Also known as cockscomb and feathery amaranth, the Celosia Cristata it is a rather cultivated plant in Europe and much appreciated for its flowers which, even in photography, are striking for their shapes and colors,
This genus of plants belongs to the family of Amaranthaceae and is native to the tropical areas of Asia, Africa and America, annuals. Most of the species that are part of it have very showy inflorescences that sprout above the leaves, colorful and showy that rise above the leaves.
The Cpraise loves the sunlight and the heat, if we live in an area where the climate is temperate, as happens in many regions of Italy, then we can think of cultivating it outdoors as well, placing it in flower beds and gardens.
The optimal temperature for this plant is from 20 ° C to 23 ° C, the perfect range for it to give us abundant blooms and stay healthy for many years. What is certain is that below 15 ° C this plant really struggles to live and survive.
If we fear this plant in the house we must be very careful that it can be reached by Sun rays, essential for her, but that if they pass through the glass they can become too intense and therefore burn her.
The soil must always be humid, therefore watering must be frequent but being careful not to rot the roots or cause water stagnation in the saucer that can kill our Celosia.
In the summer season it can be an excellent idea nebulize the hair in order to recreate a sort of tropical environment, the one to which this kind of plants is accustomed, seeing the areas from which it comes. When we do this, be careful not to wet the flowers but only the leaves, so as not to damage them, being delicate.
Being annual seedlings, the practice of repotting is not necessary at all and we can also avoid doing it. The only step to take is that of the first regret after sowing. In this case it is necessary to use a fertile soil, with peat and coarse sand, and a pH of about 6-6.4.
Fertilization, for the Celosia, must start from the month of May, usually liquid products are used to be diluted in water when irrigating. At the time of flowering, fertilization must be frequent while later we can reduce the pace and doses. For information, as we haven't said this yet, Celosia blooms in late spring. It is not one of the earliest plants but then it continues to flower until full autumn unlike others that stop much earlier.
To have a more generous flowering, we can carry out a pruning. It acts on vegetative apexes of the plant so that the branching increases and therefore also the flowers.
There are over sixty species in the genus Celosia, here are the most memorable among which obviously our Celosia Cristata, the best known and most widespread, characterized by carmine red or yellow flowers, gathered in spike inflorescences, about ten centimeters wide. The leaves of this Celosia they are of an intense green color and fleshy consistency. Traveling the world we find this species called the different ways. In Mexico it is "flor de terciopelo ", in Nigeria and throughout West Africa, "soko yokoto", in Spain and Guatemala, "cockscomb", as in Italy.
Among other species, I would mention for example the Celosia Argentea, because it is the one from which all the others are derived. Native to tropical Asia, this plant is of considerable size, even reaches a meter in height, has dark green leaves and silver-white flowers.
Particular also the Celosia Caracas because of its crimson colored inflorescences that appear during the summer period.
Celosia plumosa has a very curious and interesting peculiarity. Its flowers can be dried and keep their own sparkling color, they are therefore very useful for making home decorations.
When they are in full bloom we must collect them and put them upside down to rest in a dark, well ventilated room. In about ten days they will be ready to be used, after a spray of hairspray.
If we notice that the plant begins to wither and the growth rate slows down, most likely we are watering it too much or we are wrong in the period and frequency of fertilizations. A third cause may be exposure to cold air currents, which you do not like.
To save ours Celosia we can eliminate the roots that have already rotted and repot it, or move it to a more sheltered place. This plant can also become prey to insects, very often it is aphids or lice, and are to be hunted with specific pesticides.
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