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How to Plant Coxcomb Flowers


If you have a gardening center close by and want to skip starting these from seed—although it is usually easy—often you can buy starter plants in flats.

Coxcomb flowers, also called cockscomb or celosia, are named after their uniquely shaped (shape varies between varieties) and brilliantly colored blooms—which can look like a plump and colorful plume—that typically comes in vivid shades of red. The beauty of the blooms is why coxcomb is a favorite among many florists and ornamental gardeners. You can bring the beauty of this annual flower into your own garden. Just remember to plant them outdoors in late spring, or whenever danger of frost has passed, as coxcomb flowers do best in warm weather.

Choose a sunny area of your home, such as a warm windowsill or beneath a grow lamp, to start the seeds. Fill a seed tray/flat or small starter pots—peat, clay or plastic are fine—full of potting soil.

Sprinkle the soil with water from a watering can to moisten it. Sprinkle several seeds per pot (seeds are small) and cover them with a fine layer of soil—no more than an eighth to a quarter inch. Keep seeds moist and warm for best results. In a few weeks the plants should be big enough to plant outdoors.

Choose a sunny area of your flower garden. Coxcomb do best in full sunlight—the area should get at least five hours of sunlight per day, preferably more. Break up the soil with a spade, adding peat moss to give the soil better drainage. These flowers don't like to be soggy.

Place a ruler or yardstick on the soil. Every 1 to 2 feet, use the spade to make a small hole in the soil for the flowers.

Place a small celosia plant, root ball and all, in each hole and loosely cover with the damp soil. Water the plants well with a garden hose. Keep the area moist but not soggy, and let the plants adjust. Then, after a week or two, you may add some regular flower fertilizer to give them a boost.

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