Cockscomb "Celosia plumosa," also known as plumed celosia, is a showy annual bloomer with distinctive feathery blooms available in colors from soft pink or violet to bold orange or red. The flame-shaped blooms make an appearance in midsummer and continue until mid-autumn. While cockscomb is often planted in the flowerbed, the prolific bloomer is perfectly suited for container growing indoors or out.
To plant cockscomb in a container, start with a sturdy container filled with commercial potting soil. Any type of container with a drainage hole is appropriate. A terra cotta container is porous and provides ventilation to the plant, but dries out faster than plastic or ceramic. Plastic containers are inexpensive but lightweight and may tip easily. Plant cockscomb in the container at the same soil depth the plant was situated in the nursery container.
Celosia thrives in full sunlight. Although the plant will tolerate partial shade, bright light produces vibrant colors. Indoors, place celosia where the plant will benefit from eight to 10 hours of sunlight every day. A window with a western or southern exposure works well.
Water and Fertilizer
Celosia grows well in soil kept consistently moist. Water regularly to prevent the soil from becoming dry, but don't water excessively, as celosia may rot in muddy soil. Feed celosia regularly, as containerized plants require more fertilizer than plants grown in the ground. Indoors or outdoors, celosia benefits from a weekly feeding of a regular water-soluble fertilizer. If the label recommends a monthly feeding, mix the solution to 1/4 of the suggested strength to make a solution appropriate for weekly feedings. Alternatively, use a timed-release fertilizer in spring.
Deadhead celosia to extend the blooming season.To deadhead celosia, pinch wilted blooms, along with the stalk down to the next bloom or leaf. Pinch celosia blooms as soon as they begin to wilt. Don't wait until the bloom is completely dry, as the plant begins to develop seeds and blooming decreases. Keep the plant neat by removing dry or brown foliage.
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