the seeds outdoors until the soil temperature is warm enough during spring.
So, what’s your take on the gomphrena plant? How soon are you going to commence growing a gomphrena plant?
Whatever the case, Gomphrena allows you to become a friend of the earth. Go Green! You also get to enjoy the peace and serenity that goes with being a gardener. Need I also add the pleasure of beautifying your environment, preparing those lovely bouquets, and more?
The Gromphrena is an ornamental plant. Are you seeking love, immortality, and friendship? Notwithstanding, the tender sprouts, leaves, roots, flowers, and seeds offer more than just food and aesthetics. If you are looking for a flower to combine, here is a great choice.