Gomphrena - Globe Amaranth
DESCRIPTION: These are annual flowering plants that are found wild in tropical countries. Their flowers may be cut and dried for winter decoration. The plants grow about 18 inches tall. Their leaves are ovate and about 4 inches long and 1½ inches wide. They bear large, pink, white, yellow or purple flowers with noticeable bracts in the summer. These plants are grown in the garden in the summer and the blossoms are cut just before they completely open and hung upside down in bunches in a cool, airy place to dry for use in vases in the winter.
POTTING: These plants can be grown outside in the garden or in the greenhouse. When they are cultivated in the greenhouse they make very lovely plants. They are easy to grow and they bloom for a long time. These plants need good drainage and rich, porous soil. When they are young, care must be taken to keep the soil moist but not wet. When they've filled their pots with roots and they've grown, they should be given more water, but not so much that the soil stagnates. Healthy plants that have a good root system will benefit from weekly or semiweekly applications of dilute liquid fertilizer. They need full sun all the time with slight shade from the strongest summer sun.
PROPAGATON: Seeds can be sown indoors in March. When the baby plants are an inch high they are pricked out and placed 2 inches apart in seed flats. When the weather is warm and settled, they are planted in the garden. They can also be sown directly outside in the spring. Only apply water when the soil becomes dry; they won't survive if overwatered. When grown in the greenhouse, seeds may be sown from January to March to provide flowers in the summer and fall. The seedlings are transplanted to flats as advised above and when they begin to crowd each other, are potted individually in 3-inch pots. Later, they are transferred to the 5-inch pots in which they will bloom. Water them as advised for young plants above in potting.
VARIETIES: G. globosa.
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