A florist favorite in fresh and dried flower arrangements, Celosia also shines in garden plantings. This showy summer annual blooms in three very distinct forms. Some varieties of Celosia are topped with elegant feathery plumes and can reach a height of 4 feet. So called “wheat” varieties bloom in more compact, upright spires shaped like stalks of wheat. The most unusual Celosias are the crested varieties that have a unique thick and twisting flower formation that resembles a rooster’s comb. It is from this variety that Celosia gets its common name, cockscomb.
Sun-loving plants, Celosia thrive in full sun and can easily withstand drought and extreme heat with minimal watering. In fact, these lovely flowers can be grown in nearly any location except wet or soggy soils. Easy to grow, Celosia are prolific bloomers, adding lovely color to home gardens from mid-summer through mid-fall. Available in seven sunset colors from sunny yellow to brilliant red to smoky purple, these attractive plants are best used in mass plantings. They are particularly effective when massed against evergreens or leafy shrubbery. Celosia also provides an attractive backdrop for border plants, and the wheat varieties mix nicely with ornamental grasses. Its broad height range—from 6 inches to 4 feet—makes Celosia an extremely versatile plant that can be used successfully in numerous garden settings.
Prized by florists as both a cut and dried flower, Celosia can be enjoyed throughout the summer; then harvested in the fall for use in dried arrangements. To dry, cut before seeds set, remove the leaves, and hang flower stems upside down in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place.To press your Celosia, follow our pressing tips here.