Gomphrena (also called globe amaranth) is easy to grow, drought and disease-resistant, has long-lasting blooms, and thrives in hot summers. The bright pops of pink, white, purple, and red are much needed and appreciated during hot weather. Learn how to grow globe amaranth with these five tips.
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5 Tips for How to Grow Globe Amaranth
1. Grow gomphrena from seed or transplant
- Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before your last frost date.
- Surface sow seeds on the soil. Gomphrena needs light to sprout.
- Plant transplants when they are 3-5 inches tall.
When buying transplants, look for small, tight transplants with fresh, green leaves and few blossoms. Avoid plants with wilted leaves and stems, plants that look too large for their container, or plants with aphid damage.
Varieties to try: (click on the seed name for seeds)
- QIS (Quality in Seed) Series – best for cut flowers; 18-28 inches tall.
- Strawberry Fields – hybrid with large, bright-red flowers; 18-28 inches tall.
- Ping Pong Lavender – good for containers; lavender blooms; 16-20 inches tall.
2. Plant globe amaranth at the right time
Gomphrena is a warm-season plant. It’s best to transplant outside after the danger of frost has passed and once daytime temperatures are in the 70s.
In the low desert of Arizona:
Start seeds indoors:
January – May
Plant transplants outside:
March – July 15
Flowers to Plant Outside & Seeds to Start Indoors Each Month in the Low Desert of Arizona.
• PLANTING GUIDE: Each month lists annual flowers and bulbs to plant outside & seeds to start indoors.
• BLOOMING GUIDE: Photos show what may be in bloom that month.
3. Plant and care for gomphrena correctly
Globe amaranth grows best in full sun with well-drained fertile soil and regular water. This tough plant tolerates hot soil and drought. Water deeply during hot spells. Cut young gomphrena branches back to two sets of leaves for fuller plants.
Disease-resistant, gomphrena also has relatively few problems with pests. If aphids are a problem, spray off with a strong blast of water from a hose. Gomphrena attracts butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects and pollinators.
In mild winter climates, gomphrena can be cut back and left in the ground to overwinter. In my low desert Arizona garden, I have several gomphrena plants that have been in the ground for over a year. When temperatures warm in the spring, the plants begin growing again.
4. Learn how to grow gomphrena (globe amaranth) as a cut flower
This summer staple in my Arizona garden is also an excellent cut flower. During the hot summer months, gomphrena is a reliable bloomer and a regular in all of my flower arrangements. It makes an excellent filler. The more you cut the flowers, the more they bloom.
Here are some tips when using gomphrena blooms as cut flowers:
- Harvest when blooms are fully developed. They do not develop further once cut.
- Cut the initial stem all the way to ground level. Make subsequent cuts where the stem branches out.
- Remove leaves below the water level on the stem.
- Blooms last up to 14 days in a vase (without preservative).
5. Dry gomphrena for blooms that last up to a year
Gomphrena is a perfect choice for drying and will retain most of its original color. Dried flowers last up to a year.
To dry globe amaranth:
- Snip off foliage from the stem.
- Secure several (8-10) stems together with a rubber band.
- Hang upside down in a dark, well-ventilated area for 2-3 weeks (until firm to the touch).
- Handle dried gomphrena flowers gently; they are fragile and fall apart easily.