Celosia- Celosia Argentea Growing and Caring Facts

Celosia, Celosia argentea (Celosia plumosa), adds vibrant color and texture to the landscape. Celosia, or cockscomb, is the common name for these plumed, almost fuzzy, flowered plants. Find facts and information on types of celosia and how to grow and care for them.


Vibrant celosia flowers

Celosia Facts

Celosia argentea (Celosia plumosa) is an annual plant that is unique in form and vibrant in color. It is recognized by its plumed flowers that grow in an upright pattern. Celosia prefers full sun to do its best. While cockscomb is technically a perennial, it is often grown as an annual.

Cristata cultivars bear blooms that resemble a rooster’s comb, and last all summer. They are useful as bedding plants, in the border, or in containers. The orange, yellow, and red colors are perfect for the hot patio or pool area. Blooms may be dried or used as fresh cut flowers.

*Good companion plants include dahlias, gladiolus, ‘David’ garden phlox, and goldenrod.

Growing and Caring for Celosia Argentea

Plant celosia 12-18” apart, depending on the cultivar. Apply slow-release granular plant food when planting, or begin using water soluble plant food 3 weeks after planting in spring. Follow label directions for amounts and frequency. Cockscomb prefers even moisture, so water deeply as soon as the soil is almost dry. Apply mulch to help retain soil moisture. Remove plants after or right before the first frost. Cover the bare soil with 3” of mulch to protect the top-soil over the water.

"Celosia Caracus'

Related species: Celosia Venezuela 'Caracus'

Propagation: Sprinkle seeds over the soil mix and cover. Thoroughly moisten and keep moist, not soggy, until seeds germinate. Germination occurs in 10 days at 75 degrees. Transplant 10-15 days after sowing, and reduce the temperature to 65-68 degrees.

Pests and Diseases: fungal leaf spots, root and stem rots, and spider mites are occasional problems.

Related species: Plumosa cultivars include ‘Apricot Brandy’ ( 20” high with apricot-colored blooms). ‘Fairy Fountains’ (16” high, with pastel shades of pink, salmon, and yellow), Kimono Series (8” high, with large flowers of bright yellow, rose-red, cream, and salmon pink), and ‘New Look’ (18” high with reich red blooms and bronze-tinged foliage).

"Celosia Argentea"

Container of Celosia argentea

One of my favorites is Celosia 'Caracus' a vibrant pink that is a little different in looks and feel. Cristata cultivars include Big Chief Mix (3’ high with 6” wide yellow, pink, and red flowers), Jewel Box Mix (8” high with bright yellow, red, salmon, and pink flowers, occasionally several colors on one flower), and Kurume Series (4’ high bearing a wide range of bright colors including bicolors).

Drying  Cockcomb Varieties

1. Harvest cockscomb for drying while it is in peak bloom.

2. To dry the flowers, hang them upside down in a dry location out of direct sunlight.


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