The splendor of nature is breathtaking, without question. All the colorful and eye-catching flowers and plants add immense value to our gardens and rooms, transforming them into unique spaces to relax and enjoy the results of diligent gardening. With the enormous selection of species, it is not necessarily easy to find the right one. While some prefer it natural, simple and neutral, others want it to be colorful and eye-catching. If you belong to the latter, we have just the right idea for you: Celosia caracas, also known as plumed cockscomb. The fantastically beautiful flowers in bright, vibrant colors simply attract everyone’s attention!
Celosia species are characterized by so-called plumes. These are not the actual flowers, but a huge cluster of them resembling feathers or flames. The colors are so extraordinarily rich that one might think they are artificial. The flower in the garden is not only decorative. It also conveniently keeps weeds away if you’re growing it as cover crop amidst your crops.
In addition to the flower candles mentioned, there is now another interesting. This refers to the Cockscomb plant (Celosia cristata). The Celosia cockscomb actually appeared as a result of a disease of the plant, in which the flower candle was deformed. Due to the interesting look, this defect was bred further and can vary.
Then there is the so-called Celosia Caracas, which blooms in purple and instead of the typical flame-like plumes, have those that are reminiscent of foxtails and belong to the foxtail family. This is what today’s post is about.
Celosia Caracas Care
Choose the Location for the Plant
Although the plant likes a warm and sheltered from the wind spot, you should avoid a location that is too sunny or choose flowers suitable for full sun patio. The sun is definitely allowed, but the strong midday sun can damage the plants or even dry them out, which is why they should be protected during this time of day. It is also important that the soil is well drained. If your garden soil is loamy, you can mix it with sand to loosen it up. Compost is also suitable for this purpose and also supplies nutrients to the Celosia Caracas.
Water Requirements and Fertilizer
Keyword “nutrients”: How, when and how often should you actually fertilize plumed cockscomb? This isn’t a heavy feeder, so you don’t have to worry too much about that. As a rule, you do not need to fertilize the plants if you have planted them in fresh potting soil. Everything that these specimens need is included there.
Does your garden have a fairly nutrient-poor soil? Then you should help a little. But even then, organic liquid fertilizer once a month, administered via the irrigation water, is completely sufficient. However, potted plants need nutrients more frequently, namely every two to three weeks. These fertilizers are applied from May to September. A fertilizer rich in potassium is also preferable. Water Celosia Caracas regularly and more precisely when the top layer of soil dries and avoid periods of drought or waterlogging.
Is Celosia Caracas Hardy?
No, she’s not, because she comes from tropical areas and doesn’t know winter. Temperatures below 10 degrees are already critical for this plant species, it feels most comfortable between 16 and 24 degrees. So you have the choice: either you dispose of them at the end of the season or when you prepare your beds for the new season or you take the plants in a warm place during winter and cultivate them as perennials. The emphasis here is on “warm”, because the basement, the garage or the conservatory as usual winter quarters are too cold for Celosia Caracas. By the way, you can also grow Celosia as a houseplant or decorate your balcony with it.
Do You Have to Trim the Plume?
In terms of the cut, you are basically free to choose. For a beautiful and well-groomed look, you can remove the dried flowers. In any case, you encourage the formation of new flowers in this way, while you can use cuts for decorative purposes. Just imagine these colorful flowers, which remain beautiful even when dried, in a beautiful vase!
Another useful property of the plant is that it is edible. For example, you can use the leaves like spinach. Is Celosia toxic to cats or other animals? No, it is not.