Gomphrena is a beautiful drought-resistant annual flowering plant. It is adaptable to USDA zone 7-10 but you can grow gomphrena in any hardiness zone with little adjustments. You can grow gomphrena from seeds as well as from cuttings. Although, We use gomphrena seeds for commercial farming. Seeds are easy to use and more profitable. Check out my previous post if you want to grow gomphrena on your own.
If you already have one in your garden and you want to make it bushier and full of blooms. Then this post is especially for you. Today I will share my experience and techniques that I use to care for my gomphrenas. I am growing gomphrena for 12 years. Initially, it was not that good but now, I get hundreds even thousands of gomphrena flowers every season.
Check out my previous post: How to Grow and Care Tulsi Plant (Holy Basil)?
How to Care for a Gomphrena Plant?
Most varieties of Gomphrena are indeed drought resistant. They can survive extreme heat and harsh climates. Still, for a gardener testing for extremities is never an option. If you really wanna grow gomphrena and get lots of bloom. Then you must have to care for your gomphrena plants.
Don’t worry caring gomphrena is not that difficult neither time taking as compared to other annuals in your garden. You only need to follow a few simple steps. Before that let us first check out what are the necessities of a gomphrena plant.
It will help us understand the needs and the required care afterward. Knowing the requirements is the first step to care for a gomphrena plant.
General Requirements for Growing Gomphrena Plants
- Soft Well Drained Nutritious Soil.
- Low Soil Ph.
- Moderate Moisture Retention in the soil.
- Full Sunlight.
- High Temperature and Average Humidity.
Now if you wanna keep your gomphrena healthy then you must consider these 5 requirements.
Starting with the soil selection. It is important to keep the soil nutritious as well as soft and pours. To keep it highly nutritious you can add organic compost and manure. But there is a problem with this approach.
More organic matter means more moisture. Organic matter generally increases the water retention in the soil which is not very good for gomphrena. So to adjust that add some clean river sand to make the soil porous.
After all these years, I have tried hundreds of soil mixes for gomphrena and the best one is the homemade version. It consists of 1 part garden soil, 1 part river sand, 1 part compost,1 part cocopeat or rice husk. Altogether everything I use is equal in proportion.
The Advantage of this mix is that organic matter keeps the soil fertile and the ph low to 5.8-6.5. It also retains enough moisture to keep the roots hydrated.
Finally, keep the plants in full sun, no shade is required for gomphrena. Although gomphrena plants can adapt to partial shade, the best bloom is always seen in the plants receiving full sun. Keep your gomphrenas in a spot where they can receive 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
In cold zones keep the gomphrena plant in the greenhouse and use bright grow lights.
Learn How to Care for a Gomphrena Plant
- Start with collecting the healthy seedlings. It is the most important Step. Only 30-40% of gomphrena seeds germinate successfully. Choose only the healthy and mature seedlings to transplant. If you are buying seedlings then make sure they are not leggy. Thin and leggy seedlings are not good to grow.
- Prepare your own soil mix for gomphrena plants. You can create a mix with commercial potting soil. It should be light, porous, well-drained, and highly nutritious.
- Add extra organic compost to the topsoil. It will keep the Ph low and slowly release nutrition in the soil to feed the plants.
- Don’t forget to mix some contact fungicide into the soil. It will protect the roots from any fungal or insect attacks.
- Gomphrena plants are not very prone to pest or insect attacks. Still, you can face some leaf cutters and powdery mildew occasionally. Controlled watering and regular spraying can be effective in this situation.
- Use only soap water and oil solution to spray the plants. You can also use silicon oil NMI-500 or 15 to get rid of aphids, beetles, and other cutworms. Use it with caution, it is not meant for plants.
- Prune the gomphrena plant once every 2 weeks. You just have to pinch off the tips. Also, remove the mature old flowers. This will make the plant bushier and promote budding and blooming.
- Gomphrena flowers can stay fresh for more than 40 days in the plant. It is one of the best cut flowers. But old flowers will reduce new bud formation. Therefore, remove or harvest gomphrena flowers regularly. Old flowers can be collected for seeds and new flowers can be used for brewing herbal tea.
- Next, if you have prepared the soil mix carefully then there is no need for regular fertilization. Still, You can feed your gomphrena plant with balanced liquid fertilizer. You can either use organic mustard cake solution or NPK 14:14:14 or NPK 19:19:19 once every month.
- Remove any weed or grass alongside your plant. Cover the soil area with organic mulch like peat moss or wood chips. It will prevent weed growth and also reduce excessive evaporation.
- It is a summer-flowering plant. So always try to keep the soil moist. Don’t overwater, soggy soil can cause root rot in gomphrena plants.
- Finally, Loose the top 2-inch soil once every 15 days. Use only small handheld gardening tools for this purpose. This will encourage aeration and also help new root growth.
Caring for a gomphrena plant is not that difficult. In fact, With little help and understanding, anyone can easily grow and care for a Gomphhrena or globe amaranth plant. Overall, you just have to take care of three important things.
- Keep the gomphrena plants Hydrated.
- Feed the plants regularly and abundantly.
- Give your gomphrena full sunlight and a warm environment.
That’s it, this is all you need to do to care for a gomphrena plant. Do you have a gomphrena plant, Has it started blooming? Write your experience in the comment section and help other gardeners. You should also read: 15 Easy to Grow House Cactus Plants
I’ll be back with another interesting topic. Till then keep reading and keep Gardening.