Coxcomb (Celosia cristata) is a flowering annual that loves the heat. It grows to 20 inches tall and provides stunning cut flowers in shades of red, purple, orange and yellow, depending on the variety. Coxcomb seeds are tiny and the seedlings’ roots are sensitive to transplanting. Start your coxcomb seeds indoors four weeks before the last frost date in your area.
Combine equal parts of potting mix and perlite, moisten it and pour it into the flat to within 1/2 inch of the rim.
Pour the coxcomb seeds into a bowl. Moisten the tip of a toothpick and use the tip to pick up each seed. You may have to moisten it again between seeds. Place the seeds, two per cell, on the soil in the flat.
Cover the seeds with 1/2 inch of soil. Mist the entire flat with water.
Place the flat in a plastic bag and onto a heat mat. Set the heat mat to 80 degrees F during the day and lower the heat to 70 degrees F at night. The seeds do not need light to germinate. Transplant the coxcomb into the garden when they have four leaves and outside temperatures remain higher than 65 degrees F.
Spread 4 inches of compost and 2 inches of peat moss over the soil and use the gardening fork or a shovel to mix it in to a depth of 8 inches.
Dig holes, 18 inches apart, for the coxcomb flowers. Dig the holes the same depth as the seeding tray and twice the width of the cell. Carefully remove each plant from the cells and place the roots into the holes. Pack the soil around them.
Water the coxcomb plants to a depth of 4 inches and provide 1 inch of water per week. Your plants will flower within 12 weeks.