Gomphrena is a flowering plant from the Amaranth family. The most common flower in the tropics of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, especially in South America. There are about 100 different types of gomphrene. Some of them are grown as houseplants.
Description of the gomphrene flower
Gomphrene can be either annual or perennial. Stems are ascending or erect. Leaves have a solid margin, petiolate or opposite sessile. The flowers of the plant are white, red, purple, pink, lilac, blue or yellow, the color is not uniform. Inflorescences are capitate. The fruit is an achene that does not open; it contains flattened smooth seeds.
Growing gomphren from seeds
It is best to grow gomphrena using the seedling method, since in a strip with a temperate climate, seeds that were planted immediately in open ground very rarely germinate. In addition, the maturation period for gomphrene is quite long. The most suitable time for planting gomphrene seeds for seedlings is the first half of March. Before planting, the seeds need special preparation, which usually takes up to 10 days. For three days, gomphrenic seeds in a glass jar must be poured with warm water. On the fourth day, the water must be drained, and the seeds and the jar must be thoroughly rinsed under running water. Then put the seeds back into the jar, close the lid and store in the refrigerator for a week.
For planting gomphrene, you need to prepare a special substrate. To do this, you need to mix the soil, which is intended for growing vegetable seedlings with coarse sand. After the substrate is ready, you need to water it, but do it so that it is only damp, not wet. Then the soil must be spread out into containers and watered again. The soil is ready.
You need to get the seeds from the refrigerator and distribute them evenly over the surface of the soil. Press down a little. To create a greenhouse effect, containers must be covered with glass or plastic wrap. Seeds should be germinated at a temperature of 20-22 degrees. As for the lighting, it should be diffused. With this germination option, the seeds will appear in about 2 weeks. But if you suspect containers from below, then you can see the first shoots after three days.
After the seeds have germinated, the plastic wrap or glass must be removed. After a week, the seedlings should be dived into separate pots. When the seedlings recover after transplanting, they can be fed with mineral fertilizers. Seedlings should be watered sparingly in order to prevent waterlogging of the soil and not to create a favorable environment for the multiplication of various bacteria. After each watering, you need to carefully loosen the soil and inspect the seedlings. If signs of disease are noticed on the seedlings, then such seedlings must be removed immediately, and the soil at the rest of the seedlings must be sprinkled with wood ash.
Planting gomphren in open ground
The most optimal time for planting gomphrene in open ground is the second half of May and the first half of June. At this time, the soil will warm up well, the frosts will definitely not return, and the temperature will be stably warm. The landing site should be where there is no wind and drafts, as well as a lot of sunlight. The soil should be not quite fertile and with a neutral reaction.
Before planting seedlings in open ground, the soil must be carefully dug up, but fertilization is not necessary. Prepare the holes so that the distance between them is 15-20 cm, for higher varieties the distance should be 30-35 cm. You need to transplant the seedlings into the holes together with an earthen lump. You need to handle the seedlings carefully so that the roots remain intact. You need to place seedlings in the center of the hole, and fill the empty space with soil and crush it a little. After planting, it is necessary to carry out abundant watering.
Gomphrene care in the garden
Gomphrenic care is quite simple and does not require any specific skills. In order to grow a plant, you do not have to be a professional florist, you just need to follow a few simple rules of care. The flower needs watering, loosening the soil, rarely fertilizing, removing the prefabricated grass and formative pruning.
Watering should be done only in dry weather. Do not allow the soil to overlap or moisture stagnation, as this can lead to the development of various fungal diseases. After each watering or rain, the soil around the plant must be carefully loosened so as not to damage the root system and remove weeds as needed.
Top dressing and fertilizers
As for fertilizers, they need to be applied very rarely and in low concentration, since the plant does not like too fertile soil, and due to an excess of nitrogen, a green mass can grow into growth, which will prevent the abundant flowering of the plant.
Diseases and pests
Diseases can appear in gomphrene only with improper and excessive watering. Otherwise, this plant is quite resistant to damage by various diseases and attacks of harmful insects. The only pest that can get on gomfren from other plants is aphids. You need to fight it with insecticide solutions. You need to start the fight as soon as traces of the presence of pests are noticed. This will allow you to get rid of them faster.
Types and varieties of gomphrene
Despite the fact that there are about 100 different species of this plant, only 3 of all known ones are grown in culture.
Gomphrena spherical (Gomphrena) - grows from fifteen to 40 cm in height. Leaves are whole-edged, have a bluish tint due to pubescence. The flowers are spherical, up to 4 cm in diameter. They can be white, pink, red, lilac, crimson or purple. Flowering lasts from June until the very frost. Popular varieties of this species:
- Bright Border - grows up to 30 cm in height. Flowers can be of a variety of pink shades.
- Buddy is a whole series. It includes plants with white, purple and pink flowers.
Also popular are such varieties as Globoza, Raspberry Berry, Fireworks, Pompon and the Pixie mix and Gnome series.
Gomphrena haageana, or gomphrena golden-flowered - is grown in culture quite recently. It is similar to globular gomphrene, only this species has larger flowers and they are red or orange. This variety is thermophilic and may not bloom at all in cooler climates.
Gomphrena serrata - more often used for suspended structures. The stalks spreading out cover the soil with a carpet of greenery. The leaves are elongated. Carnation-shaped inflorescences. The flowers are golden orange. Popular varieties of this species:
- Pink Pinheads - bright pink flowers. Their peculiarity is that they retain their color even when they dry out.
Very often, gomfrene is used to create original and incredibly beautiful compositions. If you follow the absolutely simple rules of planting, growing and caring for gomphrenia, you can grow an extraordinary plant with beautiful and interesting flowers. They will delight with their variety of colors and will certainly become a decoration of the garden, make the landscape design unusual and original.
Planting HOMFRENA for the first time! Amazing DRY COLOR for our winter bouquets!
Types and varieties of stethoscope: photo, planting and care
The types and varieties of stethosis that are currently available in ornamental gardening are represented by a rather large list of names. The love of florists and designers for this semi-shrub (less often herbaceous) plant is not surprising.
As a rule, birchwood is a perennial, whose dense, spreading shoots perfectly keep their shape and allow you to create picturesque tall thickets in the garden. It blooms for a long time, on average from July to September, abundantly and very beautifully. Against the background of dark green foliage, magnificent clouds of many small brightly colored flowers bloom during this period. They are grouped into complex guards, umbrellas, or brushes.
Even after the flowering ceases, the stethoscope invariably remains decorative: the obsolete buds, drying out, acquire a silvery-white color and continue to serve as a decoration of the site. If we add to all this a light pleasant aroma, unpretentious care, excellent winter hardiness, many interesting forms and the ability to harmoniously combine with a huge number of ornamental plants, it becomes clear why more and more gardeners are showing sympathy for this flower.
Planting and leaving
The seeds ripen well only in the south, in the middle lane they reach maturity on the main shoot and only in hot summer. Plant seeds are sold on sale mainly in the form of mixtures.
Gomphrene spherical grows well only on loose and nutritious soil, preferring warm, sunny places. The plant is drought-resistant and hardy enough. In cold and rainy summers, it can suffer from excess moisture, lack of heat and light, so getting a lush bloom in these conditions is very problematic.
Gomfrena spherical is propagated by seeds. They are sown in containers in March, seedlings appear in two weeks. The soil must be moist before germination. When the seedlings gain strength, they are seated. Seedlings tolerate transplantation well. Young plants are planted in a permanent place in the first decade of June, when the threat of frost has passed. The distance between them is kept within 15-25 cm.
Gomfren is fed with a spherical complex mineral fertilizer, which includes trace elements. Top dressing is carried out only at the stage of growing seedlings and during planting in a permanent place. An excess of mineral or organic fertilizers can cause the gomphrene not to bloom.
The plant is placed in flower beds, ridges, in rock gardens. It is also suitable as a border crop (especially undersized varieties). Gomfrena blooms from June to September for about 100 days. For the duration and strength of flowering, it is considered one of the best annual flower crops.
Gomphrena can also be grown as a pot plant. There are undersized varieties (up to 15 cm high). It should be borne in mind that at home, the plant needs to provide good lighting and regular watering. Top dressing is carried out more often, but with weak solutions of mineral fertilizers. After flowering, the plants are discarded.
Globular gomphrene is very effective in winter bouquets, as its dry inflorescences retain their color and shape well. For winter bouquets, shoots are cut at a time when the inflorescences reach their maximum size, and their lower scales have not yet begun to turn brown. Plants are dried in bunches in a dry ventilated room with inflorescences down.
The name of this plant comes from the Greek language. According to the first version - from the word 'gromphoena'. So Pliny called one of the amaranths, with which gomphrene is included in the same amaranth family. The second version claims the origin of the name from the word 'gomphos', meaning "nail", since the capitate inflorescences of the plant are somewhat reminiscent of a small cap carnation.
Representatives of the genus are herbaceous annuals or perennials. They are very highly branched bushes, reaching a maximum of 50 cm in height. The leaves are gray and slightly shiny. The flowers are small enough and gather in spherical inflorescences, the diameter of which can reach 4 cm. The inflorescences are located at the very ends of the stem.
In culture, the most common are low varieties of annual gomphrena spherical (Gomphrena globosa) with inflorescences of white, purple, purple, reddish color. In the rarer Gomphren Haage species (Gomphrena haageana) inflorescences of orange, which is more rare for gomphren.
Gomphrene bloom begins in June, and may continue until the first frost. Under our conditions, gomphrene almost does not form seeds. The plant is very light-loving and quite thermophilic, since it was brought to us from the tropics, so it should be placed in a place where no shade falls throughout the day.
The soil prefers loose, fertile and well-permeable soil. Does not need special care. Gomfren needs only timely watering, weeding and periodic loosening of the soil. When applying fertilizer under the plant, you should do this very carefully, since if they are in excess, flowering may not occur. Fertilization is carried out with complex full fertilizer twice: when the seedlings are still growing and during the first month after planting on open ground. Feeding stops after the beginning of flowering.
The plant is propagated by sowing seeds. In March, seeds are sown in boxes installed at home or in a greenhouse. The first shoots appear in about 2 weeks, and after another half a month, young plants dive into pots, these can also be peat pots. Landing on open ground is carried out in June. Plants must be placed at a distance of 25 cm.Exceptions are low-growing varieties, they can be planted after 15 cm.
Gomfrena is one of the most common and favorite dried flowers. Dried bouquets do not lose their bright color throughout the winter; they are also used to compose complex flower arrangements and applications.
Gomfren is propagated by seeds, which are sown in March or April in boxes. Before sowing, the substrate is disinfected in any convenient way. The seeds are germinated at a temperature of about 18-20 degrees. After emergence, the boxes are transferred to a bright place. The grown seedlings dive into separate containers. Water it sparingly, avoiding waterlogging of the soil. In open ground, seedlings are planted in late May or early June, when the threat of frost disappears. When planting, a distance between plants of about 20-25 cm is observed.