When my friend Rose was complaining about the rabbits eating her favorite plant early this summer, I offered my sympathies.
Rabbits happily munched their way through my gardens, too, nibbling tender new shoots and nipping off buds. We battled for months, and I’m pretty sure the rabbits won. But one plant they didn’t kill in my yard (though they tried) was the very one Rose had lost to them: globe amaranth (Gomphrena).
I’d never grown it before this season. But Rose has had it in her gardens for years, usually getting her plants from a local upscale garden center. My plants were sent to me by Sakata in the spring to trial. (Full disclosure: While growers regularly send plants to garden writers to test in their gardens, writers have no obligation to write about them.)
And what a trial it was!
Even though rabbits nearly did mine in, my globe amaranth rebounded beautifully. They bloomed all summer long and even now—well into fall—they continue to shine in the garden.
That’s a definite advantage, but what elevates globe amaranth to BPFF status are its delightful flowers. They look like small pompoms, and their color is remarkably intense. In addition, my plants have remained sturdy and fairly compact, and they’ve had no insect or disease issues. No wonder Rose adores them!
I also love how globe amaranth provides a whimsical and beautiful contrast to other flowers. My purple ones are gorgeous paired with reds and pinks, but these beauties would look good with many other plants, too, in beds or in containers.
Above: The intense colors of globe amaranth (Gomphrena ‘PinBall Purple’) play off other deeply hued plants—like these impatiens and marigolds.
Seek out plants next spring at a local nursery or grow them from seed, which gives you more color options.
Have you grown globe amaranth? What’s your BPFF?
Above: Globe amaranth, started from a Burpee seed mix, provides a bouquet-ready mix of colors.
Kathy Childers is editor-in-chief of Gardening How-To magazine. She gardens in St. Paul, Minnesota.