How to grow colorful celosia: The complete guide

Celosia is a unique shade flower plant that looks like candle frames or coral or something like the brain.

They are available in large varieties that can be differentiated according to their shapes, sizes, and colors. 

The modern world has also developed many appealing cultivars that add a contrast combination in any garden.

These are some of the best annual flowers. Planting them in a gardener or garden bed could take your home decor to the next level.

So with that note let’s learn more facts about celosia.

Why you should grow celosia

I don’t know how to you came to know about this weird flowering plant but let me tell you: 

Celosia

  • They are also called “Woolflowers”, “Cockscombs” and “Flamingo feather” that basically belong to the amaranth family.
  • The blooms are edible and taste a little different from spinach. 
  • The heads of the celosia flowers are available in a variety of colors like red, purple, pink, golden, and bi-colored.
  • This plant is an amazing choice for growing purposes. 
  • They not only make the gardener look special but also work as an excellent ornamental flower. The flower cuttings last for at least 2 weeks. 
  • Just cut these beauties when they get mature and put them in a vase fill with some water. 
  • They have similar quantities of minerals and vitamins that are found in deep-hued leafy greens.
  • These tender plant blooms are tasty when they are young but after blooming they turn bitter.
  • Celosias are generally annual but in hardiness zone 9-11 they are considered perennial. 

Related post: 25 Best Perennial Fall Flowers for the beautiful garden

Types of celosia

There are mainly three types of celosia that you can grow wheat, cockscomb, and plumed.

All these types have similar growing requirements but they look wildly different from each other.

Let’s know about them:

Crockscomb celosia

  • They have very attractive and noticeable blooms. 
  • These broad and large blooms resemble corals. 
  • As the blooms are heavy and large they need a stalk of support. 
  • They can become the center of the garden as it’s hard to not notice them.
  • Celosia intenz or Crockscomb are tender annual but perennials in zone 10-12.

GYPSY QUEEN

  • The bloom color of gypsy queens is dark marron which looks like a large fan-like structure.
  • The bloom’s bold and velvet color also appears in the foliage of the plant which makes them ornamental showstoppers.
  • They are expected to flower from late summer to throughout autumn. 
  • The plant reaches a height of about 1 foot (8-1 inch). 
  • They work great in container gardens or cut flower gardens.

RED VELVET

celosia

  • Red velvet cultivars provide very bright and beautiful crimson flowers. 
  • They reach 3-4 inches in height which is more than any other cultivar. 
  • The blooms look like they are suffering from fasciation but Nope. 
  • They are also called Burgundy berry celosia brain flower or burgundy coxcomb.

FAN DANCE SCARLET

  • They also look like fan-shaped plants but they do not need any stalk for support. 
  • The plant grows about 3 feet in height and has a strong stem. They love dry and hot conditions.
  • The blooms are soberer in terms of color and intensity than any other variety. You can make them the center of your garden bed.

KING CORAL

  • They look like a brain or coral. The bloom color is very beautiful which looks awesome in combination with their unique shape. 
  • The plant grows moderate height somewhere about 10 inches in height but the bloom grows 12 inches in diameter which is quite big.
  • For better appearance, I would suggest planting in a cluster rather in a row.

CRESTED ARMOR

  • This variety itself comes in many colors like yellow, red, pink, and purple. 
  • They grow 12-16 inches in height and work as a perfect mass planting. 
  • The Crested armor has a pleasing color that relaxes the mind and produces harmony. 
  • They grow well in hot conditions.

WHEAT-TYPE CELOSIA

  • You will see wheat type celosia very less than cockscomb and Plumed types. 
  • They have limited colors of spectrum but these colors are no less striking. 
  • In the fall they grow longer than other types of celosias.

ASIAN GARDEN

Celosia (Asian Garden)

  • The Asian garden works as a great hedge for the flower variety. You have noticed them on the road sideways. 
  • If you plant them in early summer the variety will grow non-stop throughout the season. 
  • The foliage of the plant also becomes purple in the cooler weather.
  • The cultivar reaches height floating at about 3 feet. They work well for planting, dried flowers, and cut flowers.

FOREST FIRE

As per the name they look like forest fire also called as dragon’s breath. 

They reach up to a modest height of about 30 inches. The leaves of the variety are yellowish-green which contrasts slightly with the blooms.

They make a good transition with the other plants in the garden from late summer to fall.

FLAMINGO

Their bloom looks like beautiful flamingo feathers purplish in color. The blooms turn their color to white in the hot summer before another round of the growing cycles.

PLUMED-TYPE CELOSIA

Plumed type celosia is present in many varieties and looks like colored bushes.

ARRABONA RED

Celosia

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  • Arrabona red are dwarf mix plants that have strong and steady stems.
  • They grow about 16 inches in height and leave a strong striking effect on the viewer.
  • Their orange and red combination flowers section is unforgettable. 
  • They grow well in drought prone and hot climates.
  • This beautiful flowering plant is good for planting as a boarder or in a bed, cut flowers and also perfect for drying.

FRESH LOOK

This variety is slightly bushier than Arrabona and has a rich color that also reaches height up to 16 inches.

PLUMED CASTLE

This is the shortest variety of celosia. They grow only 6 inches in height but after some varieties of colors.

How to grow celosia

You can find many celosia varieties in the nursery but most of them are hybrids.

Actually, you can grow better colored, shaped, and size if you grow them from seeds. 

Celosia

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Start growing celosia indoors 4 weeks before the last frost date because they are not frosted tolerant.

Instead of growing them directly in the garden ground, I would suggest growing them indoors.

Below are the steps you should take to grow a keen plant from seeds.

Step1: Buy celosia seeds and make sure the seeds are fresh. Dry seeds generally don’t grow.

Step2: Take a seed tray and add pot mixing soil in the vessel.

Step3: Sow seeds in each soil vessel. Don’t show them too deeply, a simple thumb press is enough for seeds to insert in the soil.

Step4: Spray water to make the soil moist and cover the seedling tray with the top cover.

Step5: Place the seedling tray in the spot where they get light. Don’t place them directly in the sunlight.

Germination doesn’t need much light. Covering the seed tray will create a greenhouse effect that will help seeds to germinate.

Spray some water on the seed tray to keep it moist. After 14 days the germination time completes and seedlings pop up from the soil. 

Related post: Best annual plants to grow in the house

Transplant

You can transplant them in a large container or in the garden once the seedlings become 5-6 inches long. 

Kimono

  • Growing them outdoors is easier than indoors because they love sunlight. 
  • If you transplant them in frost condition then the seedling will get damaged or die.
  • Transplant them when they are nice and warm. 
  • Each seedling should be planted at least 8-10 inches apart. 
  • Planting closely will stunt the growth of the plant after they get a little mature. This may cause a fuse or dull blooms.
  • They start flowering from June through the first frost. In the first 5 weeks, they grow slowly. 

After that, they start blooming. You have to keep them moist all the time. 

How to care for celosia

The effort of maintenance of this plant depends upon the variety you are growing.

Many of their varieties grow taller in the height that makes it difficult to care for them.

If you are growing taller varieties like Celosia ‘Argentea Asian garden’ then you have to use a stalk to support heavy flowers. 

starr-070402-6342-Celosia_sp-flowers-Lanai_City-Lanai

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Most people use long tangent stalks and individually tie it to the stems. 

This is a time-consuming process and creates a mess. Instead, use a fence like a support system for larger bloom.

Light

Celosia is a sun-loving plant. You should plant them in the full sun. But the full sun doesn’t always mean full sun. 

Confused? Let me explain

In the day the sun intensity keeps varying. In the early morning, the sunlight is much smooth and more relaxing as compared to afternoon sunlight where it is more intense and harsh.

Celosia - Red fox

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In simple words, you have to provide your plant at least 6-8 hours of morning light.

Plant them in the spot where they get morning sunlight and afternoon shade.

How will you identify whether they are getting proper sunlight or not?

If you plant them in a shaded area where they are not getting enough sunlight then the blooms don’t look bright and vibrant.

Similarly, if you plant them in a sunny spot in the hot or warm weather then you will notice brown spots in the leaves.

Water

Celosia needs regular water for proper growth but they don’t like wet feet. If you overwater them the soil becomes soggy which may cause rot root. 

The root rot in the disease leads to stunting the plant’s growth or sometimes kills them. Water the plant only when you notice the upper layer of the soil gets dry.

Soil 

These plants grow best in well-drained soil which is slightly acidic pH range 6.0-6.5.

Do an acidic test of the soil of the garden if it is acidic it would help to grow a healthy section of celosia.

Celosias

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If you are planting them in pots use high-quality soil that is rich in minerals and nutrients. You can plant them in potting mix soil. 

Mix the soil with plenty of perlite or sand. Mixing them will create good air circulation for roots.

Pruning

Celosia’s main challenge is pruning if you are growing them in a large area. They are excellent ground fillers. Every year after the growing season they reseed. 

They reseed by themselves which is good but they form a cluster or group in a small area which leads to disturbing the growth of the plant. And eventually, they get a stunt.

Celosia

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So you have to prune them whenever you see a dry bloom. 

Prune them when the flowers get half dry. Dry flowers or leaves also suck energy from the plant.

Plucking them will redirect the energy to grow new blooms and leaves.

Don’t pluck them too hard this might damage the plant instead use sharp scissors or pruning shear to cut them. Proper pruning will encourage more blooms.

Pest and disease

For a gardener the best plant is which that doesn’t need much care at all. 

Celestia plants fall in this category. They hardly suffer from any disease or infection. In other words, they are pest and disease-resistant plants. 

Celosia cristata

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You can grow them with vegetables to prevent pests. ‘Woolflowers’ are sometimes attacked by aphids and mites but this happens rarely.

They also suffer from powder mildew and fungal infection but you can avoid these problems by providing them proper water.

If you live them in damp weather conditions then you might encounter slugs. Slugs eat foliage and leaving big holes in the leaves.

Hope you find this article informative 🙂

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