They thrive in hot and humid Mediterranean conditions. Besides that, they can survive wintery weather in hardiness zones 10 to 11 according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Let’s get into the specifics of taking care of these magnificent flowers.
Growing celosia is relatively easy so long as their sunlight and soil needs are provided for. Let’s take a look at the various aspects of growing them and what you can do.
- Light and Drainage
Concerning sunlight, they need a minimum of eight hours of direct sun exposure. Their soil must have good drainage so excess water will flow out, or the plant will develop root rot.
But if the soil doesn’t drain properly, you can add perlite and compost to improve it. Or you can transfer them to raised beds, pots, or other vessels.
- Soil and Compost
While celosia flowers can grow in sandy soil with not many nutrients, they’re best planted in healthy soils mixed with organic matter.
Do this by first preparing your organic matter, the best of which are compost, well-aged cow manure, peat, and leaf mold. Using one or a combination of these will do.
So in autumn, spread about 3 to 6 inches of organic material onto the top layer of the soil. And then, mix it underneath the soil thoroughly at 10 to 12 inches deep.
Celosia prefers low-acidic soil at 6 to 6.5 on the pH scale. In case you have to lower the pH to make it acidic, add sulfur to the soil; meanwhile to raise it, simply add lime.
- Planting and Watering
Planting must be done outside in warm weather above 60℉. Below that temperature will damage the plants.
As soon as you’ve done so, water them until moist so their roots can be established well in the soil.
Afterward, layer the topsoil with 3 inches of mulch to allow them to retain moisture and prevent weeds from sprouting.
Keep in mind that their soil has to stay consistently moist, so water them accordingly. Once or twice a day, you can also mist the soil or the lower part of the plant to render its soil damp.
- Fertilizing and Deadheading
You may not have to fertilize your celosias at all. But if you notice them growing slower than usual, then use a water-soluble fertilizer with a 3:1:2 ratio for nutrients and fast absorption.
As cultivar plants tend to grow tall and bend down a bit, you can tie them on a stake or push the stems back gently for natural and beautiful growth.
Also, if you see any wilted or dead flowers, cut them off using sanitized clippers. Doing so will foster new and fresh blooms to replace them.