How and how much to water celosia

Celosia is native to North America, Asia and Africa. It lives in a warm climate, does not like being dry, but cannot stand excessive humidity. In mild climates it can be outdoors, but it also adapts very well to apartment living. From these details it can be deduced that watering must be regular, but the plant must not have stagnant water that could compromise the health of the roots. Considering its tropical origins, Celosia likes periodic vaporizations of non-calcareous water on the leaves, being careful to avoid the flowers. To establish the frequency of watering it is sufficient to observe the state of the surface soil: when it is wet, the plant is fine and there is no need to add water. If it starts to get dry it’s time to water generously, but with the shrewdness to eliminate any excess water shortly afterwards. Clearly, watering will be more frequent in summer and for plants kept outdoors.

How to grow and how to care for the plant

Celosia is grown as an annual plant as it is very afraid of the cold and struggles to survive the winter in our latitudes. In the milder climate regions it lives well outdoors, both in the garden and in pots on balconies and terraces. Its crest-shaped inflorescence gives it several names, such as «cockscomb», or «feathery amaranth». Celosia multiplies by seed, in spring; the young seedlings are transplanted by planting them when they are just over ten centimeters high. Generally, they are placed in gardens as flower beds or to outline borders and avenues with their bright colors. In pots, they can be placed in containers capable enough to make them grow luxuriantly, but the possibility of decanting them is not foreseen, given that they will live only one season. When kept indoors in temperatures close to twenty degrees they can even survive the winter. The preferred compost of the Celosias is that formed by fertile earth, peat and sand; the most suitable pH is around the value of 6-6.5. The treatments to be reserved for Celosia are simple and are limited to irrigations and the elimination of dry or damaged parts.

How and when to fertilize celosia

Transplanting the young Celosia plants in a pot with fertile soil, or in a hole prepared with the same criteria, it will be sufficient to fertilize with a good fertilizer starting from the month of May. A liquid fertilizer for flowering plants to be added to the irrigation water is indicated. The components of the fertilizer will be, in proportion, one part of phosphorus, three of nitrogen and two of potassium, an indispensable element for more beautiful and abundant blooms. The frequency of fertilizations will be once a month, until the plant reaches flowering. At that point the administration can become more frequent, about every two weeks, with the precaution, however, to slightly reduce the dose recommended by the manufacturer. To favor more copious inflorescences,

Celosia: Exposure and possible diseases

Celosia finds its ideal exposure in bright, rather warm and sunny places. Temperatures between 20 and 25 ° C are optimal for this plant, which already shows signs of suffering at 15 ° C. A shriveled-looking plant can signal several problems. One of the most common is excess water, which causes root rot. To remedy such situations, it is necessary to remove the plant from the pot, eliminate the rot, put it back in place and be more careful to avoid stagnation. It may also be helpful to move the Celosia to a warmer place away from drafts. Aphids can infest Celosia plants and are easily recognized, being small animals that surround the most tender shoots. Parasites must be eliminated in a timely manner, before they cause damage to the plant and spread to surrounding ones. You can try to remove them manually with wads of wet cotton wool or, in the case of more massive infestations or on more plants, you can use the appropriate products on the market.

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