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April 25, 2018

Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist


Choosing flowering annuals at the garden center is always an easy choice with celosia today on Southern Gardening. 

Celosia will attract a lot of interest.  Flower shapes range from billowy plumes, brain like globular flowers, or narrow spikes.  And these flowers come in a virtual calliope of vibrant colors.  With all of this variety some may think Celosia is out of this world. 

Celosia is a tropical plant that is one of the best flowering annuals we can grow.  With all of the flower variety they rank high in style, plus they are low in maintenance.  What more can the gardener ask for? 

Known botanically as Celosia argentea, there are three flower variations.  Spicata also known as wheat celosia, has slender, cylindrical pink or rose flowers.  The individual flowers can appear as metallic with silvery-white bases. 

Plumosa, commonly called plumed celosia, has flowers resembling feather dusters.  And Cristata, known as crested celosia, has flowers tightly clustered like the comb of a rooster or round and lobed and look like a technicolor cauliflower or velvety brain. 

Size is variety dependent, ranging from 6 to 8 inches to over three feet tall.  The foliage is mainly green but can be tinged with bronze and maroon, obviously a favorite for bulldog fans. 

And while the foliage is attractive, the flowers are the show.  The colors come in a range of brilliant hues, including red, yellow, orange, cream, salmon, and purple.  The flowers are showy from early summer to frost. 

Pinching the plants will promote lateral growth and more flowers, but pruning or deadheading are not required. 

With their eye catching flowers and easy care, celosia are a welcome addition to your landscape. 

I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening. 

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