Years ago, I saw a vase of dried gomphrena flowers for sale. I thought it was a vase of dried clover, and the image stuck with me. Today, I am planting my first gomphrena seeds. According to the Mississippi State University Extension Service, it is a great flower for the hot, hot state of Mississippi:

Image Credit: Mississippi State University Extension Service


“This plant looks like a little firework, so we thought it would be perfect to post this week!

“If you’re looking for a tough plant that will tolerate the combination of summer heat and humidity and keep right on blooming, take a look at gomphrena.


“Sometimes called globe amaranth, gomphrena is a plant that likes it hot—really hot! That means gomphrena grows great in Mississippi.
“Gomphrena produces flowers from early summer to frost in the fall. The flowers are cloverlike, everlasting and strawlike in texture. The flower heads are actually bracts, which are leaves resembling petals. The small flowers are inconspicuous and only noticeable when the yellow stamens poke out. Flower colors range from white to purple and red.
“These plants have relatively few pest problems. Gomphrena’s strong garden performance is exemplified by it having been chosen as a Mississippi Medallion plant twice in the past eight years.

Be sure to plant in the full sun. Gomphrena tolerates partial shade, but the best flowering show requires high light levels. Your plants will thrive as long as the planting bed is well drained. Once established in the spring, Gomphrena will actually become somewhat drought tolerant, but you will have to water it during extended dry periods.


“Gomphrena makes a good dried flower and is actually classified as an everlasting. To prepare the flowers, tie the stems in bunches and hang them upside down to dry in an airy room out of direct light. The flowers will retain their color and are great additions to craft projects and dried flower arrangements.” Mississippi State University Extension Service
I should have planted gomphrena seeds a long time ago, but I was moving during planting season.
“The average days to full maturity will be between 85 and 100 days. Some first-time growers and home gardeners have prematurely written this plant off for its underwhelming early-season performance, but gomphrena will explode when the days are the longest and hottest.” Team Flower
October 30 is 98 days from July 8, and according to the Farmer’s Almanac, that will be my first frost date. Hmmm! That is cutting it close, but because gomphrena dries so very well, I will give it a try. 85 days from July 8 is October 17. With any luck, I’ll be able to watch my seeds flower.
Next year, I’ll watch this little beauty flower for hundreds of days.
Gomphrena Mix –  Image Credit: Burpee

How to Grow

From Seed Indoors

Start: Feb 08 – Mar 01

Transplant: Apr 19 – May 03

From Seed Outdoors

Start: Apr 19 – May 03

From Plant

Start: Apr 19 – May 03

“Gomphrena may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or sown directly in the garden in summer, or planted as a potted plant.

“Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Sow gomphrena 6-8 weeks before the last frost.
  • Sow ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula.
  • Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days
  • Firm lightly and keep evenly moist
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 2 pairs of true leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning.  This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

“Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Direct sow in full sun in well-drained soil after danger of frost.
  • Prepare the soil by removing weeds and working organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
  • Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
  • Sow seeds evenly and thinly and cover with ¼ inch of fine soil.
  • Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings will emerge in 10-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
  • Thin to stand about 10 inches apart starting when seedlings are 1-2 inches high.

“Planting in the Garden:

  • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic, well-drained soil.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12, inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
  • The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
  • Plant on a cloudy day or in late afternoon to reduce transplant shock.
  • Dig a hole for each plant, approximately 18 inches apart, large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Unpot the plant and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root growth.
  • Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
  • Use the plant tag as a location marker.
  • Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.” Burpee

Gomphrena grows in a variety of colors, like the Burpee photo of their mix, but Burpee also sells a special variety that they call Fireworks. It is one color.

Fireworks Gomphrena – Image Credit Burpee

“This completely unique species is hands-down the best garden plant that we have seen in years of evaluating new plants. It quickly grows to form a full, dense, landscape specimen, eventually reaching up to 3-4′ tall and 1-2′ wide. Tons of strong, tall stems are topped with exploding bursts of full, large 1″ blooms in hot pink tipped with bright yellow. A showstopper in the garden and conversation piece when cut for a mixed bouquet.” Burpee
I am planting a purple gomphrena in 2023:
Purple Gomphrena – Image Credit Mndrlin Seeds
Gomphrena – A Precious Everlasting Flower

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