Houseplant of the month: Celosia

Houseplant of the month: Celosia

If you’re looking for spectacular flowers and gorgeous, vivid colours, a celosia is just what you need. These exotic-looking annuals add colour to pots and bedding schemes, and the flowers look stunning in arrangements. Here’s how to grow and care for a celosia

 

Types of celosia

The most commonly available celosias are the plumed celosias, also sometimes called Prince of Wales’ feathers. Their botanical name is Celosia plumosa (Plumosa Group). These are short, bushy plants with pointed, fluffy flowers that look like brightly coloured flames or feathers.

A second group, Celosia argentea (Cristata Group), have very striking flowers, some resembling coral growths with their intricate whorls and ruffles, and others forming crinkled fans or cockscombs. These two types are sometimes called ‘brain’ celosias and ‘cockscomb’ celosias.

Finally, there are the wheat celosias (Celosia spicata), which are taller, with plumed flowers similar to the Plumosa Group types.

 

How to grow celosia

Celosia seeds can be sown indoors in a warm environment in early spring, ideally in a propagator at a temperature of between 20-25ºC (68-77ºF). The seeds should germinate in 1-2 weeks, and the seedlings can either be planted outside in summer or grown as indoor plants. Transplanting celosia can be tricky, as they don’t appreciate having their roots disturbed. To get around this, sow the seeds in individual pots so that the seedlings can be planted out with minimal disturbance. Cardboard toilet roll tubes make excellent biodegradable pots. Fold in one end to keep the compost in, and plant out the whole tube, seedling and all, once the frosts are over. 

The two essentials for growing celosia successfully are plenty of sunshine – at least 6 hours per day – and well-drained soil, as the roots, are likely to rot in heavy soils. If you’re growing them as indoor plants, plant in containers filled with good multipurpose compost mixed with grit, and place them in the sunniest spot available. For the best flowers, move them outside in summer. 

Celosias are relatively low-maintenance plants, and although they do best with regular watering, they can cope with a bit of drought and don’t need frequent feeding. 

 

Cutting celosia for dried flowers

Celosias make spectacular cut flowers, and when the flowers are dried properly they can last for up to six months before fading. Harvesting celosia for drying is very straightforward. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Wait until the flowers are fully open before cutting them.
  • Cut early in the morning, after the dew has dried on the flowers. 
  • Cut the flower stems at ground level, and remove all leaves. 
  • Tie the stems together in small bundles, with about 6-8 stems to a bundle. 
  • Hang the bundles upside down somewhere warm, dark and well ventilated to dry. This process normally takes about a month. 
  •  

If you’re looking for a splash of colour to brighten up your home or garden this summer, come and visit our centre. With our great range of plants and garden accessories, we’ve got everything you need!

You might also be interested in:

Upcycling home trends with used furniture

These upcycling home trends with used furniture are a great way to spruce up furniture that you no longer want to use but don’t want to put into waste. Upcycling can mean you create something new for your home or even something to sell on for someone else. It helps minimise landfill and can be an environmentally friendly way to update your home and garden furnishings. 

1. Upcycling with old wooden desks 

If you are done with an ol...

Read more...
Squirrels in your garden

Seeing squirrels in your garden can be terrific fun, and they are quite common in many areas, especially where there are plenty of trees. They will happily munch new shoots, berries, fungi and many other things you might not want them to eat, so there are some protective measures you can take if you want to keep them off your plants and away from the bird feeders. Grey squirrels are common but red squirrels are now endangered. Here is how to welcome squirrels into your garden...

Read more...
15 gardening tips for February

In February, you can really sense that spring is just around the corner, with snowdrops and daffodils starting to appear and buds swelling on the trees. Please make the most of dry days with our top 15 gardening jobs for February.

Top 15 gardening tips for February

  1. Prune winter-flowering shrubs like Mahonia and Viburnum x bodnantense as soon as they’ve finished flowering, to keep their shape neat.

  2. Prune bush roses n...

Read more...
Popular houseplant: the money tree

We know money doesn’t really grow on trees, but you can still have your own money tree in your home, enriching you with the beauty of nature. The money tree (Pachira aquatica) is native to swamps and riverbanks in Central and South America, where it can grow to a height of 18m (60ft). Grown as an indoor plant, it doesn’t reach these lofty heights, though it can eventually reach 1.8m (6ft). We offer beautiful houseplants to cheer up your interior in our garden centre. The mone...

Read more...

Opening hours

  • Monday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Tuesday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Friday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday
    10:30 - 16:30
Show all opening hours