Celosia, otherwise known as Cockscomb, is an annual plant that belongs to the Amaranthaceae family, which is Greek for “burning”.
The Greeks weren’t wrong; with their pink, red, orange, and yellow colors, they really do look like tiny flames when they’re all together!
These plants are used primarily for decorating gardens. However, they are also edible and great companion plants. Companion planting has been practiced for centuries, and is when one plant is used to boost the growth of another.
Read on to learn all about the different celosia companion plants and how to take care of them!
Celosia Companion Plants
Companion planting is awesome!
Not only do some plants boost the growth of a plant nearby, but they can also repel harmful pests and insects.
With a celosia, you won’t only get a fluffy plant that you can use to make wonderful bouquets, but also one of the greatest companion plants out there!
However, you must know which plants can be used for companion planting with celosia plants, and which plants you should avoid. Luckily, we are here to provide you with all the information you need.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best celosia companion plants!
1. Zucchini & Celosia
Zucchini is definitely my favorite veggie, and it’s possible that I have tried everything in order to boost its growth (this includes companion planting!).
In general, zucchini are the easiest crops to cultivate, which makes them a great choice for newbie gardeners. Zucchini can be harvested in less than three weeks. If the right conditions are present, you can even grow zucchini all year round.
In order for them to fully develop, they need to be pollinated first — this is where celosia comes in. Celosia plants can attract various beneficial insects, including pollinators, which is why we often plant them next to veggies that need to be pollinated.
However, you also have to protect your Zucchini from various pests and bugs that can completely destroy them. This is why we also use marigolds and nasturtium as companion plants.
A Nasturtium can protect your zucchini from pests like flea beetles, and marigolds will drive nematodes away!
2. Salvia & Celosia
The psychedelic herb salvia can make you high by causing hallucinations and what is known as an “out-of-body” experience.
Despite the fact that it is legal, there are several restrictions and rules that govern its use.
If you are interested in growing it, you should know that Salvia plants that don’t like mushroom compost; you can use organic compost instead.
Plant these two together because celosia can attract various pollinators, while Salvia can attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
3. Black-eyed Susan & Celosia
You will often see black-eyed Susan planted with celosia because both of these plants attract beneficial insects. However, the main reason is because they look great together, so they are primarily planted for decorative purposes.
Rudbeckia hirta, the common name of Black-eyed Susan, is a cheerful annual flower that looks just like a daisy. With its yellow color, it goes with various celosia flowers really well. This lovely plant also makes a perfect pink muhly grass companion plant.
4. Marigold & Celosia
We already mentioned that planting marigold close to zucchini is super beneficial, but did you know that you should also plant marigold and celosia together?
That’s right, these two plants form a symbiotic relationship; a close ecological relationship between members of two (or more) distinct species is known as symbiosis. One species may benefit from a symbiotic relationship at the expense of the other, or both species may benefit from it.
To be more specific, the American Marigold is often planted with celosia plants for ornamental purposes. This type of marigold is absolutely gorgeous and fits perfectly with celosia. Both of these plants have big extravagant flowers that can make any home garden look aesthetically pleasing!
5. Zinnias & Celosia
Annual zinnia plants produce vibrant flowers that will make you feel as if a rainbow has burst in your garden. Typically, they are planted outdoors in garden beds or pots.
Zinnias are extremely useful for attracting bees and butterflies, as are celosia.
If you plant these two together, there’s no risk of pollination not occurring!
This is especially important for gardeners that live in areas with a scarce population of pollinating insects, because sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands and make pollination happen yourself.
6. Nasturtium & Celosia
Nasturtium can be planted with celosia just like zucchini. The Nasturtium is adaptable and gets along with a wide variety of plants, mostly because it produces lovely flowers that attract beneficial insects like hoverflies, which can practically eradicate pests and insects like aphids, cucumber beetles, and whiteflies.
Due to this feature, these plants are frequently referred to as “trap crops” because they trap insects and pests that would otherwise infest surrounding plants.
Nasturtium is one of the prettiest French flowers, and is usually grown for its vibrant colors, which is why it is frequently cultivated in flower gardens. Its reputation for hardiness makes it a fantastic companion plant.
Both Nasturtium and celosia are often planted together for attracting pollinators, and also to achieve that dreamy colorful garden look.
7. Roses & Celosia
In my opinion, roses are definitely the most elegant and beautiful flowers that you can grow in a garden. They are surprisingly drought-tolerant and can grow in full sun – who would have thought that these types of plants are low-maintenance!?
Dark red roses combined with celosia flamy flowers create one hell of a garden!
However, you can combine different varieties of celosia and roses to make a colorful garden, or create complementary contrast by combining two colors. If you are interested, you should check out these stunning Italian roses that you can combine with your celosia!
8. Petunia & Celosia
Petunias are traditional flowers that lure insects with their copious amounts of pollen and nectar. Some types stretch out across the surface as they grow. These varieties can be grown alongside taller vegetables to aid in pollination and weed control.
Petunias accompanied by celosias can create a stunning garden that will attract numerous beneficial insects!
9. Celosia & Tomatoes Don’t Get Along
It turns out that tomatoes are not nearly as tasty when planted near celosia plants. The most likely reason is that the celosia takes up nutrients essential for tomato fruit production.
This means you should avoid planting celosia plants with tomatoes. If you are interested, you can conduct this experiment at home — just plant them both in the same container, then plant some tomatoes alone, and you’ll notice the difference!
More About Celosia
Some people like them because of their fluffy flower heads, some because they are edible, and others because they are great companion plants!
There is no doubt that your vegetable garden will benefit from planting celosia because they attract various pollinators.
However, you can also benefit from celosia — this plant has been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years, can be added to various meals for improving the flavor, and is also a natural remedy. Celosia is added to a soup called “Amaranth”.
Maybe you could also experiment and make your own soup with celosia!
Here is some general information about celosias:
|Height||6 to 12 inches, 1 to 3 feet|
|Width||6-18 inches wide|
|Flower color||Purple, Red, Orange, White, Pink, Yellow|
|Foliage color||Blue/Green, Purple/Burgundy, Chartreuse/Gold/Dark Green|
|Season features||Fall Bloom, Summer Bloom Time|
|Special features||Low Maintenance, Good for Containers, Cut Flowers|
|Propagation||Leaf Cuttings Seed|
Let’s now learn how to plant this fantastic plant, and also how to take care of it.
How To Plant A Celosia
• If you live in warmer climates, you can sow celosia seeds directly into the ground. Otherwise, start the seeds indoors and transplant them once the danger of frost has passed.
• Start seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date. Sow them in a moist seed starting mix. You can also add some organic plant food before planting.
• Seed germination should occur in a matter of days, though most gardeners buy celosia seedlings in the garden center and immediately plant them (this is usually around May, when the temperature rises).
• Choose a sunny part of your garden because celosias love full sun exposure.
• If you are planting single plants, separate them by 7 inches. If you are growing them in rows, the row gap should be 11 inches.
How To Grow Celosia Plants
• Celosia plants love good drainage; therefore, you must plant them in a well-draining potting mix and make sure that the soil in your garden is also well-draining. You can mix different soils that improve drainage, such as peat moss.
• These flowering plants also need a lot of nutrients to produce their beautiful flowers and foliage. Use a balanced organic fertilizer before planting. During the growing season, you should apply liquid fertilizer weekly, but please follow the instructions on the packaging.
• Celosias absolutely love the sun! They will grow normally in full sun exposure, so you don’t have to worry about them getting burned. These plants can also grow well in partial shade as their dark green leaves can get plenty of indirect light.
• They are also drought-tolerant, so if you miss a couple of watering sessions they won’t mind. Watering them twice a week during the summer should be enough. Avoid frequent watering as it can lead to root rot, which is a deadly fungal disease that can completely destroy your plant.
• Add nitrogen-rich fertilizer after a rainy day or if the plant is looking yellow.
• You can add a thick layer of organic mulch around the base of your outdoor plants to prevent weed growth and improve water retention.
• Remove the dead flower heads from your plant to encourage the production of new ones. This process is also known as deadheading, which is a crucial step in celosia plant care.
• If you are growing taller varieties, you should stake them together to protect them from strong winds, which can break the stems of your precious plants!
• You should watch out for aphids and spider mites. These are the pests that infest celosia plants. Check if there are any spots or discoloration on the leaves, stems, or flowers.
Different Varieties Of Celosia
Red, yellow, white, orange, pink, purple… these are the colors of flowers produced by different varieties of celosia. Sometimes gardeners want a monochrome garden and plant just one variety.
But in most cases it’s the exact opposite — colorful gardens have always been trendy.
Read on to learn about the different celosia plants you can use to make your garden look more lively and cheerful!
1. Flamingo Feather Celosia
Often added to bouquets, the Flamingo Feather celosia produces baby pink feathery flowers that are easy to grow and harvest. This plant can grow up to 4 feet tall, and its stems are sturdy and straight.
Just like any other celosia, the flamingo feather likes to grow in well-draining soil rich in nutrient content. It also likes growing in places where it can get plenty of direct sunlight — if you are starting Flamingo Feather celosia seeds, then you should know that good lighting conditions are necessary for seed germination to occur.
You can harvest fresh flowers and use them for bouquets, or you can dry these flowers and have long-lasting decorations. I usually dry my celosia varieties, put them in a frame, and use them as wall decorations!
2. Fresh Look Red Celosia
If you want your garden to be filled with flaming red flowers, Fresh Look Red celosia is the perfect flowering plant for you. This plant actually won a Gold Medal for its ability to thrive with minimal plant care and its remarkable pest-free growth.
This plant can grow from 12 to 18 inches tall, so you can combine it with lots of dwarf varieties. What’s also interesting is that this plant always looks fresh, hence the name Fresh Look Red celosia.
Plant care is the same as for any other celosia — keep them in sun, water them once or twice a week, and add some fertilizer.
3. Fresh Look Yellow Celosia
Here is yet another freshly looking celosia – just in a different color. They sure come in lots of different colors and sizes!
If you are into having a golden garden, then you should definitely grow a Fresh Look Yellow celosia. The golden yellow, feathery leaves are abundantly produced and occasionally cover other plants. Fresh Look Yellow produces a lot of side shoots that cover mature blooms and do not require deadheading.
This plant can grow up to 20 inches tall and can be used for various decorative purposes — but its main goal is to make a bouquet look cheerful!
4. Amigo Red Celosia
Amigo Red celosia, also known as Celosia Cristata, differs from the previously mentioned celosia varieties. This plant produces crested red flowers on a 6-inch-long stem, with foliage protruding along the stem.
It is currently the most popular variety, and it is constantly sold out.
When it comes to plant care, you will have to water them more frequently than other varieties. Otherwise, provide them with regular conditions suitable for celosia plants.
You can plant Amigo Red celosia as border plants or in decorative flower beds. They are absolutely perfect for bouquets and decorating your indoor space.
5. Intenz Celosia Argentea
Intenz Celosia Argentea produces characteristic feathery flowers with an intense pink to magenta color. This variety can be grown as both annual or perennial, and they can grow in full sun with small amounts of water.
They can grow from 16-24 inches and spread about 8-12 inches, which are ideal measurements for container growing!
6. Plumed Celosia (Argentea plumosa)
The plumed celosia is a taller variety, and some can even reach 4 feet in height! They produce red to yellow flowers that can last up to two months. The Dragon’s breath plant is a famous cultivar of plumed celosia. The plant can also have a fleshy red stem, though this is not a feature shared by all celosias that produce red flowers.
Older leaves are wider than the newer ones and they grow along the stems.
Due to its vibrant red and yellow blossoms, which the Chinese believe to bring good fortune, this decorative plant is a favorite to exhibit during the Lunar New Year.
7. Spiky Pink Celosia Spicata
Spiky Pink celosia produces pink flowers just above the green leaves. It’s compact and can be used as a border plant, though it’s often grown in containers for decorative purposes. The spiky green leaves remain the same throughout the growing season.
If you are interested in having a pink garden, I would suggest you mass plant this variety of celosia — your garden will look like a scene from a Barbie movie! You also won’t have to spend much time and energy on plant care.
It should be pruned back in the late fall to get ready for the winter. It is a fantastic choice for luring butterflies to your yard but deer are less likely to be attracted, which is why they are used as border plants.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best time to plant a celosia?
The best time to plant a celosia would be in late spring or early summer. Celosia can’t tolerate the frost and cold weather, which is why the soil should be warmed up before planting. Celosia seeds are usually planted in May when the soil temperature rises and there is no danger of frost.
You can start the seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date and then transplant the seedlings outside. This way, the plant will produce flowers sooner and you will extend the blooming time.
2. What is the purpose of celosia plants?
There are lots of reasons to grow celosia plants. First, they produce absolutely gorgeous flowers that can make any garden look aesthetically pleasing. These flowers can be cut and are often used for bouquets, though you can also dry them.
Some varieties are also edible and can be used as a garnish. However, their main purpose is to attract pollinators, which is the reason why they are great companion plants. Celosia can attract bees and butterflies that are beneficial to all flowering plants in the garden.
In addition to this, they are also deer-resistant, which is why they are sometimes planted as border plants.
3. Where does celosia grow best?
Celosia plants grow best in full sun, so you should always choose a sunny part of your garden to plant your celosia plants. These plants also love well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients, so you should consider adding peat moss and organic fertilizers to the soil.
To Sum Up
I like to think that all flowering plants are celosia companion plants, though the ones in this article bring the most benefits!
Celosias are simply a must-have for every garden. Not only will they make your garden look amazing, but they will also attract beneficial insects.
These plants are low-maintenance and can survive full sun exposure. Water them twice a week, apply liquid fertilizers, and provide them with good drainage, and they will!
Combine them with various plants that need to be pollinated, and also avoid planting them near tomatoes as they can steal their nutrients and you will be left with tasteless tomatoes!
I hope this article was helpful.
Until next time!
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