Celoisa Pampas Plume Mix
1/8 teaspoon pollinated seeds from our gardens for $4.00.
This frost tender annual has bright plumes of dark red and yellow. As a member of the Amaranth family the leaves can be boiled and used as spinach. Only eat the leaves before flowering as they can taste bitter after flowering. Celosia also contain minerals and vitamins commonly found in deep-hued leafy greens.
In tropical zones it will flower nearly all year, but in cooler districts will burn off from frost, it also tolerates hot and dry conditions. Celosia pampas plume likes a well-drained, mulched soil with a ph of 6 -7. Height is 75-90cm depending on weather conditions and can be higher with the flowers. Full sun position is best, 30cm apart.
Seeds can be sown all year round in tropical zones. Temperate areas sown early spring to early summer. Cool areas sow spring to very early summer.
Seeds need some light to germinate so a fine covering of about 3mm is recommended, avoid excessive root disturbance. For broad sowing in the garden, dig, rake, scatter and water in. Keep moist through the germination process. Germination takes between 10-14 days at 18-27C. Flowering is about 12 weeks. Please note that if your plants look like drooping or wanting to melt, it is probably due to over-watering. They like their moisture, but free drainage is a priority. They do not like heavy, clay soils. Celosia is resistant to most pests and diseases, though they can be affected by aphids and mites. Powdery mildew and fungal infections can be a issue if overhead, night-time watering is done and insufficient airflow around the plants.
When the plants are about 20-25 cm tall, pinch out the top to encourage branching.
For fresh flowers, harvest the flowers when they are fully developed and the stems are firm at the base of the bloom. Remove all leaves below the water line and condition in a bucket of cold water for several hours or overnight. The stems do have a habit of wilting for a few hours after picking. The flowers will last 7-14 days in the vase.
For dried flowers, pick the same as for fresh, remove all leaves. Put about 6 stems together, tie and hang upside down in a dark, well-ventilated room for several weeks.