Q:

How does one care for Celosia caracas?

A:

Celosia caracas require full sun when soil temperatures rise above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. They grow best when planted 10 to 16 inches apart to prevent overcrowding. Celosia caracus survive well in areas where heat and drought are common. Over-watering can lead to mites, leaf spots and stem rot. Celosia caracas is a sturdy, low-maintenance plant that grows in most types of soil.

Celosia caracas are annuals, but they can be considered perennials in zones 10 through 12. They have vivid colors that range from cream to yellow to red, with a wide variety in between. The blossoms last through rain and wind and are a common addition to public gardens and parks. The flowers are often seen in cut and dried flower bouquets, where their color and velvet-like softness last for up to six months. The plants come in a range of sizes from dwarfs, which grow only 4 to 6 inches tall, to giants, which can reach over 3 feet in height.

The name celosia is Greek in origin and means burning, referring to the bright colors of the red, orange and yellow flowers, which can sometimes look like flames. Sometimes the celosia is referred to as cockscomb, as the flowers can resemble a rooster's comb.

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