Celosia - Cockscomb
DESCRIPTION: These tender annuals come from tropical Asia and other warm countries. There are two kinds of Celosia. One type bears brightly colored flowers that resemble a cock's comb in appearance. The flowers come in yellow, orange, crimson or pink. The other type has a flower that is soft and fluffy like a feather plume; they are colored crimson, scarlet or gold. Celosia bloom in the summer and fall. These plants will grow from 1-3 feet high.
POTTING: Repotting should be carried out before the roots show through the bottom of the pots. It's important not to cramp the plants. The best soil mixture to use consists of two-thirds loam, one-third leaf mold and decayed manure and a bit of sand. When they are grown in pots, they'll flourish if their soil is kept moist at the roots and if the atmosphere is kept moderately humid. Sprits the foliage every day with water when they are in active growth. The most important details in the care of this plant is to make sure they aren't cramped in their pots and to keep them in plenty of sunlight.
PROPAGATION: From February to April, seeds should be sown in pots in a greenhouse having a 55- to 60-degree temperature. When the seedlings are an inch high, they are potted separately into 2-inch pots and kept in a warm greenhouse. Repot as needed. If space is needed in the greenhouse, the seedlings may be plucked out and placed 3 inches apart in flats of rich soil. Keep them in a warm greenhouse for a time and then suddenly place them in lower temperatures and withhold water until the soil is quite dry. This will force the "combs" to bloom prematurely; the plants with the best looking combs should be potted in rich soil and returned to the warmer greenhouse and fed with liquid fertilizer. This will produce small plants with attractive, large flowers. If very small plants are desired, the tops of young plants may be cut off a little below the comb, and placed in small pots of sandy soil under a hand light or bell jar in the greenhouse. These will soon form roots and make pretty, little plants that shouldn't be repotted. Plants wanted for planting outdoors are hardened off in a cold frame before planting in the flowerbed after the weather is warm and settled. Sowing seeds directly outside, in early spring, where they are to bloom will give great results; they will need to be thinned out.
VARIETIES: With flat "combs"- C. cristata. With feathery inflorescences - C. plumosa
Celosia Wine Sparkler
Red Velvet Celosia Cockscomb
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