Friday, April 16, 2010

Try 'Fireworks' Gomphrena in Your Garden

'Fireworks' gomphrena was a sensation in the University of Tennessee Gardens at both the Knoxville and Jackson locations in 2009. Gomphrena (globe amaranth) is a great summer annual that asks for very little care. It is heat, humidity and drought tolerant. Gomphrena hold up to the wind, blooming from day of planting in May (after danger of spring frost has passed) until first hard frost in autumn. No bug or disease touches them.

By fall most gomphrena cultivars grow 18 inches to 2 feet in height and 12-15 inches in width. Add another 12 inches for more the vigorous 'Fireworks'. Can't find 'Fireworks', try another cultivar favorite- 'Strawberry Fields'. Gomphrena attracts large numbers of butterflies and are great as cut and/or dried flowers.

Buy plants at local, independently-owned garden centers. Generally, "big box store" garden centers carry more common summer annuals and not gomphrenas.

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