If you are looking for a flower to brighten up a flowerbed, then growing Celosia is for you. Annual Celosia flowers are noted for their brilliant “rooster comb” plumes. Hence, it should not come as a surprise to learn that this flower is also called “Cockscomb”. Celosia makes a very showy, unusual display in borders and as edging. Importantly, Celosia seeds are very fine. Consequently, heavy rains can wash the tiny seeds out of the soil, or too deeply into it. Indoor plant starts may prove more successful.
Celosia is wonderful for bouquets, fresh or dried. To dry these flowers, hang them upside down in a cool dark, and dry place, for about two months.
Flowers Bloom: Summer/Fall
Flower Colors: The brilliant reds are by far the most popular color. Other colors include yellow, orange, crimson, rose, and purple flowers.
Other Names: Celosia is also called Cockscomb and Woolflowers.
Plant Height: up to 30″
Celosia, or Cockscomb, flowers are grown from very fine seeds. They can be directly seeded into your flower garden or seeded indoors for transplanting later. If planting outdoors, sow Celosia seeds after the soil has begun to warm in the spring. Also, we recommend starting them indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date for your area. Seeds need to stay moist and require warm soil to germinate.
Sow seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/8″ of fine soil. Water thoroughly and keep the soil moist.
Days to Germination: 10-15 days.
Celosia plants like full sun. They need rich soil with lots of compost to produce big, brilliant plumes. The soil needs to be moist, not wet. Water them during dry periods regularly. Soil should drain well.
Add a general-purpose fertilizer once or twice a month.
Space small varieties about 18″ apart and larger varieties 18″-24″ apart.
Smaller varieties will grow 10″-12″. Larger types will grow up to two feet.
Tip: To produce more plumes, pinch back the first one. While you may be anxious for those first bright blooms, this will promote more branching and reward you later.
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0.
Plant Problems – causes and cures
Celosia is somewhat resistant to insects and disease. Occasionally, aphids enjoy the leaves and stems. But, if insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.