The flowering plant Gomphrena is a member of the Amaranth family. In nature, it can be found in the tropical zones of the Southern and Northern Hemisphere. Delachene, who was a French botanist, in describing the crop, stated that Gomphrena was named by Pliny. It was then entered in the Species plantarum by Carl Linnaeus under that name. South America has the greatest number of species of this plant.
This genus includes about 100 species, some of which are cultivated by florists as indoor plants.
Homphrena are herbaceous plants, which can be perennials and annuals. Their stems can be erect or ascending. Whole-edged, suproposed leaf blades may be petiolate or sessile. Cephalic inflorescences consist of flowers in red, pink, blue, white, purple, lilac or yellow, often irregularly colored.
The fruit is an undehiscent seedpod with smooth, flattened seeds.
In the middle latitudes, perennial homophrenes are cultivated as annuals. Such a plant is unpretentious, and it has high ornamental qualities.
Beautiful! Gomphrena red flowers.
Growing gomphrena from seed
Sowing time for seedlings
In middle latitudes, gomphrena is grown only through seedlings.
The reason is that the seeds sown in open soil may not produce seedlings and that the ripening period of this crop is quite long. Sowing seeds for seedlings is carried out in the first days of March.
But the seed needs compulsory pre-sowing preparation, and it lasts a week and a half. During three days in the morning, the seed should be poured with warm water, before this it is poured into a glass jar. On the fourth day, the water together with the seed should be poured on a sieve, it should be thoroughly rinsed using running water.
The seed should then be placed in the washed jar, covered with a kapron lid and placed on the vegetable shelf of the refrigerator where it should remain for 7 days.
A suitable substrate should consist of coarse sand or vermiculite and a universal soil designed for vegetable seedlings. Water the substrate well, it should eventually become moist, but the soil should not be overwatered. Fill containers or better still cassettes with this potting soil mixture. Then press down the potting soil mixture and water it again, this should be done by all means, because the next watering will not take place soon.
Cold seed should be taken out of the jar, then the seeds should be evenly distributed on the substrate surface and then they should be pressed to the potting soil mixture. The top of the container should be covered with glass or film, then it should be removed to a well-lit place, the light should be bright and diffused, and the air temperature in the room should be about 20-22 degrees. The first seedlings should show after 15-18 days. To speed up the germination of the seeds, you should apply bottom heating, in which case the seedlings will appear after three days.
As soon as the seedlings appear, the cover should be removed.
If the seedlings grow in a general container, then 15-18 days after their appearance, the seedlings should be unpacked into individual containers reaching 50-70 mm across or into larger pots. After the seedlings will take root, they should be watered with a solution of mineral fertilizer of low concentration. The soil should be a little damp, but it should not contain too much liquid, otherwise the plants may die because of black leg, this fungal disease affects bushes in the seedling period. When the gomphrena is watered, you should gently loosen the surface of the soil mixture around the bushes. If the first signs of the disease are noticed, it is necessary to pull out all the affected bushes, and the surface of the soil mixture is covered with a layer of wood ash, and you should not water the flowers for a while.
HOMFRENA! How to sow it best after all!
Putting homphrena outdoors
What time to plant
Homphrena seedlings should only be transplanted into the open ground when the return spring frost is left behind and the weather should be warm and the ground warm. This is usually in the last days of May or the first days of June. To grow gomphrena, you should choose a well-lit site, which has reliable protection from draughts and gusts of wind. The soil should be neutral and not too nutritious.
Before planting the seedlings, you should dig the area deeper, but do not fertilize.
After the plot has been levelled, planting holes should be made and if planting high-growing varieties, between them a distance of 30 to 35 centimeters should be kept, but between low-growing bushes 15 to 20 centimeters is enough. The depth of the holes should be such that they can accommodate the plants with a root ball. In the prepared holes it is necessary to transplant plants, they should be placed in the center, while trying not to traumatize the root system, and the free space in the wells is filled with soil. Tamp down the soil around the planting and water them.
Garden care for the gomfrena
Growing a gomfrena in your garden is relatively easy.
This crop is unpretentious, so it is very easy to take care of the homphrena. Bushes need timely watering, weeding, feeding, loosening the soil surface. To make the plants beautiful and neat, they will need regular small pruning. Such a flower is suitable for cutting, and it is noteworthy that the more often you will cut flowers, the thicker will be the bush and more lush blooming.
How to water and feed
Water the bushes only during a long drought, and this procedure should be moderate.
It should be remembered that this crop is drought-resistant, so if you miss watering, there will be nothing wrong with it. However, you should not allow stagnant water in the soil, as this can cause fungal disease, especially if the weather is cool. If in summer it rains systematically, then such a flower can not be watered at all, but in this case, experts recommend after the rain the next day to loosen the soil surface and pull out the weeds that appeared.
Feed such a flower should be very carefully, because the soil should not have too many nutrients. For example, if the soil contains too much nitrogen, the green mass will actively grow, which will have an extremely negative effect on flowering that may not occur at all.
Diseases and pests of homphrena
Homphrena can fall ill only if liquid stagnation is observed in the soil. The fact is that this crop has a very high resistance to diseases and pests. In rare cases, aphids can settle on it, which move to bushes from other plants. To get rid of aphids, insecticides must be used, and all folk remedies in this case will be very ineffective.
Homphrena species and varieties with photos and names
Homphrena genus is made up of a large number of species, but only 3 of them are cultivated by gardeners.
Homphrena globosa (Gomphrena globosa)
The bush is 15-40 centimeters tall. The whole-edged short-cellular leaf plates are pubescent, which makes them have a bluish coloration. The globular inflorescences are 40 mm across and may be pink, mauve, purple, red, white or crimson. They begin to flower in July and fade just before the first frost. Popular varieties:
- Bright Border.
The bush is about 0.3 m tall and the flowers are colored in various shades of pink, up to carmine pink.
- Buddy. In this variety series, the bushes are about 15 centimeters tall, with flowers colored purple, white or pink.
Also popular are varieties such as: Globosa, Raspberry, Firecracker, Pompom, and the Pixie Mix and Dwarf series.
Gomphrena haageana, or golden-flowered gomphrena
This species is only recently cultivated. It is similar to homphrena globosa, but its inflorescences are larger and have orange and red coloration. It is heat-loving and if the summer period is cold, the bushes may not bloom at all.
Gomphrena scattered (Gomphrena serrata)
Very often this species is cultivated in hanging structures. The elongated leaf plates decorate the shoots that spread out over the whole site, resulting in a carpet.
Its clove-like inflorescences and orange-golden buds look very impressive.
The most popular variety is Pink Pinkheads: the flowers are colored in deep pink, their color remains even after they dry up, that's why they are often used for making winter bouquets.
2 kinds of HOMFRENA. What are similar and what are different.