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If you’re interested in a real showstopper of a plant, you might want to check out Celosias. Not only do they come in a variety of colors, but they also come in a variety of shapes. Some of them look like fireworks in flower form, while others look like they’re some new kind of coral. They’re also known as cockscomb, feathered amaranth, and wool flowers; once you’ve seen one of them, you’ll never forget it.
Like most plants, the celosia plant does require certain growing conditions; even so, it really isn’t that hard to take care of. You can get seeds, fertilizer, and more from online stores like EnterNeverland, as well as information on how to care for your new plant. With the proper care and a little extra attention, anyone can enjoy their own celosia plant.
Cultivating Celosias from seeds
Some plants are easiest to grow from cuttings, while others work best if you start with the seeds – Celosias are the second type of plant. If you’ll be planting them outdoors, you should start them off in trays filled with the correct soil mixture (more on that below), and transplant the seedlings once they’ve become hardy enough to handle the switch. Celosias enjoy sunlight, but they also like shade during the heat of the afternoon; make sure they’ll be getting the right amount of sunlight and shade each day, and always plant them after the danger of frost has passed. If you’ll be growing them in pots, you can plant the seeds directly in the containers in which they’ll grow to maturity.
Planting Celosias in flowerbeds vs. pots
There are pros and cons to each option, and what you choose could largely depend on the climate where you live. Not only do Celosias need plenty of sunlight, but they also need a fairly warm environment year-round. This being the case, people living in milder climates may need to move their Celosias indoors during the winter months; this would obviously mean that they’d have to plant their Celosias in pots. If they were in a warmer climate, on the other hand, a sunny flowerbed could be just the ticket.
Caring for celosia plants – what they need to thrive
Once you’ve gotten into a rhythm as you care for your Celosias, you’ll barely even have to think about making sure you’re doing everything right. They’ll need regular attention, sure, but it never involves too much work, and their gorgeous blooms make them more than worth the effort.
Give them enough sunlight
Celosias need full sun in order to grow and flower to their full potential, preferably eight hours each day. They can handle partial shade, but you’ll get fuller blooms with plenty of sunlight.
Control humidity and temperature
Celosias do best between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and they can tolerate up to 90% humidity. They don’t absolutely need it to be that humid, though; indoor humidity levels of around 40% are ideal for these plants. Summer is obviously their time to shine, but anyone living in hardiness zones 10 or 11 can maintain their plants outdoors during the winter as well.
Maintain and prune the plants
This is probably the main aspect of maintenance that sets Celosias apart from other low-maintenance plants. Some celosia varieties have plumes that are quite tall, and too heavy for the stems to hold up; a common practice is to tether them in order to keep them upright.
Another practice is called deadheading, or the cutting off of spent flowers so that the plant won’t self-seed and start a new growth cycle (which stops them from flowering). This encourages more plant growth and especially more plumes. Celosias are technically perennials, but they can keep growing for several consecutive years with this method.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until the flowers are going to seed before cutting some of them; these blooms should be shown off, so you might as well take a few for the dining room table while you’re pruning!
Provide the right amount of water
Overwatering is more dangerous to Celosias than underwatering, as they’re resistant to drought. Dry soil conditions aren’t an issue as long as they don’t last for too long; what’s more important is to avoid chronic overwatering, as this encourages root rot due to fungus. In general, the soil should be both well-drained and moist to ensure the healthiest plants.
Plant them in rich soil
You can’t simply dribble some celosia seeds into regular potting soil and call it a day. That wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do to them, but they ideally need a more customized mix. Specifically, you should use one part of each organic mulch or cow manure, peat moss, and perlite. The mulch/manure provides plenty of nutrients, the peat moss helps retain moisture, and the perlite improves drainage so there’s no standing water around the roots. This mix produces soil that’s rich, loamy, and loose enough to let the water drain well.
Supply the plants with fertilizer
Celosia seedlings should get fertilizer that’s 3 parts nitrogen, 1 part phosphorous, and 2 parts potassium; either this or organic matter should be added to the soil once a week. A fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen encourages the growth of foliage, while a fertilizer that’s high in phosphorous encourages fuller, larger blooms. By the time the plant is fairly established, you can increase the amount of phosphorous in your fertilizer mix for more exuberant flowering.
Common problems for celosia plants
All other things being equal, celosias won’t have that many issues. However, if they aren’t getting enough sun, are getting too much water, or are planted in the wrong type of soil, they’ll be more vulnerable to specific issues. These problems include leaf spot (caused by cool, humid conditions), stem rot (caused by overly humid conditions), and root rot (caused by regular overwatering).
Celosias are some of the most striking plants you could grow, and – even better – they’re some of the easiest plants you could grow as well!
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