How To Grow And Take Care Of Cockscomb Flowers?

How to grow and take care of cockscomb flowers - greenplantpro

A flower by any other name wouldn’t look as similar to the red combs atop a rooster’s head as the colorful cockscomb. Part of a common plant variety from the Amarnath or Amaranthaceae family, cockscomb makes a vibrant addition to any flower bed. Cockscomb flowers, also known as wool flowers, have color varieties that include yolk-yellow, white, jewel-tone orange, reds, and purples.

The flower’s vibrant texture resembles velvet and is ideal for dried flower arrangements.

In northern climates, it is an annual plant. However, this lovely flower is a perennial with a healthy supply of seeds. Read on to learn more about it, where to grow it, how to care for it, and more.


Physical Appearance

It is an attractive flower. Their intricate ribbon or rooster’s comb appearance makes them very showy in a garden.

They grow to about a foot or two in height. Depending on the variety, some grow leaves with a sharp spear-like appearance, and others grow regular oval-shaped leaves with slight bleeding discoloration.


Adding Cockscomb Flowers to the Garden

This flower belongs to the Celosia genus and matures up to 12” stalks in loamy, moist, and well-drained flowerbeds in hardiness Zones 9-12. The flower enjoys a slightly acidic PH balance in well-cultivated and fertilized soils.

They are popular in America, South and Central America, Asia, and Africa.  Celosia plants make great garden companions for petunias, marigolds, roses, zinnias, black-eyed Susan, salvia, and other celosia (over 2500 varieties) flowers and herbs.

Their petals produce many seeds and reseed themselves in warmer climates. In northern climates where the plant is an annual, cockscomb makes excellent additions to raised flowerbeds, containers, or planter arrangements.


Common Species Within the Celosia Garden Family 

The flowers are beloved for their vibrant contributions to flower beds and containers. There are four varieties commonly found in garden centers and gardens.

Argenta is perhaps the most popular herbaceous plant in the group. Sometimes called silver cock or plume cock, this variety most resembles a rooster’s crest or comb.

Spicata resembles a sheaf of wheat painted in vibrant shades and has many ornamental purposes.

Plumosa blooms in brilliant reds, yellows, pinks, and oranges and looks like feathery flames.

Cristata is the crested variety. The ribbons of flowers fold around the large dense-flowering head.


How to Grow Cockscomb and Take Care of Them

Where To Grow Cockscomb Flowers

This flower likes well-prepared soil and thrives in full sun to partial shade locations. It’s crucial to meet soil conditions for them to achieve their full potential. Ideally, it requires eight hours of direct sunlight outdoors otherwise they could be at risk of developing root rot and fungus conditions. Despite those vulnerabilities, it is durable and pest resistant.

You might want to consider growing this flower in traditional or tropical-themed flower beds since their jewel tones add a vibrant burst of color.


Temperature And Humidity

Cockscomb flowers thrive in moist soil without overwatering. Prolonged standing water may cause fungus or root rot – water it at the base to prevent leaf watering. Do not let the roots dry out, as the plant may not recover. Frequent routine watering is best for optimal cockscomb care.

These flowers are versatile and can adapt to low and high humidity climates. 

Plants are grown from seed and typically take six to 14 days for germination. Ideally, seeding is best after the last frost when temperatures hover consistently at or above 50°F. The plant has a slow growth rate and requires planting in weed-free bedding soil at least eight inches apart.

You may want to deadhead spent flowers in summer and fall to reduce self-seeding.

Plants grown from seed indoors require gentle manipulation as they do not survive harsh root manipulation.


Soil Fertilizer

Monthly liquid applications of nitrogen fertilizer promote prolonged blooming. New plantings should include compost amended soils and a hefty dose of manure to provide nutrients and create a well-drained planting environment. 

This semi-tropical celosia plant benefits from beds prepared with organic materials, compost mixtures, and manure.


Cockscomb in Outdoor Container Gardens

This flower makes ideal guests in container gardens and planters. All cockscomb varieties are an attractive addition, with over 50 celosia cousins in the subfamily.

Mature flowering cockscomb makes lovely additions to border beds, containers, and garden features. 


Indoor Celosia Cockscomb

Indoor cockscomb flower has unique growing requirements. Since it is an annual plant, it will die after its growing season. Avoid direct sunlight, use an indoor plant fertilizer, and avoid overwatering.

Harvesting the seeds from indoor cockscomb flowers is a great way to reuse and replant these pretty flowers.



Cockscomb flowers produce a breathtaking color scape and unique flower design. Gardeners and crafters enjoy them for their versatility in flower beds or ornamental wall decorations. Indeed, Dried cockscomb stalks make a lovely addition to wreaths and floral arrangements.

These remarkable flowers are a wonderful companion to many other types of flora, such as petunias, marigolds, and even other celosias. To care for cockscomb, you will need to invest time in preparing the soil and land conditions. Doing so will ensure you have a successful flower arrangement and have beautiful, flourishing cockscomb.

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