The attractive Celosia plant from the Amaranth family goes by the common names of woolflowers, cockscomb flower and “Flamingo Feather.”
The unusual looking annual flowers can bloom for up to ten weeks, with Celosia flower heads of red, purple, gold, pink or sometimes bi-colored flower colors.
The name ‘Celosia’, actually means ‘burning’ in Greek, and when blooming in large numbers the Celosia argentea plumosa type blooms together, resemble an ornamental grass of fire.
With a number of different Celosia plant types and cultivars, not all look the way you would expect. Different sizes (from 6 inches to 2 feet in size), along with a variety of vibrant colors and shapes. One form with velvety, ruffled looks like a brain.
What makes Celosia such a unique flower? The makeup of each blossom consists of numerous tiny flowers.
Each of these flowers will produce small seeds, and sow seed continually sprouting in the containers, with no need for you to do anything.
You can, however, pick the flowers, dry them and bring them indoors if you wish.
- Celosia Care
- Grow Celosia Flowers From Seeds
- Garden Pests On The Celosia Flower
- Celosia caracas (Cockscomb)
- Create your free Shoot garden
- Get access to monthly care advice
- Where to grow
- Defra’s Risk register #1
- Gardening FAQ
- Growing Celosia
- Celosia Pests and Diseases
- Varieties of Celosia Flowers
- Common Questions and Answers About Celosia/Cockscomb
- Are celosia easy to grow?
- Are celosia indoor or outdoor plants?
- Can celosia be a houseplant?
- Can you cut back celosia?
- Can you eat celosia raw?
- Can you grow celosia in pots?
- Can you grow Dragon’s Breath indoors?
- Can you take cuttings from celosia?
- Do celosia attract butterflies?
- Do celosia plants grow back every year?
- Do celosia plants spread?
- Do slugs eat celosia?
- Do you pinch celosia?
- Do you prune celosia?
- Does celosia attract bees?
- Does celosia bloom all summer?
- Does celosia need full sun?
- Does Dragon’s Breath spread?
- Is celosia an annual or a perennial?
- Is celosia Dragon’s Breath a perennial?
- Is Dragon’s Breath celosia deer resistant?
- How do you grow a celosia plant?
- How do you keep a celosia blooming?
- How do you plant cockscomb seeds?
- How do you revive a dying celosia?
- How do you start celosia seeds?
- How do you take care of a celosia plant?
- How far apart should celosia be planted?
- How long do celosia plants last?
- How long does it take for celosia seeds to germinate?
- How long does it take for celosia to grow?
- How much sun does Dragon’s Breath need?
- How tall do celosia plants grow?
- What can I plant with Dragon’s Breath?
- Why is my celosia dying?
- Will celosia reseed itself?
- Will celosia survive winter?
- For more information, visit the following sites:
- Top Of The Crops – Celosia
- Growing Celosia in a Polytunnel
- Sowing and Growing Requirements for Celosia
- Harvesting Celosia
- Celosia care is simple and easy, with slight maintenance you can get prolifically blooming celosia flowers in your home and garden.
- Celosia Flower Care
- 2. Humidity
- 3. Keep it warm
- 4. Grow in full sun
- 5. Do mulching
- 6. Deadhead Flowers
- 7. Look for pests
- Good Light and Better Drainage
- Troubles and Problems? Forget About It
- Starting Celosia From Seed
- The Best Cultivars
- Get to Gardening!
- Celosia Overview
- Caring for Your Celosia
- General description
- Plant requirements
- Practical use
- Learn how to grow celosia in this growing and planting guide. Growing celosia is easy. Its bright flowers add charm to every garden, you can also grow it as a houseplant, indoor.
- Popular Celosia Varieties
- Requirements for Growing Celosia
- Propagation and Planting Celosia
- Pests and Diseases
Considered easy to grow, cocks comb flower will propagate themselves if left unattended, and they grow quite well with minimal attention. For best results, plant Celosia in full sun or partial shade (8 hours per day).
Is Celosia perennial or annual?
Plants grow as perennials in zones 10 and 11, and as full sun annuals in the USDA Zones. Celosia does not tolerate the cold well at all.
To enjoy the bright color of Celosia flowers they need moist well-drained soil, they love organic amendments that improve drainage, as celosia does not like wet conditions.
A rich soil will support fast growth. Before planting add in plenty of manure, organic matter or compost.
To grow well and thrive, fertilize once a month using a nutrient-rich compost or a liquid nitrogen fertilizer.
They bloom until frost, when they can be cut and dried. Strip stems of all leaves and hang head downward in a warm, dark place. This takes about two weeks. Flowerheads should not be allowed to touch.
Grow Celosia Flowers From Seeds
To encourage the rooster combs flowers to propagate, collect the seeds and start them indoors. Transplant small plants outside when the frost danger is past.
The Gardening Channel shares this info on starting Celosia from seed.
Spread the seeds in a tray filled with high-quality potting mix. Cover the seeds with ¼ inch potting soil. Celosia doesn’t need light to germinate and can actually be hindered by it. Mist the soil with water and cover the tray with plastic wrap. Mist the soil every day as needed to keep it moist. Celosia seeds will not germinate if they dry out, so this point is important. Store the seeds in a location with daytime temperatures between 80° and 85° degrees, and nighttime temperatures between 65° to 70° degrees. Via gardeningchannel.com
When they’re about ready to transplant, plant seedlings around eight inches apart. Wait until the weather is nice and warm. If you plant too early and they get frosted they probably won’t thrive.
Seeds planted in June will flower in August. They grow slowly the first five weeks. Celosia needs moisture at all times. One severe drying out will kill many of the small roots. Weeds also are detrimental because of the root system.
When planting in rows, scatter the seed thinly. Press down firmly with a board, but do not otherwise cover them. Seed will not sprout until the soil is warm. When the plants are six inches high, transplant so that they will stand 8-10″ inches apart.
Garden Pests On The Celosia Flower
The usual pest suspects of small red spider mites, aphids (plant lice), and other pests attack Celosia flowers.
Celosia will drop their seeds and the pests can quickly take over containers.
To get rid of or kill aphids apply:
- Sprays of insecticidal soap
- Neem insecticide oil for natural control
Few diseases bother Celosia. Good cultural practices will help avoid the two primary ones: the disease of powdery mildew and fungal leaf spot.
Use drip or soaker hoses for irrigation as watering overhead, encourages the spread of disease. In severe cases, remove and throw away diseased plants.
You’ll find several varieties of Celosia plants on the market.
- The ‘Sparkler’ series for dried and cut flowers.
- Tall growing (3′-4′ feet) ‘Chief’ series
- ‘Jewel Box,’ a dwarf variety is good for use in garden design where it reaches only 6″ to 8″ inches tall.
- Fresh Look Red – a popular award-winner, grows 18″ inches tall with plumes of rosy-red flowers.
- Bombay & Century Mix – 12″ inches long plumes in red, rose, yellow
What To Look For When Buying Cockscomb Plants
- Celosia don’t tolerate frost, look for plants at garden centers in late spring
- Check the roots and avoid plants with crowded or tangled roots
- Look for compact plants – Many new types of Celosia varieties are drought and heat tolerant.
- Plant them outside in the home garden when summer weather arrives.
- When transplanting handle plants gently as celosia roots damage easily
Some believe they hold medicinal value and others claim they are edible. Make your own assumptions and do your research.
As with any plant, it may take some time to figure out the best way to grow and soil for your location.
If you find your Celosia plants don’t thrive, check the quality of your soil, and make sure the weather is warm. Those two things are the most common problems with these plants and the two things that are probably easiest to fix.
You’ll find about 60 annual or perennial Celosia species. The three common celosia forms with – feathery plumes, crests, or flower spikes belong to two different species, Celosia argentea (aka Celosia cristata) and Celosia spicata..
Celosia caracas (Cockscomb)
Cockscomb, Prince of Wales’ feathers
C. caracas – C. caracas is a half-hardy annual. It has mid-green, ovate leaves and in summer, bears purple-pink flowers in fluffy spikes on leafy stems.
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Purplish-pink in Summer
Mid-green in Summer
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Where to grow
Celosia caracas (Cockscomb) will reach a height of 0.3m and a spread of 0.5m after 1-2 years.
Beds and borders, Containers, Cottage/Informal, Flower Arranging, Indoor
Plant in rich, free-draining soil in a sunny position.
Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
South, East, West
UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.
Tender in frost (H3)
Defra’s Risk register #1
Celosia caracas (Cockscomb)
Common pest name
Acorn disease; Citrus little leaf; Citrus stubborn disease; Little leaf of citrus; Stubborn disease of citrus
Scientific pest name
Current status in UK
Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low – 5 is very high)
Impact (1 is very low – 5 is very high)
General biosecurity comments
Bacterial pest affecting citrus and field vegetables now present in parts of the EU. Carrots are the main crop potentially at risk; but main vectors responsible for transmission are unlikely to establish in the UK. EU regulations should be updated to reflect extended host range. Industry may be interested in pursuing research to investigate impacts on field vegetables.
About this section
Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.
Traveling or importing plants? Please read “Don’t risk it” advice here
Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/
Celosia can bloom from June until frost. During that time, deadheading your celosia will encourage new blooms. Remove the flowers as they start to turn brown and loose color. If you wait too long after this point, seed development starts and the plant puts its energy into that rather than new blooms. Deadheading is not necessary in fall, as the plant is not likely to bloom again.
Celosia are tender perennials (in Zones 10-12) grown as annuals. Their inflorescences are brightly colored and showy–red, purple, pink, orange and yellow. The name celosia is derived from the Greek kelos, “burnt,” referring to the flowers’ fiery colors and often flamelike shape.
Although 50-60 varieties exist, commonly planted varieties belong to two species, Celosia argentea and Celosia spicata.Two forms of C. argentea are popular: the Cristata varieties (cockscomb) bear rounded,crested flower heads resembling enormous rooster combs or even cauliflower. Plumosa varieties feature erect, featherlike plumes. C. spicata, spiked cockscomb, is also known as wheat celosia for its narrow, spiky flower heads, reminiscent of heads of wheat. These plants produce numerous flowers, with an almost shrubby look.
Celosias make good cut or dried flowers. To dry, remove all the leaves from the stems and wrap a rubber band around 6-8 stems and hang them upside down from a coat hanger in a dark, cool, dry, airy space for several weeks or until fully dried. They will last in dried arrangements for at least six months without losing any of their vibrancy.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
– Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
You probably recognize celosia (Celosia argentea var cristata) for its use in dried wreaths and floral arrangements, as well as fresh arrangements. Deep rust red is the most common color, although purple, yellow or pink celosia flower varieties have gained popularity in recent years.
This annual plant has a velvety, ruffled form that is often compared to a cockscomb, or even a brain. In fact, it’s commonly known as cockscomb or woolflower. Celosia seems like an exotic flower, but it’s not difficult to grow in the home garden. It makes a striking accent to other flowers in the garden. Dry it in the fall for use in dried arrangements.
You’ll find celosia plants in nurseries in late spring, which is the simplest way to grow it. It doesn’t tolerate frost and should be planted outside only after summer weather has arrived. Celosia needs rich soil to support its fast growth. Dig plenty of manure or compost into the soil before planting. These organic amendments also improve drainage, which is important because celosia doesn’t tolerate wet conditions.
When buying nursery plants, check the roots. Avoid plants with tangled, crowded roots, which will grow slowly or not at all. Be gentle when planting celosia because its roots are easily damaged during transplanting. Plant celosia in full sun or partial shade.
Alternatively, you can start celosia indoors four weeks before the last frost. Spread the seeds in a tray filled with high-quality potting mix. Cover the seeds with ¼ inch potting soil. Celosia doesn’t need light to germinate and can actually be hindered by it. Mist the soil with water and cover the tray with plastic wrap. Mist the soil every day as needed to keep it moist. Celosia seeds will not germinate if they dry out, so this point is important. Store the seeds in a location with daytime temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees, and nighttime temperatures between 65 to 70 degrees.
Once the plants stand 4 inches tall, they can be moved outdoors. Alternatively, if you live in a mild climate, you can sow celosia directly in the garden. Celosia grows quickly under the right conditions, namely consistently moist, but not soggy, soil. Taller plants might need staking. Apply a balanced fertilizer every six weeks throughout the growing season, especially if growth slows.
Celosia Pests and Diseases
Celosia suffers from a few diseases, including powdery mildew, oedema and fungal leaf spot. These problems can usually be avoided through good cultural practices. Space celosia at least 6 to 12 inches apart so air circulates freely. Use soaker hoses instead of overhead sprinklers, which encourage the spread of disease, and avoid working in the garden when it’s wet. Fungicides are helpful, but rarely necessary for this annual plant. In severe cases, remove and discard diseased plants.
Nematodes or mites can occasionally infest celosia, but in most cases, the damage isn’t severe. Plant celosia in a new location if you experience these pest problems.
Varieties of Celosia Flowers
The ‘Sparkler’ series is a favorite for dried and cut flowers. These plants come in a variety of hues and have strong stems, making them an ideal choice for arrangements.
‘Chief’ is a series of plants that grow 3 to 4 feet tall. These plants are also used in dry arrangements.
For use in the garden, consider ‘Jewel Box,’ a dwarf variety that grows only 6 to 8 inches tall.
Celosia plumosa is a close relative, but its flowers appear as feathery plumes, rather than compact mounds. This variety is also seen in dried or fresh arrangements, where it adds an airy look. Try ‘Kimono’ or ‘Geisha.’
Common Questions and Answers About Celosia/Cockscomb
by Erin Marissa Russell
Are celosia easy to grow?
Celosia is commonly described as easy to grow and can be planted outdoors in USDA zones 2-10. Choose a spot that gets full sun to partial shade. The one thing celosia can be fussy about transplanting, so be sure to start seeds in a way that allows you to move them without disturbing their roots. You can either sow seeds directly outside after the last frost or start them indoors, in peat or coir pots that are planted with the seedling when transplanted or in the container they’ll stay in once moved outdoors. If starting indoors, plant seeds six to eight weeks before the last frost, and move outdoors two weeks after your last frost—later if it’s still cold at night. Soil temperature should be kept at 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit if seeds are started indoors.
Are celosia indoor or outdoor plants?
In USDA Hardiness Zones 2-10, celosia can be grown outdoors in full sun to partial shade. It is a perennial in zones 9 and 10, and can also be grown indoors as a houseplant.
Can celosia be a houseplant?
Celosia performs well in containers, and can easily be grown indoors as a houseplant.
Can you cut back celosia?
Generally, you don’t need to worry about cutting back, or pruning celosia, but some gardeners like to remove old flowers as they begin to fade to keep the plant looking as attractive as possible.
Can you eat celosia raw?
Celosia flowers can be eaten raw, tossed in a salad or added to a fresh wrap. It can be cooked and added to soups, stews, stir-frys, and more. It also makes a lovely garnish.
Can you grow celosia in pots?
Celosia can be grown in containers, resulting in a more compact plant than when planted directly in the soil.
Can you grow Dragon’s Breath indoors?
Dragon’s Breath can be grown indoors in protected areas, and bringing it indoors over the winter is actually recommended, as doing so reduces the overall stress on the plant, which will help it to survive longer.
Can you take cuttings from celosia?
Yes, celosia cuttings are easy to root, and can be placed directly into their final containers and left to root on their own, which should happen within three to four weeks.
Do celosia attract butterflies?
Celosia does attract butterflies, particularly the Dragon’s Breath variety.
Do celosia plants grow back every year?
Celosia is considered a tender perennial in zones nine and 10, or a hardy annual otherwise. Though in warmer climate areas, you can get your celosia to grow back year after year, in most climates, they will need to be replanted each year.
Do celosia plants spread?
Once celosia is firmly established in the ground, it will self-seed and spread throughout the garden.
Do slugs eat celosia?
Celosia are susceptible to slugs, and slugs will feast on celosia foliage, leaving large holes in the leaves, or eating whole leaves in their entirety. Usually only a problem in damp weather conditions, you can tell where a slug has been because of the slime trail that they leave behind them.
Do you pinch celosia?
Celosia stems can be pinched back as they grow to encourage a more bushier plant, but they are not generally pinched back in most cases.
Do you prune celosia?
Celosia generally doesn’t need to be pruned or cut back, though some gardeners prefer to remove old blooms as they fade to keep the plant looking its best.
Does celosia attract bees?
Celosia does attract bees and other pollinators. If planted near a vegetable garden, celosia will help to ensure pollination and fruit set on vegetable plants.
Does celosia bloom all summer?
Celosia does not begin blooming until late summer, but blossoms continue through late fall.
Does celosia need full sun?
Celosia can be grown in full sun, but it also does well in partial shade.
Does Dragon’s Breath spread?
Because Dragon’s Breath celosia is an annual that does not live through the winter and will need to be replaced the following year, it is not known for a tendency to spread.
Is celosia an annual or a perennial?
In USDA hardiness zones 10-11, celosia grows as a perennial, and in other zones, it is a full sun annual.
Is celosia Dragon’s Breath a perennial?
The Dragon’s Breath variety of celosia is an annual.
Is Dragon’s Breath celosia deer resistant?
Deer are not particularly interested in Dragon’s Breath celosia; they tend to pass it by in favor of other plants they like better.
How do you grow a celosia plant?
Gardeners in zones 2-10 can plant celosia outdoors, in locations ranging from full sun to partial shade. Especially tall plants may bend or break under the weight of their blooms or as a result of storms; provide with staking in these cases.
If starting plants from seeds, direct sow outdoors after the last frost in your area. If starting seeds indoors, plant them six to eight weeks before the last frost in your area. Soil temperature should be kept between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit when grown indoors. Move outdoors two weeks after the last frost, or longer if it’s still cold at night. Celosia does not like to have its roots disturbed, so either sow seeds in the container where they will grow or into peat or coir pots that are buried when transplanted to avoid disturbing roots when the plants are moved outside. Barely cover the seeds with soil, and they will sprout in six to 14 days. Celosia grows best when it’s given a layer of mulch.
How do you keep a celosia blooming?
Celosia benefits from fertilization every four weeks or so with nutrient-rich compost or a liquid nitrogen fertilizer. If you suspect nutritional deficiencies, try fertilizing your celosia with seaweed or fish emulsion to encourage blooming. In the hottest part of the summer, you can revitalize celosia with a dilute liquid fertilizer solution.
How do you plant cockscomb seeds?
If starting seeds outdoors, direct sow into the ground or the pot where they will grow after the last frost. If starting indoors, plant seeds six to eight weeks before last frost. Either way, plant them in the container where they will grow or in peat or coir pots that are transplanted with the seedling, as celosia is fussy about having its roots disturbed. Barely cover the seeds with soil, and they will sprout within six to 14 days. Move celosia plants outdoors two weeks after the last frost, or wait longer if it is still cold at night in your area. Indoors, soil temperature should be kept between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
How do you revive a dying celosia?
If your plant has blown over in a storm or broken due to heavy blooms, provide it with some staking to support its weight. You can re-energize a celosia that’s worn down by spraying with a dilute solution of liquid fertilizer, especially during the hottest part of the summer.
How do you start celosia seeds?
If starting seeds outdoors, sow directly into the ground or into the containers where they will stay after the last frost for your location. If starting indoors, sow into peat or coir pots or into their final containers six to eight weeks before last frost. Keep indoor soil temperature between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Move outdoors two weeks after the last frost, or wait longer if it is still getting cold at night. It’s important not to disturb the roots of celosia when transplanting, which is why peat or coir pots that are buried when transplanted or planting in their eventual container is recommended.
How do you take care of a celosia plant?
Celosia is easy to grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 2-10. Choose a spot that gets full sun to partial shade. Tall plants may have trouble supporting the weight of their blooms or be broken by wind during storms. If this is the case, staking the plants can provide some much-needed support.
Celosia is particular about having its roots disturbed, so plant either in the beds or containers where it will grow or in peat or coir pots that allow you to plant the whole pot when transplanting. If planting indoors, start seeds six to eight weeks before the last frost in your area. Soil temperature for seeds started indoors should be 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Move plants outdoors two weeks after the last frost, or wait longer if it is still cold at night. If planting outdoors, direct sow after the last frost. Lightly cover seeds with soil, and they will sprout within six to 14 days. For best results, provide celosia plants with mulch.
How far apart should celosia be planted?
Celosia seedlings should be planted eight inches apart, unless you’re planting an especially large variety, when they should be spaced about a foot apart.
How long do celosia plants last?
Celosia blooms for up to 10 weeks, and plants will live until the first frost, when they can be cut and dried.
How long does it take for celosia seeds to germinate?
Celosia seeds germinate within six to 14 days.
How long does it take for celosia to grow?
After the germination period of six to 14 days after planting, it takes celosia about four months to grow to maturity and begin flowering.
How much sun does Dragon’s Breath need?
Dragon’s Breath and other varieties of celosia can be grown in full sun to partial shade.
How tall do celosia plants grow?
The height of a celosia plant depends on the specific variety; strains vary in maximum height from six inches to three feet tall.
What can I plant with Dragon’s Breath?
Dragon’s Breath and other varieties of celosia partner well with other low-maintenance annuals, such as zinnia (Zinnia elegans) or marigold (Tagetes or Calendula). They also naturally pair with others in the amaranth family, such as globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) and red amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus). Other varieties of celosia also make a nice display, as different strains can grow to heights from six inches to three feet.
Why is my celosia dying?
There are a variety of reasons your celosia may be dying. Check that the soil pH is between 6.0 and 7.0 and that plants are getting full sun to partial shade. Loamy soil is best; celosia can handle clay soil, but combining it with too much rainfall can cause their deaths. Lack of sufficient sunshine and irrigation can lead to diseases like stem rot or leaf spot. Soil should be kept moist, as celosia needs consistent moisture, so water close to the ground to avoid getting the leaves or flowers wet, which can set the stage for fungal diseases. Celosia will wilt if it’s not getting enough water, and it does best when provided with a layer of mulch.
Will celosia reseed itself?
Yes, celosia will propagate itself if left to its own devices. It needs no assistance from the gardener to reseed itself.
Will celosia survive winter?
Celosia will not survive winter in most zones, as it does not tolerate cold well. However, it is grown as a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 10-11.
For more information, visit the following sites:
Texas A&M University covers Celosia
Armstrong Growers covers Celosia
Balcony Container Gardening covers Caring for Cockscomb Flower in Containers
Balcony Garden Web covers Celosia: Growing and Planting Guide
Botanical Garden of the Pzarks covers Dragon’s Breath
Better Homes & Gardens covers Celosia
Burpee covers Growing Dragon’s Breath
Costa Farms covers Celosia
First Tunners covers Growing Celosia in a Polytunnel
Garden Guides covers Celosia Care
Gardener’s Network covers Caring for Celosia Flowers
Gardening Know How covers Dying Celosia Plants
Gardening with Charlie Nardozzi covers How to Grow Celosia
Greenhouse Product News covers Celosia
Greenhouse Product News covers Celosia Dragon’s Breath
Greenhouse Management covers Summer Celosia Production for Fall Sales
SFGate Homeguides covers Celosia Plant Care Information
SFGate Homeguides covers Edible Celosia
Horticulture Magazine covers Celosia Flowers To Attract Pollinators
houzz covers Celosia for Butterflies
Hunker covers Celosia Plant Care
Johnny’s Selected Seeds covers Celosia Production
Learning with Experts covers Slug Proof Plants
New York Botanical Garden covers Should I cut dead flowers off of my celosia?
Carithers flowers covers Celosia
National Academy of Sciences covers Celosia
North American Farmer covers Celosia
nwi.com covers What is Celosia?
plants.skh.com covers Celosia
Plant Care Today covers How to Care for the Celosia Plant
the flower expert covers Cockscomb
the spruce covers Celosia Flowers
West Coast Seeds covers Growing Celosia
Celosia plumosa from the University of Florida IFAS Extension.
Celosia Production as a Cut Flower from the University of Maryland.
YouTube has a great video about the basics of celosia.
When she’s not writing about gardening, food and canning, Julie Christensen enjoys spending time in her garden, which includes perennials, vegetables and fruit trees. She’s written hundreds of gardening articles for the Gardening Channel, Garden Guides and San Francisco Gate, as well as several e-books.
Top Of The Crops – Celosia
Growing Celosia in a Polytunnel
There are many different varieties of Celosia, generally grouped into two types – one of which produces a cock’s comb like flower and the other a feathery plume. Many of the varieties are frost tender, though some are half hardy. In the UK, it is generally necessary to grow Celosia under cover, which means they are best suited for growing in containers which can easily be moved around when the seasons change.
Sowing and Growing Requirements for Celosia
Celosia seeds will require a temperature of 18-20 degrees Celsius to germinate so you will need to start them in a warm location indoors or in a heater propagator. The seeds should germinate within a week. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out and grow on – though still be sure to maintain a temperature of around 16 degrees Celsius. If the temperatures where your Celosia will be growing will be cooler than this, gradually reduce the temperature and harden off your plants before placing them in their summering growing position.
Celosia should be potted up into pots of at least 7cm diameter to begin with. Once seedlings have grown and been potted up, and roots fill the container, water moderately but on a regular basis. For best results, apply a good quality, organic liquid fertiliser to your Celosia every couple of weeks over the summer. If you are growing your Celosia in containers then it is important never to allow the plants to become pot bound. Always pot up before roots appear out the bottom of a pot.
Celosia like high humidity, so will do well in a polytunnel with other plants that thrive in a high humidity environment. A daily spraying of the leaves with water throughout the active growing season will help keep the plants at the high humidity that they enjoy.
Celosia flower heads appear (depending on the variety) between July and October. These add drama to your garden or to a flower arrangement in your home. Celosia argentea – (L.)Kuntze is one variety of Celosia that is more than just ornamental – it can be harvested as a crop. The young shoots and leaves can be cooked and eaten and make a pleasant spinach-like vegetable that can be used in many recipes, such as soups and stews. An edible oil can also be obtained from the seed.
Celosia care is simple and easy, with slight maintenance you can get prolifically blooming celosia flowers in your home and garden.
Celosia is an annual plant cultivated for its strange looking flowers that resemble roosters’ head, that’s why it is also called as cockscomb.
Also Read: How to grow celosia
Celosia Flower Care
Fertilize celosia with liquid fertilizer once a month. When the plant starts to bloom, it needs fertilizer more frequently (every two weeks). Use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen such as a ratio of 3: 1: 2.
The plant grows well in containers but indoor air in homes remains too dry for flowers to flourish. Help them by running a humidifier next to the plant or by placing the pot on a shallow tray filled with pebbles and a bit of water.
Misting the foliage will also help but take care not to wet the flowers but only the leaves. Do this in the morning as celosia is prone to fungal diseases.
3. Keep it warm
As celosia is a tropical plant it loves the warm and humid climate. The species of this plant grow as perennials in US Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 to 11, and as annuals elsewhere.
4. Grow in full sun
Celosias need full sun to grow well. For these plants, the more sun, the better. Houseplants benefit from a south-facing window or balcony, also, remember to not let the soil dry out in the sun.
Also Read: Plants to grow in south facing balcony
5. Do mulching
Outdoor planted celosia are benefited from a thick layer of organic mulch, which keeps them warm and also helps the soil to retain moisture. In addition, mulching helps in preventing the growth of weeds.
Many varieties can grow taller than 1 meters and needs support to prevent them from toppling over in strong winds or rainstorm.
6. Deadhead Flowers
Deadheading encourages the plant to produce more flowers and saves their energy from making seeds. Prune off spent flowers before they set seed with scissors. Before cutting make sure to sterilize the blades by cleaning with alcohol and let it dry before using.
7. Look for pests
Celosias are prone to fungal diseases, you can prevent these by avoiding overwatering.
Spider mites and aphids are the most common pest that attacks Celosias. They are particularly prevalent on houseplants. The easiest way to get rid of them is to simply wash them away with a strong stream of water. This has the advantage of removing dust from the leaves too, which can contribute to the growth of mites.
Also Read: Killing aphids organically.
I was working in a garden center when an older gentleman with a fishing hat on (I knew it was fishing hat because he had his license pinned to the back of it) came searching for a flower.
“It’s orange. No… it’s red… I’ve seen it in purple, too,” he explained.
I shook my head. “Quite a few options here. What else can you add?”
“Uh,” he began, “Oh! The flowers are real weird lookin’. Some look like flames and others look like coral.”
I squinted while thinking about it. “Hmm, I’m not quite–”
The gentleman’s eyes lit up and he said, “Oh, wait! They look like they’re from a Dr. Seuss book!”
Now my eyes lit up and I said, “Oh, celosia! Here we go!”
I escorted the customer to the right section of the store and sure enough, we’d found the flowers he was looking for. All he had to say was “Dr. Seuss flower” and I’m sure anyone familiar with celosia would have instantly known what he was referring to.
Celosia, commonly known as “woolflowers,” are members of the amaranth family. They are edible ornamentals you can add to your garden, and have a taste not unlike spinach. Celosia also contains those minerals and vitamins commonly found in deep-hued leafy greens.
The problem with eating the leaves is that they’re tender and tasty when the plant is young, but turn bitter after blooming… and growing celosia without getting them to flower means you’ll lose the biggest appeal of the plant – their flowers!
Flashy, uniquely-shaped flowers eschew any concept of subtlety. Expect shapes reminiscent of plumed candle flames, or coral, or something resembling a brain, all available in a wide variety of colors.
We’ll take a look at what celosia needs to prosper and be at its best, but here’s a hint to start you off: lots of sun is key!
Good Light and Better Drainage
Sure, woolflowers will grow in partial sun, but they’re at their best in sunny and dry conditions.
Give them plenty of sunlight and a warm location, and they’ll thank you with prolific blooms. But careful attention to their soil and watering requirements is potentially even more important than that sunlight.
Celosia will not tolerate wet feet. That is, these plants do not want to be watered too much, and require soil with excellent drainage. The only celosia I’ve seen that weren’t at their best were those that were over watered, or planted in soils heavy with clay. The plants become limp and languid looking, then practically melt from too much stored up moisture.
Frustratingly, these plants still need to be in soil that is watered regularly. Finding a balance with these flowers can be a tricky endeavor when they’re grown in containers and raised beds. But if you’ve got these plants in quality well-drained soil, they will practically take care of themselves.
I’ve found a measurement of about an inch of rain a week is ideal for woolflowers to prosper, but they can get away with less for a few weeks at a time.
Woolflowers are generally grown as an annual, but in zones 9 to 11 they can be short-lived perennials; expect two or three years out of them before they give up. Luckily, they reseed readily and easily!
Oh Yeah, About That Reseeding…
If you let your woolflowers go through their full bloom cycle and then produce seeds in the garden, watch out for a cadre of replacements the next season! You can prevent this from happening by cutting the spent flower heads before they totally wither up and begin to seed the area surrounding where they were planted.
This makes celosia an excellent filler plant for areas that you have a hard time maintaining and want to “let go,” but woolflowers can be a messy choice for areas that are more manicured.
Fortunately, the cut flowers are easily dried and make for interesting additions to dry arrangements. Cut flowers that are on the smaller side and hang them upside down for a period of about two weeks.
Troubles and Problems? Forget About It
A godsend in the life of any gardener is a plant that is resistant to most pests and other obnoxious problems. Celosia is an excellent I-don’t-wanna-care-for-it plant with requirements that are mostly hands-off beyond initial planting.
Resistant to most pests and illnesses, woolflowers are exclusively affected by aphids and mites, but these pests are encountered infrequently. They can also suffer from powdery mildew and fungal infections, but with the right watering practices, these ailments can be avoided.
The taller these flowers grow, the more likely they are to need staking to support their heavy flowers. Avoid a tangled mess by using one large stake and tying individual flower stems to it, instead of constructing a fence-like support system.
With minimal issues like these, you can expect to see your celosia bloom from June through – and sometimes beyond – the first frost.
Starting Celosia From Seed
Relatively temperamental when grown from seed, in the outdoors most celosia survives and thrives by producing a lot of seeds to effectively beat lower germination rates. In indoor environments, they can be more than picky about the conditions they’re grown in.
Start yours indoors about four weeks before the last frost date, because these seedlings are very sensitive to cold.
Celosia seeds do not need light to germinate and should be placed under a good quarter-inch of soil. The soil should be consistently moist but never saturated; you can get around this dilemma by using a greenhouse cover over your seed tray. Most trays are sold with one of these, but a piece of plastic wrap works in a pinch.
If these seedlings are allowed to dry out they will die quickly, so keep that soil moist.
Don’t even think about transplanting these puppies until the danger of a hard frost is gone, or they’ll all take serious damage and may not recover. Once the weather is on your side, you can plant them out about eight inches apart.
The Best Cultivars
You’ll find three general types of celosia for growing: cockscomb, wheat, and plumed.
Each variety has similar requirements for growing and good plant health, but all three have wildly different appearances.
The most striking flower shape celosia produces, these broad and large blooms resemble coral. The flowers are often heavy and may require staking for support, but they’re sure to grab the attention of passersby and make for a great focal point in the garden.
The ‘Gypsy Queen’ has a bold, dark maroon color and a wide fan-shaped flower. That stunning color bleeds into the foliage and makes this ornamental a real showstopper.
‘Gypsy Queen’ Cockscomb
Expect it to reach heights of about a foot (8-16 inches) and flower from the late summer into autumn. ‘Gypsy Queen’ also works well in containers and in cut flower gardens.
See it now via Burpee!
The first time I saw the ‘Red Velvet’ cultivar I thought the flowers were experiencing fasciation, but nope! Just a beautiful and bold crimson flower to enjoy in your containers or yard.
‘Red Velvet’ Cockscomb
You’ll want to place ‘Red Velvet’ as the centerpiece of your annual displays. This variety reaches 3-4 feet in height with large blooms! Taller than many other cultivars, it is an excellent choice on which to base an entire color palette for accompanying plantings.
See it now on Burpee!
Fan Dance Scarlet
Another broad, fan-shaped flower, the ‘Fan Dance Scarlet’ has a (slightly) more restrained appearance in terms of color and intensity.
‘Fan Dance Scarlet’ Cockscomb
Because it reaches a height of about three feet, you can safely plant these eye-openers as the rear “wall” of color for your garden beds. And the stems are strong enough that no staking is required. This variety loves hot and dry conditions.
See it now on Burpee!
If purple brain/coral-looking flowers are more up your alley, the ‘King Coral’ is for you. Wow, what a color!
‘King Coral’ Cockscomb
It reaches a modest height of about ten inches, but the blooms themselves can reach an incredible twelve inches in diameter!
I’ve had the best luck planting these in masses rather than in rows; you can’t go wrong with half a dozen growing in their own pocket of your garden beds.
See it now on Burpee!
Is variety the spice of your life? Then take a gamble on what colors you’re going to produce with this ‘Crested Armor’ mix of seeds.
‘Crested Armor’ Cockscomb
Celosia flowers are like pansies in that a variety of colors work just as well as a single selection. The red, purple, yellow, and orange color palette of the ‘Crested Armor’ cultivar forms a pleasing-to-the-eye explosion of color that is in perfect harmony.
This selection reaches 12-16 inches and works well as a bedding planting in mass groups, or for butterfly gardens. It’s another option that’s ideal for hot climates.
See it now on True Leaf Market!
You’ll find less of a selection in the wheat variety than other categories, but the few that are available are no less striking, even if they’re on a more limited spectrum of color. Better yet, I’ve seen the wheat variety grow longer into and through the fall than either cockscomb or plumed types.
The ‘Asian Garden’ cultivar works as an excellent hedge of flowers to line the driveway or a sidewalk. A neighbor has these growing and they’ve bloomed nonstop through the season since the early summer.
‘Asian Garden’ Wheat-Style Celosia
Better yet, the foliage takes on a purplish hue in cooler weather. Make room for this cultivar – it will reach heights floating at and above three feet!
This selection works equally well for plantings, cutting gardens, and as dried flowers.
See it now on Burpee!
A wonderful red, the ‘Forest Fire’ type is a bit more modest in its height, reaching up to 30 inches. It tends to develop yellowish-green leaves that contrast delightfully with the flowers.
‘Forest Fire’ Wheat-Style Celosia
This newer selection is the perfect color to transition with the rest of the landscape from late summer into fall.
See it now on True Leaf Market!
Another shorter variety coming in at around the two-foot mark, the ‘Flamingo Series’ looks like you’d expect it to. I mean, you don’t name something after flamingos without good reason, right?
‘Flamingo’ Wheat-Style Celosia
The flowers react to intense heat by turning to shades of white before pushing out another round of purplish color as the fall takes over the summer.
This selection also makes for beautiful cut flowers.
See it now on True Leaf Market!
I’m most partial to the plumed variety because they remind me so much of a Dr. Seuss illustration, and I’ve always been a Seuss fan.
I squeeze them into containers when I can, and find they mix well with French marigolds.
The ‘Arrabona Red’ may be my favorite of the plumed cultivars.
‘Arrabona Red’ Plumed
This dwarf variety produces strong and sturdy plants that reach a height of about sixteen inches, and has a striking and memorable effect on the viewer. With this shade of red and orange, it’s difficult to forget! And it’s excellent for drought-prone and hot climates.
This Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner is a great choice for cut flowers, as well as use in beds and borders, and in containers. It is also perfect for drying.
See it now on Burpee!
For more of a true red, try the ‘Fresh Look Red’ variety. These appear to be a bit bushier than the ‘Arrabona’ and have a richer color, but they reach a similar height of about sixteen inches.
‘Fresh Look Red’ Plumed (via Burpee)
Looking for something a little different? You’ll get a variety of colors with this ‘Fresh Look’ mix, but each one is a winner.
‘Fresh Look’ Mix Plumed (via True Leaf Market)
My favorites in here are the yellows and the light oranges. Expect heights that are just shy of a foot.
For an even shorter cultivar that offers a mix of colors, try this ‘Plumed Castle’ mix.
‘Plumed Castle’ Mix
They’ll stick to heights just over six inches tall but offer the same variety of colors.
See it now on True Leaf Market!
Get to Gardening!
It may not be a flower for the frail, but for those with sense of flair and whimsy, celosia is just what the doctor ordered. As long as you provide the sunlight it needs and don’t keep it oversaturated, these flowers will provide long-lasting color and undeniable interest in the garden.
Watch them, cut and dry them, and even eat the leaves – there’s little celosia can’t do!
Feel free to share your experience with these lovely flowers in the comments below. And if you want more colorful annual flower choices, be sure to check out some of our other growing guides, such as:
- Easy-Care Coreopsis
- Sweet Alyssum
© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Burpee and True Leaf Market. Uncredited photos: .
About Matt Suwak
Matt Suwak was reared by the bear and the bobcat and the coyote of rural Pennsylvania. This upbringing keeps him permanently affixed to the outdoors where most of his personal time is invested in gardening, bird watching, and hiking. He presently resides in Philadelphia and works under the sun as a landscaper and gardener, and by moonlight as a writer. An incessant questioning of “Why?” affords him countless opportunities to ponder the (in)significance of the great and the small. He considers folksy adages priceless treasures and is fueled almost entirely by beer and hot sauce.
Celosia has many colorful varieties and is easy to grow in a wide range of hardiness zones. The biggest concern is to keep the soil moist but not too wet to protect the roots from rotting.
This plant enjoys full sun, hence needs warm weather for germination and for thriving once mature. Interested in learning how to care for a celosia flower in the garden, keep reading.
|Origin||India, Africa, North and South America|
|Scientific Name||Celosia sp.|
|Common Names||Cockscomb Flower, Wool Flower, Brain Celosia, Flamingo Feather|
|Height||Up to 28 inches|
|Watering||Keep soil moist|
There are over 60 species of celosia plants that fall into three main categories: crested, plumed, and spiked.
The crested types of celosia belong to the Celosia cristata variety. They have flowers that resemble a rooster’s comb, hence the common name of ‘cockscomb flower.’ These flowers are also said to resemble to look of a brain or are often compared to coral. These flowers are typically available in vibrant and striking colors, such as dark red, and gold; however, it’s common for the plant to only produce one flower at a time. This variety is the largest of all the celosia plants.
This crested variety is compact, growing to just six inches tall, with a six-inch spread. It works well in rock gardens, container pots, or as a border and bedding plant. The striking flowers are very unusual looking, adding some great interest to gardens. The blooms of this variety are red, with fine lines of yellow running along the edge of some of the ruffled petals. It is very drought-tolerant and also has good resistance to high levels of heat, making it a good choice for adding color to desert gardens (Better Homes and Gardens).
The plumed types of celosia belong to the Celosia plumosa variety. They feature feathery soft flowers that have a velvety texture. The foliage of this variety is quite broad, forming a dense base from which the flowers stand high above.
‘Fresh Look Yellow’
Celosia argentea ‘Fresh Look Yellow’ – Credit toPymouss44
This variety flowers heavily, so it is ideal for adding shocks of vibrant color to the garden. This particular variety grows to around 20 inches in height and is well suited to being grown both directly in the ground, as well as in container pots. The flowers are a striking shade of yellow, with a feathery appearance.
The spiked types of celosia belong to the Celosia spicata variety. The flowers resemble wheatgrass, and therefore, this type of celosia is also sometimes referred to as wheat celosia. The flowers of these varieties stand upright like tall candles and appear in more subtle colors compared to other celosia flowers. The plant produces such an abundance of flower stems that it can actually become so dense that it takes on the appearance of a shrub.
Celosia spicata ‘Flamingo Feather’ – Credit toLeonora (Ellie) Enking
This variety of celosia can grow up to four feet tall, making it ideal for adding color to the back row of your garden. The flowers are a soft pink color and are especially good for making dried flower displays.
‘Intenz’ Celosia argentea
Celosia argentea ‘Intenz’ – Credit to cultivar413
This variety of celosia features flowers that bear a striking resemblance to bottle brushes. They bloom in a soft lavender color, with a slightly more pronounced purple shade at the tip. As a small variety, this plant grows to around 12 inches in height, making it ideally suited to use in container pots and even in hanging baskets. The flowers bloom for most of the season, adding pretty color to the garden all summer long.
‘Glow Red’ Celosia argentea var. Cristata
This celosia variety has stunning bright pink flowers, but this is not the only interesting aspect of the plant. The foliage is also quite striking, as the green leaves feature subtle pink edging. This variety grows to around 14 inches in height, with its spiked flowers being held, pointing upwards above the foliage (Royal Horticultural Society).
Caring for Your Celosia
This plant enjoys moist soil but will not tolerate wet and soggy conditions. Therefore it’s vital that you plant the celosia in well-draining soil. This will mean that in the event of accidental overwatering or heavy rain, the water will be drained away from the plant and not result in the roots sitting in excessive moisture. If the plant is overwatered when situated in poorly draining soil, it will typically suffer from root rot, which damages the roots beyond repair and disables them from being able to absorb nutrients or moisture, thereby killing the plant from the roots up.
As this plant dislikes soggy soil, it is best to err on the side of caution when watering, though ideally, it should be grown in consistently moist soil. In order to be sure that you are watering the right amount, you should let the top few inches of soil dry out before watering the plant again, though never letting it dry out completely as this will hinder growth.
The celosia plant is mildly drought tolerant, so it is forgiving of occasional sporadic watering, but it would prefer to be in continuously moist conditions. The amount of water the plant requires will vary according to the amount of light it receives, as well as the time of year.
Celosia is a full sun plant. Position it in a spot where it will receive at least 8 hours of sunlight each day for maximum growth. It can also tolerate partial shade, but a full sun position will yield the best results and produce a greater abundance of flowers.
Celosia plants need warm temperatures upwards of 80 °F to germinate, and they also need continued warm weather to thrive once mature. They are commonly grown as annuals in zones 2 to 9, but they can survive as perennials in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, where winter temperatures do not drop lower than 30 °F.
These plants grow well from seed, germinating easily in the right conditions. The plant blooms approximately three months after germination, so it’s a good idea to get a head start on the growing season and sow the seeds indoors around six weeks before the last frost is expected, as this will produce earlier flowers. Use a seed tray and spread the seeds across high-quality potting soil, then cover with an extra quarter-inch of soil.
Celosia requires warm soil to germinate, so use a heating pad or supply bottom heat if possible. Ideal daytime temperatures are in the region of 80 °F, and nighttime temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees lower than this. The soil will need to be kept consistently moist, which is best achieved with a daily water spray. Cover the tray with clear plastic to create a humid environment similar to a greenhouse, removing the plastic once seedlings have developed. Light is not required for germination, and too much light can actually prevent the seedlings from forming, so situate the tray in shaded but not dark position.
Once you have seedlings, thin out the weakest, leaving only the strongest seedlings to repot or plant outside. Seedlings should be transplanted directly to the ground outside once the risk of frost has passed and should be kept at a distance of 8 inches from each other to allow adequate growing space. Celosia has delicate roots that can be inhibited by weed growth. To prevent weed roots from killing off your celosia seedlings, apply a few inches of organic mulch around the top of the soil when you plant your seedlings to prevent weeds from forming.
Once mature, each celosia bloom is made up of hundreds of tiny flowers, with each of these flowers producing tiny seeds that will self-seed to ensure plenty of new plants each year. The plant readily self-seeds with no intervention necessary to encourage growth.
Depending on the variety of the celosia plant, the flowers can drastically differ in appearance. Some varieties have feathery round blooms, while others have tall spiky arrowhead flowers or those which resemble bottle brushes. They can bloom for up to 10 weeks, in summer through fall, offering an array of rainbow-colored flowers to the garden.
Typically, the flowers bloom until the first frost, which will kill them off, though it’s a good idea to cut the flowers just before the first expected frost, as they make excellent bouquets. You can expect cut celosias to last up to 10 days in a vase of water.
Unlike many flowering plants, the celosia can produce an abundance of blooms without the addition of fertilizer, making it an exceptionally easy-care flowering plant. Though it will thrive without fertilizer, it will benefit from a soil high in organic matter, and you can add a water-soluble monthly fertilizer if you wish.
Taller varieties will need to be staked to prevent the weight of the flowers from causing the stems to droop. You can tie them to taller, stronger plants nearby or fix them to a fence. Pinching off stems as the plant grows will encourage a bushier growth from which more flowers will bloom, and you should also deadhead flowers once they are spent as this will also encourage the plant to put more energy into producing fresh blooms.
The celosia caracas is a very versatile plant with an unusual, yet elegant, shaped flower that can display quite a lot of different shapes, sizes and vibrant colors. This flower is often referred to as a cockscomb and is a more popular term used by gardeners due to its appearance.
This species comes in giant size as well as dwarf sizes, but most of them generally average around two to three feet when they are fully mature. This plant has a unique physical characteristic; displaying feather-like, fluffy, floral plumes that have a mystical quality, blowing in the wind with even the slightest breeze. They are light and airy and just scream springtime!
The celosia caracas has a lifespan of only one growing season, or year if you prefer to call it, which makes it an annual plant. This plant is actually however, capable of reseeding itself, but the success rate with the appearance of the plant is much higher if you physically gather the seeds yourself, take the time to dry them out, store them properly, and replant them next year.
Gardeners often form a bit of an addiction or infatuation to these plants after planting one for the first time, not only for their beauty, but also for their low maintenance property. The celosia caracas truly grows into a breathtaking plant.
They tend to flourish best in a sunny, bright area and prefer a well drained soil.
The plant is, however, fairly tolerant of a variety of soil types. To reap the most rewarding physical results, you should plant these in groups rather than by themselves.
The celosia caracas, like most plants, should be planted after the last frost of the cold season. You can, however, start the planting indoors with seeds in peat pots and then transfer them to the flower bed. This will allow you to get a bit of a head start on your neighbors that you may be in competition with. If you do this, your plants will bloom early, allowing you more time to enjoy them.
They are highly recommended for flower beds and for use as borders, but they can be grown in garden troughs and containers. These plants are relatively pest and disease free, which makes them ideal for even a beginner gardener.
An interesting quality about the celosia caracas is that it can be dried while it’s in full bloom so that you can continue to enjoy their beauty through the winter.
To dry them, you should pick the flower after the dew from the morning has dried completely, strip away the leaves and gather together all of the blossoms you have acquired. Join all of these blossoms together by attaching them with a rubber band at the end of the stems and then hang them upside down in a cool dark place. Once they have dried completely, you can use them in a floral arrangement.
If you’re looking for a “show-stopper” type of plant to add to your landscaping, this one is for you. It has such a distinct quality and it is so incredibly easy to care for. Most nurseries will carry the seeds for this plant and you only really need to buy the seeds once, since you can re-use them again next year.
Once you plant celosia caracas plants in your yard, you won’t want any other flower in place of them because nothing else can really compare.
Water – keep moist
Fertilize 2 X month
Sun 6+ hours
Cold hardiness 45 degrees
This plant has no description yet.
This plant has no description yet.
Learn how to grow celosia in this growing and planting guide. Growing celosia is easy. Its bright flowers add charm to every garden, you can also grow it as a houseplant, indoor.
Celosia, also known as cockscomb and feathery amaranth is cultivated for its spectacular inflorescent and showy colorful flowers.
USDA Zones: 3 – 11, perennial in zones 9 and 10
Propagation Method: Seeds
The genus Celosia belongs to the family of Amaranthaceae, it includes plants very appreciated for their showy inflorescent, colorful and fluffy flowers that rise above the leaves.
Celosia is native to tropical regions of Asia and Africa. In most species, flowering begins in late spring and can continue until late fall (autumn) in colder climates. Whereas, in subtropics and tropics, it is grown as a perennial.
Popular Celosia Varieties
Celosia argentea is native to tropical Asia. It ‘s a plant that grows to a height of one meter with dark green coarse leaves with apparent ribs. The flowers are bright and colorful and can last up to 6 to 8 weeks.
Also called as Chi Kuan in China. It is known as cockscomb as the flower head resembles the head of a rooster. It comes in colors like carmine red, yellow, white.
The plant of this variety has edible uses too in the countries of West Africa and South East Asia. Both the leaves and flowers are eaten.
Known as feathery amaranth it grows up to 40 cm high, branched with flashy stems, oval leaves and flowers. The flowers of this species are often dried out and preserved for decoration as they keep their color for a long time.
Celosia Caracas blooms from mid-summer to fall. Its lovely pink and purple colored flowers bloom above oval shaped leaves. You can also make wonderful cut flowers of them.
Requirements for Growing Celosia
Celosia loves sun and heat. The optimum temperature for celosia ranges around 64 F – 80 F (18 – 25 ° C) and to obtain abundant flowers, exposure to the full sun is essential.
If growing indoors or on a balcony, find Southern or Western exposure for constant blooms.
Celosia loves moist soil. Although the plant can tolerate short periods of drought but it grows much better when soil remains slightly moist. While watering, remember not to overwater plant to avoid leaf spots, stem rot, root rot and other fungal diseases.
Celosia plant thrives in most of the soil types, but it is better to use soil that is rich in organic matter and drains well. The pH level of the soil required should be around 6 to 7.
To learn about celosia plant care, read this article.
Propagation and Planting Celosia
Celosias can be propagated from seeds or you can buy potted plants from the nursery. If you propagate plants from seeds it is likely that you will get the plants that are not same as the parent plant. However, in this case, you might get some pleasant surprises.
If you’re growing celosia from seeds, sow seeds indoors, 4 weeks prior to last frost date in good quality seed starting mix and cover these with the thin layer of soil and keep the mix constantly moist.
- In subtropical climates, seeds can be sown year round.
Once the seeds have sprouted, move them to bright place but not in direct sun. When they reach the height of about 3-4 cm you can plant them in individual pots and continue to water so that the soil remains slightly moist always. Typically after a couple of months from sowing celosia seeds, seedlings will reach the height of 15 cm. and the young plants will start to bloom.
If you’re planting celosia outside or growing flowers beds of it wait until all the dangers of frost will pass. Leave 18 inches of spaces between each plant for smaller varieties, for larger varieties leave about 24 inches of space.
Flower beds of celosia look bright and vivid, it is also perfect for edgings and borders. The rows of celosia in gold, orange, crimson or yellow looks flame like and adds charm to any garden. Its ruffled, velvety flowers are eye catching!
Pests and Diseases
Common pests and diseases that infect celosia plant are aphids and spider mites. For diseases, check for leaf spot, stem, and root rot. To avoid infection keep your plant healthy, water in limit and ensure good drainage. Spray with organic pesticide and fungicide if necessary.
If your celosia plant begins to wilt and grows up with difficulty, it is a sign of excessive watering or fertilizing. Planting in well-draining soil or in a soilless potting mix and fertilizing according to the instructions will fix these problems.
Flowers of celosia are known as wool flowers or cockscombs. They have unusual flowers that can bloom up to 10 weeks. These flowers can have red, pink, purple, gold or bicoloured blooms. When many celosia flower blooms are next to each other.
They collectively resemble fire, which is why their name Celosia, which means burning in Greek was chosen.
The common name of cockscomb comes from the bloom’s resemblance to a rooster’s comb.
Different Names Of Celosia
Common name: Cockscomb, Brain Celosia, Wool flower, Red fox
Botanical name: Celosia.
Varieties Of Celosia
The varieties of this plant come in many sizes, from only a few inches up to about 5 feet high. Celosia plants are classified into three groups: a crested type (Celosia cristata), a plume type (Celosia plumosa) and a spike or wheat type (Celosia spicata).
Life cycle: Annual
Height: 24-36 inches
Width: 6-8 inches
Flowering season: Mid-summer or mid-fall.
Foliage: Blue-green, shiny/glossy-textured.
Sunlight: Full sun locations allow cockscomb Celosia to grow taller. But cockscomb may grow in only partial sun, so it can happily exist when partially shaded by taller plants.
Water: Celosia loves moist soil. Although the plant can tolerate short periods of drought but it grows much better when soil remains slightly moist. While watering, remember not to overwater plant to avoid leaf spots, stem rot, root rot and other fungal diseases.
Sowing season: Cockscombs like warm weather. The seeds will typically not germinate unless the ground temperature is at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area with cool springs, start the seeds indoors four to six weeks before the expected last frost. If your area has longer summers, plant the seeds directly in your garden after the last expected frost.
Sowing method: The pretty looking plant thrives in most of the soil types, but it is better to use soil that is rich in organic matter and drains well. The pH level of the soil required should be around 6 to 7.
Care: Caring for this plant is simple and easy, with slight maintenance you can get prolifically blooming celosia flowers in your home and garden.
Pests: Spider mites and aphids are commonly found in these flowers. To avoid infection keep your plant healthy, water in limit and ensure good drainage. Spray with organic pesticide and fungicide if necessary.
Propagation: This plant drops its seeds and will quickly take over a container. To propagate this flower, collect the seeds and start the seeds indoors. Thin out the celosia sprouts so they are about 8
inches apart and plant young flowers outdoors after the last frost has passed.
So with this, we have come to the end of our article. We hope you had a good read!