How to Plant Cockscomb Flower Plants

Overview

Celosia, commonly called cockscomb or woolflowers, is an easy-care annual. The frost-tender plant is native to tropical Asia. Its brightly colored "cockscombs" are flowers shaped like a rooster's comb. The flowers resemble the folds of the brain. The blooms come in a variety of colors, including red, white, pink, gold, crimson and yellow. The cockscomb is in bloom throughout the summer and until the first killing frost. They are require little maintenance, and make excellent patio or border specimens.

Step 1

Sow cockscomb seeds indoors four to six weeks before your final frost date. Place the seeds in peat pots and cover with about 1/4 inch of seed-starting soil. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate. When the seedlings have their second set of leaves, they are ready to transplant. The University of Florida Extension says the flower heads may be larger if the seed is sown directly into the garden than if started indoors. Or, sow seeds 5 to 8 inches apart, then cover with 1/4 inch of soil. Amend the soil, as outlined in Step 2, before planting the seeds. Water thoroughly and daily until the second set of leaves has developed. Thin the plants to 18 inches apart.

Step 2

Choose a garden spot that gets full sun. Wait until the final frost date has passed, then amend the soil with compost and manure. Cockscomb prefers rich, well-draining soil.

Step 3

Dig holes as wide and as deep as your containers, if you're using transplants. Space the holes 18 inches apart. Fill the holes halfway with water and let drain. Water your cockscomb transplants.

Step 4

Squeeze gently on each container to loosen the cockscomb plant. Remove the plant and place it in the hole.

Step 5

Backfill gently with the soil you removed. Tamp down firmly to remove any air pockets.

Step 6

Water the cockscomb thoroughly until established, then once a week during the growing season. Fertilize with an all-purpose 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 fertilizer once a month.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat pots Seed-starting soil Compost and manure All-purpose 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 fertilizer

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Celosia
  • University of Florida Extension: Cockscomb
  • Botany.com: Celosia-Cockscomb
Keywords: planting cockscomb flowers, growing celosia, easy annual flowers

About this Author

Aileen Clarkson has been an award-winning editor and reporter for more than 20 years, earning three awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. She has worked for several newspapers, including "The Washington Post" and "The Charlotte Observer." Clarkson earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Florida.