What About Wheat Celosia?

Good question. If you haven't grown wheat celosia, it's time you started! It’s a beautiful annual that produces multiple stems topped with spiky pink to purple flowerheads. Small individual flowers open from the bottom up and take on a silvery sheen as they mature, providing a two-toned floral effect.

Wheat celosia is a plant that pays you back repeatedly because its flowers can be used in fresh or dried bouquets. Plant some extras in a cutting garden so you can harvest as many stems as you want. Wheat celosia’s upright form combines nicely with rounded and spreading annuals like French marigolds, petunias and sweet alyssum.

Common name: Wheat celosia

Botanical name: Celosia argentea Spicata Group (syn. C. spicata)

Plant type: Annual

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Family: Amaranthaceae


Growing conditions

  • Sun: Full sun
  • Soil: Average garden soil
  • Moisture: Evenly moist but well-drained

Care

  • Mulch: None, or 1 inch organic mulch
  • Pruning: Pinch out the growing tip on small plants to encourage branching.
  • Fertilizer: Apply a thin layer of compost when planting, or apply soluble fertilizer if needed.

Propagation

  • Seeds


Pests and diseases

  • No serious problems

Cultivars

  • ‘Caracas’ (also known as ‘Dark Caracas’ or Deep Purple) has bright magenta-purple flowers.
  • The Flamingo Series includes pink ‘Flamingo Feather’ and purple ‘Flamingo Purple’.
  • ‘Pink Candles’ has long silvery pink flowers.
  • ‘Ruby Parfait’ has deep rose-pink flowers.

Garden notes

  • Wheat celosia thrives in hot weather; in fact, its growth can be stunted in cold weather, so wait until temperatures are reliably in the upper 50s or low 60s before planting outside.
  • Wheat celosia may reseed, though it’s not usually an aggressive seeder. Deadhead spent flowers if you want to avoid reseeding.

All in the family

  • Wheat celosia is a member of the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae), a widespread family of mostly herbaceous plants.
  • Other garden flowers in the family include globe amaranth and Joseph’s coat (also known as summer poinsettia).
  • Several amaranth species are grown for their edible seeds.

Where to buy