Virtues: Globe amaranth is an annual flowering plant long popular in cutting gardens, cottage gardens and pollinator-friendly gardens. It bears curious spherical blooms all summer long. These are plentiful enough to provide for many fresh or dried flower arrangements without making a dent in the garden display. Globe amaranth attracts butterflies and bees and it is easy to grow and drought tolerant.
Common name: Globe amaranth
Botanical name:Gomphrena globosa
Exposure: Full sun
Season: Summer, for endless flowers
Flowers: The flowers of globe amaranth somewhat resemble those of clover, being round in shape and bristly in texture. Various cultivars exist, offering a range of colors from white to light pink, hot pink, light purple, dark purple and nearly red.
Foliage: The leaves are long and narrow and light green in color. They line the upright stems in pairs. Foliage can sometimes develop powdery mildew in humid conditions, but this can be avoided by watering at the base of the plant rather than from overhead.
Habit: Globe amaranth is a plant with a bushy shape made of leafy, upright stems, each of which culminate in a flower. Size varies among cultivars, with some that reach two feet tall while others top out at just eight inches. The various sizes make globe amaranth a possibility for container plantings as well as beds and borders.
Origins:Gomphrena globosa is native to Central America
How to grow globe amaranth: Site in full sun and average soil that drains well. Globe amaranth can withstand dry spells although it enjoys consistent moisture. You may find transplants at your favorite garden center, but the plant does not have much shelf appeal so availability is limited. If you do come across transplants for sale they will quickly develop into impressive flowering plants once planted in the garden or larger containers. Happily, globe amaranth is also very easy to grow from seed, which should be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the expected last frost, or outdoors after any danger of frost. Continually cutting the flowers will prompt compact, bushy growth as well as more flowers to appear. Globe amaranth may reseed around the garden, with seedlings popping up in subsequent years. These are easy to pull if they are not wanted, and easy to transplant to other spots if desired. Cutting the flowers will of course reduce the likelihood and number of potential volunteer seedlings.
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