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Photo: Cockscomb

General description

The celosia caracas is a very versatile plant with an unusual, yet elegant, shaped flower that can display quite a lot of different shapes, sizes and vibrant colors. This flower is often referred to as a cockscomb and is a more popular term used by gardeners due to its appearance.

This species comes in giant size as well as dwarf sizes, but most of them generally average around two to three feet when they are fully mature. This plant has a unique physical characteristic; displaying feather-like, fluffy, floral plumes that have a mystical quality, blowing in the wind with even the slightest breeze. They are light and airy and just scream springtime!

The celosia caracas has a lifespan of only one growing season, or year if you prefer to call it, which makes it an annual plant. This plant is actually however, capable of reseeding itself, but the success rate with the appearance of the plant is much higher if you physically gather the seeds yourself, take the time to dry them out, store them properly, and replant them next year.

Gardeners often form a bit of an addiction or infatuation to these plants after planting one for the first time, not only for their beauty, but also for their low maintenance property. The celosia caracas truly grows into a breathtaking plant.

They tend to flourish best in a sunny, bright area and prefer a well drained soil.

The plant is, however, fairly tolerant of a variety of soil types. To reap the most rewarding physical results, you should plant these in groups rather than by themselves.

The celosia caracas, like most plants, should be planted after the last frost of the cold season. You can, however, start the planting indoors with seeds in peat pots and then transfer them to the flower bed. This will allow you to get a bit of a head start on your neighbors that you may be in competition with. If you do this, your plants will bloom early, allowing you more time to enjoy them.

They are highly recommended for flower beds and for use as borders, but they can be grown in garden troughs and containers. These plants are relatively pest and disease free, which makes them ideal for even a beginner gardener.

An interesting quality about the celosia caracas is that it can be dried while it's in full bloom so that you can continue to enjoy their beauty through the winter.

To dry them, you should pick the flower after the dew from the morning has dried completely, strip away the leaves and gather together all of the blossoms you have acquired. Join all of these blossoms together by attaching them with a rubber band at the end of the stems and then hang them upside down in a cool dark place. Once they have dried completely, you can use them in a floral arrangement.

If you're looking for a “show-stopper” type of plant to add to your landscaping, this one is for you. It has such a distinct quality and it is so incredibly easy to care for. Most nurseries will carry the seeds for this plant and you only really need to buy the seeds once, since you can re-use them again next year.

Once you plant celosia caracas plants in your yard, you won't want any other flower in place of them because nothing else can really compare. 

Plant requirements

Water - keep moist

Fertilize 2 X month

Sun 6+ hours

Cold hardiness 45 degrees


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Practical use

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30 - 60 cm
Soil type
Full sun
Moist but well-drained