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Celosia Plant Care and Growth

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Celosia Cristata

Growing and caring for the Celosia plant is easy. Celosia plant needs a lot of heat and light, fertile and moderately most soil. It doesn’t like too much water. Let us get into the details and understand Celosia Water, Sunlight, and Soil requirements.

All about Celosia

Celosia, which is commonly called Cockscomb or Woolflowers, is a member of the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae). 

The name Celosia is derived from the Ancient Greek word κήλεος (kḗleos), which means burning, and refers to the flame-like flower heads. 

Celosias are one of the most eye-catching annuals (except few zones)  to grow in the garden. 

In addition to their eye-catching vibrant and colorful flowers, they are also excellent as cut flowers. They can stay longer than the average cut flowers. 

They can also be in used to beautiful effect in permanent botanical bouquets where it can last for at least six months without losing any of its vibrance.

Celosias are edible ornamental flowers that can be grown in garden beds, borders, landscaping, and in containers provided, they get enough sunlight. 

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Is celosia annual or perennial?

Celosia can not survive if the temperatures fall below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. It does not tolerate cold well. Celosia is generally grown as annuals in zones 2-9 and grown as perennials in zones 10 and 11.

How much light does Celosia need?

Celosia requires a lot of heat and light to grow well. This plant needs at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. 

Celosia flowers bloom great when it gets enough sunlight. In less light, even though they grow tall, it does not bloom or bloom less.

How often should you water Celosia?

Celosia doesn’t like too much water. Never allow the soil to become soggy, or else the plant will rot and die. It requires soil with good drainage.

Regular watering during summer helps it grow better and bloom abundantly. Water 3-4 times a week to keep the soil moist. Water twice a week in fall and once a week in the winter.  

Some of the signs of overwatering:

  • Root Rot
  • Wilting
  • Brown Leaves
  • Oedema/Edema
  • Yellow falling leaves
Fire Crested Celosia
Fire Crested Celosia

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What is the best soil for Celosia?

Celosia plants prefer fertile and moderately moist soil. They like warm soils with good drainage. 

This plant performs the best when it gets good fertile and nutrient-rich soil.

Soil pH levels between 6 and 6.5 are best for these plants.

Wheat Celosia

Fertilizer for celosia

They are not that heavy feeders. So, no need to fertilize them too often. Fertilize when you plant it initially.

 

Once new growth appears, a slow-release fertilizer may be applied.  A slow-release fertilizer gives the plant nutrients through the growing season.

 

To avoid burn injury, keep the granular fertilizer away from the foliage. You can also use a water-soluble fertilizer.

Do pests attack the Celosia plant?

Spider mites and aphids are the most common pest that attacks Celosias. Application of Need oil or insecticidal soap will help to control them.

 

Fungal diseases like Leaf spots and stem rot will also affect the Celosia plants. These diseases can occur due to soggy soil, cool weather followed by hot and humid conditions, no proper air circulation between the plants, or due to overhead watering. 

Avoid planting Celosia in frost when the soil is not warm.  

Celosia Argentea

How to propagate Celosia?

Celosia can be propagated through seeds or by cuttings.  

 

Seeds: Sow the seeds about 1/3-inch deep ( not so deep) in well-drained soil with rich organic matter. Cover them lightly with fine soil, so that the light reaches the seeds.

Light is required for seed germination. 

Water thoroughly and keep the soil moist. Seed germination will start in 3 weeks.

 

Cuttings: Cuttings can be placed directly into the soil. Within 3-4 weeks, they get the tiny roots. Plant them when the soil temperature is about 60°F.

 

Reference: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp114

 

Planting Celosia in pots

Celosia can be easily grown in Pots. You can choose varieties that don’t grow more than two feet tall.
Some of the varieties like Celosia argentea, Celosia plumose, Celosia Castle Pink, and Coral Garden Celosia are ideal for pots.

Choose a pot having about 7-8 inch upper diameter. Add well-drained soil (Celosia doesn’t like too much water) and make sure that the pot has drainage holes. Place the seeds about ½ inch depth (not so deep) and apply water. Place the pot in a location receiving indirect bright light.

How to collect seeds of the Celosia plant?

Cut the flowers and hang them upside down to dry. The seeds fall into the container/box placed below that. Keep seeds in a jar or bag by keeping them dry.

How to deadhead Celosia?

By removing dead flower heads (deadheading) from Celosia will encourage further blooming and keep the plant more attractive. Just cut above the new flower and below the dead flower so that new flower can grow big.

 

You can also pinch Celosia stems to make the plant bushier and promote the growth of plumes.  

Is celosia toxic to dogs?

Celosia is non-toxic to Cats, Dogs, and horses.  

How long do celosia blooms last?

Celosia can bloom from June until frost, depending upon the location and fertility of the soil. Deadheading will encourage new blooms. 

If you want seeds from these plants, wait till they turn brown, or else you can remove them so that the plant can put energy in developing new blooms.

Silver Cockscomb
Celosia Plumes
Celosia Cockscomb

What are the different varieties of Celosia?

Though there are 184 recorded species, 51 species names are accepted.

There are three distinctive forms of Celosia based on their appearance.

Celosia Spicata / Wheat Celosia – This is the strongest of all species. This flower will have sharp little spikes. They like more warm summers ( for optimum flowering)

Crested / Cockscomb / Woolflower Celosia – These are like velvet on the sides of the spike.

Feather / Plumed Celosia – They will have tens of smaller feathery-like spikes

Some of the Varieties / Cultivars available in the market:

  • Flamingo Cockscomb 
  • Rooster Giant Plumed Crazy (Celosia Argentea) for Bonsai Planting 
  • Celosia Cristata Cockscomb Woolflowers
  • Burpee Fan Dance Scarlet/Purple Celosia
  • Crested Celosia Dracula 
  • Plumed Castle Celosia
  • Outsidepride Celosia Salmon
  • Outsidepride Celosia Orange/Yellow
  • Dragon’s Breath Celosia
  • Celosia forest fire
  • Celosia Arrabona Red
  • Fresh Look Celosia – 2004 AAS Flower Winner – Gold Medal
  • Gypsy Queen
  • King Coral
  • Fan Dance Scarlet
  • Crested Celosia Armor

 

Celosia King Coral

Celosia King Coral or King Coral celosia is one of the beautiful cultivars available in the market.

Although a small plant, measuring about ten inches in height, it produces king-sized coral pink velvety flowers more than one foot in diameter.  It is also called Brain coral as its flower resembles the brain.

 It can be grown in patio pots, containers, and borders.

You can also dry King coral celosia flowers and have them in dry flower arrangements.

Can you eat Celosia?

Lagos spinach, or silver cockscomb (C. argentea), is an important food crop in West Africa 

Leaves, tender stems, and young flower spikes are edible. It contains high folic acid, medium amount of Vitamin E, ascorbic acid, calcium, iron and has 4.7% of Protein.

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