The Celosia, also known as “woolflowers,” are members of the amaranth family. It is an edible ornamental that can be grow in your garden, having a taste like spinach. They contain same vitamins and minerals also found in deep-hued leafy leafs.
Now here’s the trick about the celosia, their leaves are tender and tasty when the plant is still young, but turn bitter after blooming. Normally, you’d want to harvest them and consume when they are still young, but then harvesting them young without blooming means losing their biggest appeal- their flowers!
They are colorful and uniquely-shaped- in the form of plumed candle flames or coral, available in a wide variety of colors.
Let’s take a look at an effective growing guide you can adopt to grow your own celosia at its best. Note: they love lots of sunlight.
GOOD LIGHT AND BETTER DRAINAGE
Woolflowers will also grow in partial sunlight, however, they blossom well under sunny and dry weather conditions.
So grow them in a space with abundance of sunlight and warmth, and the resultant effect will be crazy, colorful blooming flowers. However, most importantly, you must pay attention to their soil and watering requirements as it is much more necessary than the sunlight.
Celosia plants should not be watered heavily, plus they require soil with excellent drainage which won’t hold much water. If grown in soil with too much water concentration, they tend to look limp and unattractive, and then will practically melt away because of too much water stored up in the soil.
Frustratingly, these plants still need a well-watered soil to thrive. What do you do in this case? Trying to balance watering and sunlight can be a very tricky task when grown in containers and raised beds. However, once they are planted in well-drained soil with enough sunlight, they will take care of themselves.
From my findings, woolflowers will prosper and thrive well with just an inch of rain a week, but will whither off if it exceeds that.
They are generally grown as annual plants, but can be short-lived perennials in zones 9-11. Woolflowers also reseeds easily!
OH YEAH, ABOUT THAT DRESSING
In ensuring a proper dressing and arrangement of your garden of woolflowers, you should not leave them to complete their bloom cycle and start growing seeds in the garden. Instead, you must cut the spent flower heads just before they wither and start producing seeds in the garden.
This makes celosia an excellent filler plant for areas around your home you have difficulties maintaining, but can be messy for areas that are well-maintained.
The cut flowers are easily dried up and creates nce look to the garden.
TROUBLES AND PROBLEM GROWING COLORFUL CELOSIA? FORGET ABOUT IT
WoolFlowers are not only attractive but also are less-stressful plants, most especially because they are resistant to some pests and other problems. You don’t always have to bug yourself on plant infestation, as they have the ability to ward off most pests and illnesses.
However, woolflowers are exclusively affected by aphids and mites, an issue which occurs seldomly. They can also be affected by powdery mildew and fungal infections. Following the right watering procedures can help prevent illnesses or problems just as this.
The flower will need staking at some point along the growth cycle, to support its heavy leaves. Tie individual flowers stems to stakes so as to avoid a tangled mess.
In the absence of flower infestation, your celosia plant should bloom from june through the first frost.
GROWING A CELOSIA FROM SEED
The celosia relatively is temperamental when grown from seed. If grown outdoors, it can survive and thrives by producing a lot of seeds to counter the effect of lower germination rates. While, when grown indoors can be picky under the conditions they are grown in.
To ensure a good flower growth, start your indoors about four the last frost date as the seedlings are not tolerant to cold weather conditions.
Their seeds do not need sunlight to germinate, rather a good and consistently moist soil. To achieve this, you can use a greenhouse cover over your seed tray.
If allowed to dry out completely, the seedlings will die. Thus, the reason for keeping the soil moist.
You can transplant them when the hard frost is gone, else they will take a serious damage and may not recover. Only plant them once you find the weather convenient for their growth, spacing them eight inches apart,
THE BEST CULTIVARS FOR CELOSIA
There are three general types of celosia you can grow around your garden. They include: cockscomb, wheat, and plumed.
They exist in different varieties and share almost the same requirement for growing and good plant health.
This is the most captivating among the celosia plants, it possesses broad and large blooms resembling the shape of coral. You would want to use staking to hold their flowers as they are quite heavy to stand on their own.
GYPSY QUEEN CELOSIA
The “Gypsy Queen” comes in bold, dark maroon color and with a wide fan-shaped flower. Like the Cockscomb Celosia, it also bears a stunning color, making this flower an envy to the eyes.
It can get to heights of between 8 to 16 inches tall, and blooms from late summer into autumn. They also thrive well in pots and in cut flower gardens.
RED VELVET CELOSIA
They come in bold and beautiful flowers. Quite a fascination to the eye, the red velvet is a flower you’d want to place at the centerpiece of your garden. It can grow to about 3 to 4 feet in height with large blooms! Making them taller than most other cultivars.
Their striking colors make them an excellent choice of flowers you can grow in your garden.
FAN DANCE SCARLET CELOSIA
This flower possesses broad and fan-shaped flowers just like the Gypsy Queen. Its colors are not all that catchy as it has a more restrained appearance.
It can grow to heights of about 3 feet, and can be planted as the rear wall color for your garden beds. The stems are strong enough, meaning there is no need for staking. They thrive best in hot and dry weather conditions.
KING CORAL CELOSIA
The King Coral is what you should go for if you’re looking to grow confident-looking colors in your garden.
They are modest in height and can grow as tall as about 10 inches, while the blooms can reach an incredible diameter of 12 inches.
CRESTED ARMOR CELOSIA
If you’re looking out for a mix of colors in your garden, then the “Crested Armor”
a mix of seeds is your best bet.
They come in red. Purple, yellow, and orange colors, which are captivating to the eye. The Crested Armor should be considered if you want to give your garden the right blend of colors.
The flower reaches 12 to 16 inches and works well as a bedding planting in mass groups, or for butterfly gardens. They also thrive well under hot climates.
There are less selection of flowers in the wheat variety of celosia than other categories, the few available are no less striking having a limited spectrum of color.
The wheat variety can grow longer into and through the fall than either cockscomb or plumed types.
ASIAN GARDEN CELOSIA
These types of cultivar are excellent choices to line your driveways or sidewalks, and its foliage takes a purplish hue in cooler temperatures.
They are also tall flowers as it can reach heights of above 3 feet.
This selection is also suitable for plantings, cutting gardens, and dried flowers.
FOREST FIRE CELOSIA
The “Forest Fire” comes in a wonderful red, and a modest height of up to 30 inches. It develops a yellowish-green color that blends just perfectly with other colors in your garden.
The Flamingo cultivar is pretty much on the shorter variety with heights of about two-foot.
They react to extreme hot conditions by turning their flowers to shades of white before changing to purple as fall approaches.
It is a nice selection for cut flowers.
They fit in just right in containers and mix well with French marigolds.
The Arrabona Red is a plumed cultivar selection. It comes in a dwarf variety that produces strong and sturdy plants that can grow to about 16 inches in height, leaving a striking effect on whoever sees it.
It comes in red and orange colors which creates a lasting impression on the mind of viewers, and thrives well under drought-prone and hot climates.
Also a great choice for cut flowers, beddings and borders, and in containers. It is perfect for drying.
For a better appreciation of Arrabona Red, you can try the “Fresh Look Red.” they appear a bit bushier, but compensates in a richer color. It can also grow to about 16 inches in height.
These are shorter cultivars growing just over 6 inches tall but offer the same variety of colors.
GET TO GARDENING
The celosis is an easy-to-grow flower as long as it is grown under the right conditions; sunlight and a well-drained soil. Their flowers not only give your garden a perfect look, but one that sure catches the attention of viewers.
If you have planted any of these lovely flowers, feel free to share your experience with us!