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Celosia Plant Care Instructions

Celosia, also called Cockscomb, blooms in late summer and early fall in brilliant red, orange and yellow flower combs. These annual flowers grow 12 to 36 inches tall and work well as border fronts, clumped plantings or as cut and dried flowers. Celosia is not difficult to care for and actually grows like a weed in some areas. Knowledge of how to create the right environment for the plant, however, will help produce more spectacular blooms.

Choose an area to plant the celosia with full sun and well-drained fertile soil. Work the soil 9 to 12 inches deep, eliminating clumps and picking out rocks. Mix a generous amount of organic compost into the soil to increase the nutrients available to the flower. Plant celosia so that the root balls of the plants are even with soil level. Space multiple celosia plants 18 to 24 inches apart.

Water the celosia, keeping the soil moist but not soaked. After the plant starts growing vigorously in the ground, it is moderately drought tolerant. It welcomes regular watering, however, during dry spells in the summer.

Pinch back plants two weeks after planting. This will promote branching, multiplying the amount of blooms on the plant.

Fertilize with a complete fertilizer once or twice a month. Three numbers appear on every fertilizer package noting the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium amounts, respectively. In this case, you want to look for fertilizers with a 3-1-2 ratio such as 18-6-12 or 30-10-20. The celosia thrives on the extra nitrogen. Follow the directions on the package for application instructions.


Celosia is resistant to most diseases and pests. Aphids can sometimes infest the plant, however, which you can control by spraying with a hose or with chemicals.

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