Garden Talk

with Rebecca Jordi

Q: My grandmother just received something called Cockscomb as a gift from a visitor while she is in rehabilitation. What do we do with it?

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Celosia_plumosa

Celosia_plumosa

A:  Celosia has two types of flowers, the cockscomb, Celosia cristata and the plume types, Celosia plumosa. The tight, velvety texture of the cockscomb flowers look like brain tissue to some people. The fluffy, light, airy texture of the plume types blow freely in a breeze and are planted more often. Both come in a variety of colors.  It is an annual and can be planted outside once she returns home.  It usually grows no taller than 1 – 2 feet.  Celosia plants love full sun so be sure to put it in the window so it can get as much light as possible.  Although once it is planted outside, it will tolerate some shade.  The soil should be kept moist but not wet.  Once she gets back home, she can plant any of the following along with her gift:  Cristata cultivars include the dwarf ‘Jewel Box’ and ‘Olympia’ series and the taller (18 to 24 inches) ‘Floradale’ and ‘Chief’ series. Plumosa series and cultivars include the dwarf ‘Kimono’ and ‘Geisha’ series and the taller types including ‘Apricot Brandy’, ‘Castle’ series, ‘Century’ series, ‘Forest Fire’ and ‘New Look’.

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