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How to Care for Celosia


Celosia seedlings can be purchased from nurseries and flower shops, and should be planted as soon as the soil is workable in the spring. Celosia requires no pruning or pinching of any kind to grow orderly and produce flowers. Pine bark nuggets are the recommended mulch, but most other bark mulches can be used if necessary. Celosia is grown as a perennial in zones 10 through 12; it is considered a tender annual in other zones.

Celosia, also known as cock's comb, is a genus of tender annuals made up of about 60 different species. They are edible, but are more commonly grown for ornamental purposes. They can produce one of three different flower structures depending on the species. Celosia flowers can be red, gold, yellow, orange, purple or multi-colored. Celosia is native to South America, Africa and Asia, and can be easily cultivated in most temperate climates.

Start celosia seeds in a planter indoors about four to six weeks before the final frost of the year. Keep the soil consistently moist, and the temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit for germination to begin.

Plant celosia in the spring after the final frost. Choose a planting location that receives full sunlight each day and has well-drained soil that does not accumulate standing water. Celosia can tolerate partial shade, but the flowers will not be as vivid.

Water celosia three to four times a week, just enough to keep the soil from drying out completely. Reduce watering during fall to twice per week, and again in winter to once per week. Never allow the soil to become soggy, or the plant will rot and die.

Feed celosia plants using a balanced water-soluble fertilizer once per month during spring and summer months. Maintain a 2-inch layer of pine bark nuggets over the soil surrounding celosia to conserve moisture and provide extra nutrients to the soil.

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