Varieties of celosia include crested, plume and spicata. Crested celosia have brain-like flowers that somewhat resemble the comb on the top of a chicken's head, giving celosia the nickname cockscomb. Plume varieties feature flowers with a feathery texture that look like cotton candy puffs or flames. The flowers on spicata variety celosia resemble wheat plants. Common celosia colors include red, yellow, pink, purple and orange.
Celosia is popular, in part, because it is easy to grow as long as there is ample sunlight. The flowers grow and thrive readily in landscaping, container garden and garden bed environments. They require low-to-medium amounts of water once they begin growing, but they do require quite a bit of water during the initial planting phase. Another benefit of these flowers is that they can last for a relatively long time in bouquets. Additionally, they tend to attract butterflies.
To bloom as beautifully as possible, celosia require about six daily hours of direct sunlight. Celosia that do not receive enough sunlight are prone to growing tall and lanky, eventually losing their ability to support themselves, and falling over. Planting them with fertilizer also produces optimal results. Most types of fertilizer work well with celosia, although a slow-release fertilizer minimizes maintenance time because it provides the flowers with nutrients during the entire growing season.