Find out all about the different types of Gomphrena flowers here if you're looking to add brightly-colored and easy-to-grow flowers for your garden or backyard.
The Gomphrena flower is a tropical annual native to Central America. You will be able to find the flower all the way from Panama to Guatemala in different shades of white, pink, and purple. Some hybrids of the Gomphrena flower are also native to southern North American regions such as New Mexico, Texas, and some areas of Mexico. Here, they come in bright orange and red colors.
The Gomphrena plant is known to grow 1-2’ feet in height and around 1 foot in width. It has branched stems that produce a lot of brightly colored flowers. The dark green leaves look great against the colors of the flowers. They usually start a wooly-white color but grow green as they age. They have lots of tiny hair follicles that collect direct and mulch.
The Gomphrena flowers are known to thrive under full sun and prefer moist soil. It can even tolerate dry conditions well but don’t bloom until warm weather persists. They are really easy to grow from seeds and transplants, which is why they are a popular flower for mass cultivation. You can also grow the Gomphrena flower from self-sown seedlings but they may vary in color from their parents.
Types of Gomphrena Flowers
There are many types of Gomphrena flowers that you can plant in your garden for lovely blooms in the summers. Here are some main types that you will be able to get in your local markets or online stores.
The Gomphrena Globosa is a really popular flower belonging to the Amaranthaceae family. The common names of the plant are Globe Amaranth, Makhmali, and Vadamalli. The round-shaped inflorescences are the most distinguishable feature of the flower. They come in all sorts of vibrant shades such as red, orange, white, pink, lilac, and magenta.
The G. Globosa plants are native to Central American regions such as Guatemala, Panama, and Brazil but many other countries all over the world now grow this plant. The Globe Amaranth flowers is a tropical annual plant known for blooming continuously throughout the summer season and well into early fall. The plant is heat tolerate which is why it fairs so well in full sun. The plant is also great for the environment since it fixes carbon rates in the area through the C4 pathway.
The plant grows up to a height of 24” inches and the flowerhead is 4 cm long. The blossoms resemble clovers and grow on upright spikes. While the individual flowers are stiff and papery, they bulk together to form showy and colorful structures.
The flowers also actively attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and other insects who love nectar. The floral volatiles plays an important part in the reproductive success of the amaranth plants. While they do attract butterflies, they are still susceptible to some types of diseases. You should be careful about gray mold, fungal leaf spots, and powdery mildew gathering on the plant during damp or cold weather.
This plant type is really popular as an ornamental plant. Many people sow seeds of the plant in their rock gardens for the vivid colors. The flowers of the Gomphrena Globosa make great dried flowers since they retain color and shape well. You will often find them in bowls of potpourri for their lovely fragrance and color. They are also used in flower arrangements for the really pretty pop of color they add to the bouquet.
In Hawaii, they are commonly used to make leis since they are long-lasting and retain their color. In Nepal, they are used to make garlands for popular festivals like Bhai Tika. In Trinidad, the flowers of the G. globosa are used to make tea to cure cough, diabetes, and baby gripe. In some Caribbean folk medicine, the plant is used to relive reproductive problems. Purple flowers of the Globe Amaranth are also used for respiratory conditions.
The flowers are also rich in betacyanins. This has a wide variety of applications as supplements in livestock feed, cosmetic, and food industries. They are also naturally suited as a food dye for red-violet colors. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant.
The Globe Amaranth flowers come in different varieties including:
- Buddy Purple: They are short plants since they grow 8-12” inches and produce intensely colored flowers.
- Bicolor Rose: They have white and pink flowers.
- Gnome Series: They grow 6” inches tall and the flower colors are purple, white, and pink.
- QIS Series: They are good as cut flowers and come in red, rose, carmine, lilac, white, and purple flowers.
The Gomphrena Haageana is an herbaceous perennial plant that can act as an annual plant in temperate climates. The common name for the plant is the Button Flower. A cultivator of the G. Haageana plant is called the Strawberry Fields Globe Amaranth. The plant has bright red flowers that look like strawberries, hence the name. The plant is one of the taller varieties since it can grow up to 20” inches in height. This makes it the perfect flower for arrangements and mass production.
The Gomphrena Haageana has tuberous roots that are often used to cure respiratory tract and digestive issues in many regions. The stem and branches of the plant are moderately hairy and the leaves are narrow and oblong shaped. The flower heads are stalk-less and have a strawberry-like color. The plant is native to Texas and Mexico but is cultivated all over the world for its rich color.
The plants fare well in Hardiness Zones 9-11 and tend to sprawl across the floor making it look like an attractive cover of flowers on the ground. The bloom time of the plant is June till frost, which ensures that the garden looks great for a huge chunk of the year.
Homeowners love sowing this plant in their gardens since it is low-maintenance and attracts pollinators like butterflies. The plant thrives in well-drained soils and is resistant to drought. It is important to sow enough start seeds before the last frost if you want ample flowers since the germination rate of the plant is quite low.
The plant is used for potpourri since it tends to retain its shape and color when it dries. It is also used in traditional medicine as a treatment for jaundice, urinary system conditions, respiratory diseases, and kidney problems.
Gomphrena Celosioides resembles the Celosia plant. It is an herbaceous perennial plant and belongs to the family of Amaranthaceae. The plant originated in South America but has been naturalized in Asia, Australia, and Africa. The common name of the plant is the Bachelor’s Button.
The plant branches out well and can be found as an annual or short-lived perennial plant. It has a deep taproot and hairy elliptical leaves. The flowers grow on wooly receptacles and have terminal spikes. They have pink to whitish colors which looks great in rock gardens and landscapes. The seed is really small and is known to be distributed by ants.
The plant is known for its medicinal properties and is often part of folk medicine. It is used to treat various disorders like respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, infectious diseases, and skin infections. The edible plant also has nutritional qualities, which is why it is often used to make tea and even in some cuisines around the world. The plant is known to affect the nervous system of horses, which leads to a lack of coordination.
The Gomphrena Perennis is an herbaceous plant known to be annual or evergreen. It is mostly used as an ornamental plant but in some regions, the leaves and flowers are commonly used in cuisines. The plant is also used as a cut flower. It is resistant to drought and can grow in Mediterranean, tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates.
It thrives in Hardiness Zones 2-13, meaning that it can grow in pretty much any type of location. The plant needs well-drained soil to thrive and you can start growing it through start seeds, seedlings, and transplants. The plant can be invasive, so you will definitely need to control and maintain it properly to prevent it from choking other plants in the garden. You should plant it at the end of winter or in spring, while the perennial can also be planted in the summer.
The color of the leaves is a dark green, which looks love against the pink, white or purple flowers. The flowers are small and grow in a pompon shape. The plant is known for attracting pollinators like butterflies, bees, and other insects. You won’t have to worry a lot about pests or diseases but on rare occasions, the plant can be affected by aphids.
You can prune the flowers all season, depending on your personal preferences and tastes. The plant can grow up to 8-24” inches in length, depending on the variety you choose. It is a medium to fast-growing plant, meaning you will be able to see blooms relatively soon. It blooms all the way from summer to late fall. It doesn’t require much water but the soil should be kept moist. It thrives under full sun, so it won’t survive as an indoor house plant. You can grow the plant in containers, flowerpots, and planters though.
The flower is sometimes used to make beverages in some parts of the world. The leaves are also sometimes harvested in spring and summer for edible uses since they are cooked into different dishes. You can harvest the young leaves by cutting them at the base of the stem. The main purpose of the plant remains ornamental and it is popularly used in for flower arrangements.
The Gomphrena Pulchella has recently become one of the most popular plants for garden centers. It has three main species called the Firework, Truffula Pink, and Proven Winters. Firework is much more popular due to its hot pink blooms that look as if they exploded with little rays of yellow color.
The Firework is found mainly in Bolivia and can reach 4’ feet in height easily. They are very hardy plants and are known to survive every sort of climate including drought and endless rain. The Truffula Pink is similar to the Firework but is about half the height. They have the same vibrant color and both flowers are great pollinators.
They also produce tons of flowers which seemingly float in the air and look wonderful in gardens. The Firework is known for having the largest yield of flowers among the Gomphrena species. The flowers also take a really long time to become spent or need dead-heading. The width of the plant is 4’ feet while the Truffula Pink grows half of that span. They are both well-suited to cutting and look like they belong in vases. They are also used as dried flowers for their relentless color.
They need full sun and well-drained fertile soil to flourish to maximum capability. It is important to make sure that you space the plants at least 20-36” inches apart and apply a nice layer of mulch after planting them.
There are also some blue blooms of the Gomphrena Pulchella such as the Salvia Farinacea that are really popular among growers. They are known for being best for habitats that want to attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Other species like the Lemon Lime Nandina or Gold Mound Duranta produce yellow flowers.
The Gomphrena Serrata is also known as the Prostrate Globe Amaranth. The plant is native to the Americas but has been naturalized in India. It is an annual herb or perennial plant. The plant can grow anywhere from 4-40” inches and the stems can be bending or prostrate. It has really fibrous roots, often used in medicine and cooking. The stalk-less leaves are oblong to obovate in shape and have a nice green color.
The inflorescences of the flower heads are white in color and sometimes have red or pink tinges. They have dense hair and are narrow oblongs in shape. The bracts of the plant have toothed crests. The seeds are really small and the plant can be found flowering all year round. It is usually planted in lawns, sandy open areas, and roadsides.
How to Sow and Plant Gomphrena Flowers
Gomphrena flowers can be grown from the seed and later transplanted outside or sown directly in the garden during summer months. You can also plant it directly in a pot or container.
You will need to sow the Gomphrena seed 6-8 weeks before the last frost has arrived. Do make sure to sow it a quarter inch in fertilized soils and you will find that the seedling will emerge in 10-14 days. The soil should be kept evenly moist and lightly firm.
When the seedlings begin to emerge, the plant should be kept on a sunny windowsill for maximum light. You can also use fluorescent plant lights 16 hours a day. The new seedlings won’t need to be fertilized but a starter solution can be mixed in once they are 3-4 weeks old.
You can move the seedlings to 3-4” inch pots when they have 2 pairs of leaves before you can move them to the garden. This will ensure that they develop strong roots.
Sowing in the Garden
After the danger of frost has passed, you can sow the seed directly into the garden in full sun. The first step is to remove the weeds in the soil and work in some organic matter into the first few inches of the topsoil.
After adding the compost, sow seeds evenly and cover them with around a quarter of the soil. They should be kept evenly moist and the seedlings will begin to emerge 10-14 days later.
Planting in the Garden
To plant the Gomphrena flowers into the garden, select a location which has full sun. Do make sure that the soil is well-draining and has a rich, moist texture. The flower bed will need to be prepared by turning the soil to a depth of 6-12” inches. You will need to rake it lightly so that any debris is removed. Unpot the plant and move it into an 18-inch hole. Mark it with a plant tag and water thoroughly.
Gomphrena flowers are really popular flowers in gardens due to their rich and vibrant colors. They are easy to care for and don’t require much maintenance either.