Celosia Plant Profile
argentea) is an annual flowering plant in the Amaranth family that is also
known as Woolflower or Feather Cockscomb. Depending on the variety, the flowers
can be bright yellow, orange, deep red, purple, or pink. They have a long
season of bloom from June until heavy frost.
They originate from East Africa and are hardy to USDA zones 10 and 11, so in most areas they are started by direct-sowing seeds or transplanting seedlings after the threat of frost is gone in spring. Celosia will self-sow and return year after year in the same spot, if you let them.
There are three major forms of Celosia blooms. The spicata are very narrow and candle-like, the plumosa are flame-like, and the cristata are broader and can form into interesting shapes like coral or fans.
Celosia make sturdy and long-lasting cut flowers and can be dried easily – though they lose their bright coloring and fade after time.
The foliage of Celosia can be bright-green or dark-red. The leaves are edible and should be gathered when young and tender (before the flowers emerge). They are traditionally boiled or steamed as a side dish that tastes similar to spinach.
Celosia grows best in full sun and well-draining soils. It can be grown in containers or in beds. They may require staking if they grow too tall or top-heavy.
Celosia: You Can Grow That!
BTW, 2023 will be the Year of the Celosia -- find out more here.
The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners.
Audio and text by Kathy Jentz
Video and editing by Brandie Bland
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~ Podcast: GardenDC