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How To Grow Gomphrena Fireworks; The Best Sustainable Annual Flower

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Globe Amaranth

There is so much to love about Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’! It is a variety of Globe Amaranth and is an absolute must for any cutting garden, particularly a drought tolerant garden bed. Gomphrena is gorgeous and lasts long as a fresh or dried arrangement. In fact, it holds its color even after it is cut.

Best yet, it thrives in heat, full sun, and poor soil conditions, which makes it a sustainable and eco-friendly choice for your garden.

Although lacking scent, if you look closely at the flower above you can see that I captured little neon yellow glowy tips when I took the picture. What a charmer. The tips look like lights and attract pollinators and passersby who quickly become entranced with their gorgeousness.

To the left you see the display in August mixing wonderfully with other drought tolerant plants like Black-eyed Susan’s, Anise Hyssop, and Lambs Ears.

How To Grow Globe Amaranth or Gomphrena

  1. Plant in full sun in a well drained garden soil anywhere in zones 3 to 10 following the last frost of spring.
  2. When the plants are young, pinch the tips back to encourage branching; this will make the plants bushier.
  3. Ignore for the rest of the season until fall clean up.

That’s it. No I am not kidding – beyond giving them an occasional water, these plants are super-easy to grow. After the initial first week of planting I never watered the Gomphrena the rest of the summer. I just let the flowers fend for themselves and look at the result.

Gomphrena Fireworks was the absolute last flower in the garden to lose its color; nearly at the end of October in my zone 5b Chicagoland garden. All the other plants were down near the first of October, yet this guy just kept going and going.

Where are you going to put Gomphrena Fireworks – an astounding Globe Amaranth – in your flower cutting garden this season? Make it somewhere hot, dry, and center stage. I love this plant!

Special Note – Because the FTC requires it, I am letting you know that Ball Horticultural supplied the annual plants grown in this garden. I  write many instructional stories and videos with their  flower and vegetable products and donate a large portion of the vegetables I grow to the local food pantry when harvested.

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  1. What a gorgeous combination plant with black-eyed susans! The yellow and purple really stand out. This needs to be in my cottage garden! :o) Did you sow the seeds directly in the ground? Or should I look for it already started at my local nursery?

  2. I second the question about direct seeding…
    I’ve already gotten excited about how easy poppies (papaver somniferum) were supposed to be… but for all the seeds I scattered, my germination rate after a month is really poor. I’ve now started a tray in the house, and they sprouted up in only a few days.
    dartione astree

  3. I grew these from plants from a local nursery, but you can definitely find Gomphrena seeds out there.

    And germination can be a tricky thing, Victoria, I think your trying it again in the house is a good approach. I sometimes think birds get the poppy seeds that end up in the soil. I have one little guy who actually digs up the seeds with his sharp little beak.


  4. Will you explain “Pinch the tips back”? I planted them last year and fell in love with them; germinated seeds this year but after transplanting, they didn't grow. I've bought the only 7 I've been able to find in Dallas and would like to know how to make them bushier. What are you referring to as the “tip”?

  5. By “pinching back” I mean to just nip them off several inches above the bottom most leaves. I'm very unceremonious about it and they grow like crazy and get fuller after that.


  6. I have a front garden in the Texas Hill Country covered in these plants and they are great. The deer do nibble at them but they seem to respond just by growing fuller and they have bloomed throughout the hot dorught here in Texas, with minimal care. Am hoping for a full return in the spring, all though we do get some frost here in the hill country, Zone 8.

  7. I discovered these a couple of years ago and love them! Unfortunately, mine didn’t grow so well this year–only about half the height of usual. I discovered that they grow true to seed, though, when some of them self-seeded.

  8. Some of these came back this year – they look beautiful. I need to grow more from seed and see if your advice works!!



  9. Will they grow in Arizona? They are pretty and theres is not alot of colorfull plant that will grow here.

  10. Tammy,

    I don’t know the answer to this precisely. It’s supposed to be hardy in zones 1 through 10 and as long as it gets regular water seems to do quite well. It was drought tolerant in my zone 5b garden, but might not be in AZ, so you’d have to water it more.

    IT IS GORGEOUS. I love the plant!


  11. Desperately keen to try these in the UK. Can anyone suggest a seed supplier for Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’ or Gomphrena ‘Little Grapes’ or Gomphrena ‘Balboa’, please?
    We can only get the short bedding types here in England.
    These look as if they would be perfect for cutting.
    Any info very gratefully received.

  12. Thankfully these are beautiful flowers… I planted one plant in my Las Vegas climate 2 years ago and they now pop up EVERYWHERE!! I’m constantly pulling them out of places they shouldn’t be!

  13. These are like wild plants they reseed themself,but they hold on to their color for a very long time,here in india u do not have to buy or germinate them they grow as wild near crop fields

  14. Gomphrena “Fireworks” does beautifully in Tucson, Arizona. Blooms all summer and into fall.

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