Plant of the Week: July 18, 2019

I go goo-goo for gomphrenas. I grew the compact Buddy when I was a kid, and I had one or two others that “came true from seed,” so I saved seed from one year to the next.

Then breeders got involved and we started seeing gradual improvements over a period of years. It was gratifying, because these are plants that address the hot, dry conditions of the Southwest and Texas.

Fireworks gomphrenas, as their name implies, are showy bloomers with large flowers that resemble explosions of color.

Flowers almost the size of ping pong balls are very showy in the garden.

Well, Truffula gomphrenas from Proven Winners® take it one step beyond. My grower friend, who tends not to be an excitable type, ramped it up just a bit when he referred to these as looking like a compact version of Fireworks. He had a couple of flats left over from a batch he had grown for a large public garden. They were just sitting there, and I just had to grab a quick photo. I did some research, and I’ve decided to share the plant with you. See if it’s one you’d like to include in your gardens next season.

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If the plant looks this good left over in a grower’s flat, how great will it look in your garden!

The website highlights you’ll want to see include:




Blooms all season long in a hot, humid climate. Deadheading of spent flowers not required.

Full sun.

Well-prepared garden soil.

22 to 28 inches tall.

Space 12 to 18 inches apart.

Pink flowers in multitudes.

Great filler flower in large patio pots.

“A great plant for that spot where the hose just doesn’t reach.” (Neil’s comment: OK, maybe in Texas the hose needs to reach it once in a while!)

Unlike other gomphrenas of older eras, Truffula isn’t available from seed. You’ll have to buy transplants.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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