Incense Plant Calomeria amaranthoides

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
amaranth feathers


Commonly known as the Incense Plant, this plant features upright, robust stems that hold an abundance of feathery, fern-like leaves. The foliage is a vibrant green color, which complements the dense clusters of small, fluffy flowers that sit atop the stems. These flowers are typically a soft cream or white hue, contributing to the plant's overall delicate and lacy appearance. The blooms may give off a distinct aroma, tying in with its common name. Overall, the Incense Plant presents a bushy, lush habit, making it a texturally rich addition to the setting in which it is grown.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Incense Plant, Giant Seafoam

    • Common names

      Ixiolaena amaranthoides, Calomeria amaranthoides, Plumea amaranthoides.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant Calomeria amaranthoides, commonly known as Incense Plant, is not well-documented for toxicity in humans. There is a lack of concrete scientific evidence that suggests the Incense Plant is toxic when ingested. However, with any plant, individual allergies or sensitivities could potentially cause reactions. If a person were to ingest part of the Incense Plant and experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, they should seek medical attention. Care should always be taken when handling or ingesting plants with unknown toxicity.

    • To pets

      The plant Calomeria amaranthoides, commonly known as Incense Plant, has no specific documented toxicity for pets such as cats and dogs. While the Incense Plant is not widely reported to be poisonous, the absence of reports does not guarantee that the plant is safe. As with humans, pets can also have individual allergies or sensitivities. It is generally advisable to prevent pets from ingesting plants unknown to be nontoxic. If a pet ingests Incense Plant and exhibits symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or signs of distress, contact a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters)

    • Spread

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Landscape Improvement: Calomeria amaranthoides, commonly known as Incense Plant, can enhance the aesthetic appeal of gardens and landscapes with its large, feathery foliage and clusters of small, bright yellow flowers.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The Incense Plant provides a habitat for various species of insects, serving as a source of food and shelter in the ecosystem.
    • Drought Resistance: This plant is highly tolerant of dry conditions, making it suitable for xeriscaping and reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Erosion Control: With its robust root system, the Incense Plant can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion, particularly on slopes and in areas prone to land degradation.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The flowers of the Incense Plant attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, contributing to the health of the local pollination system.
    • Low Maintenance: The plant is known for its low maintenance requirements, making it ideal for gardeners looking for minimal upkeep.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Calomeria amaranthoides, commonly known as Incense Plant, can be used in floral arrangements for its feathery foliage and small, fluffy flowers, adding texture and volume to bouquets.
    • The Incense Plant is sometimes incorporated into potpourri mixes for its unique appearance, though it is not known for a strong fragrance.
    • Gardeners may use the dried plant material as a natural mulch to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture around other plants.
    • Farmers can plant Incense Plant as a companion plant in agriculture to attract beneficial insects, given its numerous flowers.
    • The robust nature of the Incense Plant allows it to serve as a windbreak in landscape designs, especially in coastal areas prone to strong winds.
    • Crafters might utilize the sturdy stems of the Incense Plant to create rustic, natural frameworks for art projects or homemade decorations.
    • In environmentally sensitive areas, the Incense Plant may be used for erosion control since its root system helps to stabilize the soil.
    • Due to its rapid growth and dense foliage, the Incense Plant can be planted for privacy screening in gardens and parks.
    • Some cultures may use the flowers and seeds of the Incense Plant in traditional ceremonies or as decorative elements in cultural festivals.
    • The Incense Plant's unique appearance can be a source of inspiration for artists and designers, using its form and structure as a motif in textiles and patterns.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Incense Plant is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Incense Plant is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Calomeria amaranthoides, commonly known as Incense Plant, is known for its ability to thrive in challenging environments, symbolizing the strength to persevere through adversity.
    • Healing: The Incense Plant has been used in traditional medicine, making it represent healing and the soothing of ailments.
    • Protection: Historically, some cultures burned similar aromatic plants to ward off evil spirits, hence the Incense Plant can symbolize spiritual protection and purification.
    • Eternity: With its long-lasting flowers, the Incense Plant is often associated with endurance and the eternal nature of the soul.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Incense Plant (Calomeria amaranthoides), being native to dry scrub and forests, prefers a well-draining soil and should not be overwatered. During the growing season, water the plant thoroughly and allow the soil to dry out between waterings, which usually means watering once every week or two. A rough estimate could be about 16 to 32 ounces every two weeks depending on the pot size and environmental conditions. Reduce watering in the winter to every three to four weeks. Always check the soil moisture by touch before adding water to avoid waterlogging and root rot.

  • sunLight

    The ideal light condition for the Incense Plant is bright, indirect sunlight. It can tolerate full sun to partial shade, but it thrives best if placed in a spot where it can receive morning sunlight and afternoon shade or filtered light throughout the day to prevent leaf burn.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Incense Plant can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but thrives best in conditions that mimic its natural subtropical habitat. Ideally, maintain temperatures between 50°F and 75°F for optimal growth. It can survive brief dips below this range down to about 40°F but should be protected from frost and extreme cold.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Incense Plant helps to maintain its shape and encourage bushier growth. Prune as needed by removing any dead or yellowing leaves and trimming leggy stems. The best time to prune is in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins. This can be done annually or as often as necessary to keep the plant looking its best.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Incense Plant thrives in well-draining, sandy loam soil that is rich in organic matter. Ideal soil pH for Incense Plant is neutral to slightly acidic, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. A quality mix may consist of equal parts of sand, garden compost, and peat or coir to maintain a balance of drainage and moisture retention.

  • plantRepotting

    Incense Plant should be repotted every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth. Use a slightly larger pot each time to encourage healthy development. Springtime is ideal for repotting the Incense Plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Incense Plant prefers moderate to high humidity levels, ideally between 40% and 70%. This plant is adaptable but thrives with consistent humidity; avoid placing it in extremely dry environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Incense Plant in bright, indirect light indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Grow Incense Plant in dappled shade outside.

    • Hardiness zone

      8-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Calomeria amaranthoides, commonly known as Incense Plant, begins its life cycle as a seed, often dispersed by wind or through garden maintenance. Upon finding suitable soil, the seed germinates, typically requiring a combination of sunlight and moisture, and a young seedling emerges. As the seedling grows, it develops a rosette of leaves and gradually matures into a bushy perennial herb. The Incense Plant reaches full maturity and begins its reproductive phase, producing clusters of small white to cream flowers, predominantly in spring and summer, which are attractive to pollinators. After pollination, these flowers develop into seed heads that release seeds, thus completing the reproductive cycle. The plant may die back in harsh conditions, but being perennial, it can regrow from rootstock to begin the cycle anew in favorable seasons.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method of propagating Incense Plant (Calomeria amaranthoides) is by seed. Sow the seeds in a well-draining seed starting mix during the spring months when the soil temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). Scatter the seeds on the surface of the soil and lightly press them in, but do not cover them, as they need light for germination. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Germination can take several weeks, so patience is essential. Once the seedlings have grown strong enough to handle, usually when they have a couple of sets of true leaves, they can be carefully transplanted into individual pots or their final location in the garden.