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Drought-resistant, characterized by long flowering, unusual and spectacular beauty, celosia is gaining more and more the sympathy of flower growers.
Bright velvety inflorescences fit well into the most exquisite flower arrangements, decorating gardens, loggias and window sills.
And growing this beautiful plant is not so difficult.
You need to know a few rules for planting, growing and caring for colorful and cheerful flowers, sung by the Japanese poet in the lines: "The grace of celusion, her foppishness, chic ... Desperate women of fashion, flowers of my soul!"
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The plant is propagated most often by seeds - cuttings lead to a loss of decorativeness. It is better to buy a mixture of seeds, then the multi-colored cellosis will bloom for a long time - throughout the summer and the warm part of autumn.
It is necessary to sow seeds for seedlings in a heated greenhouse or on a loggia at the end of March or at the beginning of April.
The potting mix should be light. Either a combination of vermiculite and humus earth (1: 1) is suitable, or a neutral, rather loose garden soil.
Seeds should be spread loosely over its surface, sprinkle them with a thin layer of soil on top, water very carefully, cover with a film, with which it is necessary to constantly remove the resulting condensation.
Celosia seedlings during the germination period must be protected from direct sunlight.
Advice: since the seeds of the plant are contained in a dense seed coat, they should be kept for 3-4 hours before sowing in a solution consisting of zircon and epin (1: 1). Take 1 drop of the mixture for one glass of water.
The sprouts will start to appear on the 5-15th day. It depends on the quality of the seeds. Best of all, they sprout at a temperature of 23-25 degrees, if it is lower, then the seeds will sprout unevenly and may not even get rid of the seed coat.
Celosia is a light-loving flower, its seedlings should be supplemented. And therefore, in the greenhouse for this purpose, either halogen lamps or sodium lamps are used, at home - luminescent.
If necessary, seedlings should be thinned out, because the distance between them should be at least 1 cm, not less. Even if the seedlings are supplemented with light, they can quickly stretch out, so the feeding area must be sufficient for them, otherwise the plant will die from the black leg.
To prevent this, cellosia can be treated with phytosporin solution. It is better to use a liquid form of the product, the dosage is indicated by the manufacturer.
You should not rush with picking shoots. The first pick is best done when 2 real leaves appear. It is carried out in five centimeter cassettes, and only then the seedlings are transferred into seven centimeter cassettes.
After the seedlings take root after the 1st pick, they should be fed.
For this purpose, nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium mineral fertilizer is used for flowers.
Plant feeding is combined with watering. The second time, feeding is done after transshipment of seedlings. It is impossible to overfeed cellosia, this will lead to overgrowth of leaves, which in turn will have a bad effect on flowering.
It should also be remembered that waterlogging and too dense soil mixture with seedlings of cellosis is very poorly tolerated, therefore vermiculite is added to it.
Advice: if the seedlings were originally grown at home, and there is a greenhouse on the garden plot, then the plants should be taken into it in mid-May. This will ensure better flower development.
Celosia is planted in a permanent place when the threat of frost has completely passed.
Celosia loves warmth and light and cannot stand an excess of moisture. Therefore, they choose a place protected from the wind and sunny for landing. If the soil is acidic, it is lime.
Fresh organic fertilizers are contraindicated for the flower, so it is better to apply them under the previous plant. Low-growing specimens of cellosia are planted at a distance of 15-20 cm from each other, tall ones - at a distance of 25-30 cm.
Plants bloom in late May - early June, and stop blooming in the open field when the temperature drops to 1 degree.
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Celosia loves feeding, therefore, when transplanting it into open ground, the plant must be fed with complex fertilizers, combining this process with watering.
This should be done no more than 2 times a month. If you overfeed the celosia, it will have voluminous foliage, and not the flowers for which this plant is grown.
The optimum temperature for cellosis is 23-25 degrees, it also tolerates temperatures below 10 degrees, but at the same time it grows and blooms poorly.
The acidity of the soil used to grow the plant must be neutral. Water stagnation should not be allowed. It is advisable to water the celosia early in the morning, in no case should this be done in the evening. Also, do not use warm water for irrigation.
At home, the plant blooms for a long time, especially if the room is well ventilated and cool. In extreme heat, it is better to spray cellosis.
Flower care rules
Plant care includes constant loosening of the soil, periodic feeding, watering in dry weather. Celosia loves water, but it cannot be poured.
It should be remembered that this plant tolerates a lack of water better than an excess. Abundant watering is needed only during growth and when it is very hot.
But the soil still needs to be kept moist, otherwise flowering will stop. Celosia does not like drafts and temperature changes.
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Like any plant, these flowers are susceptible to disease.
The most common among them is the "black leg". You can identify the disease by noticing the blackening of the stem at the base. The causative agent of the disease can live in any potting soil, so it should be treated before planting.
Blackleg is an extremely contagious disease - if the first signs of damage are found on the plant, then it must be thrown away immediately, the ground must be cultivated in order to avoid contamination of other plants.
Fungi disrupt the flow of sap in the flower, clogging the blood vessels. As a result, the root system of the plant dries up, the leaves sag, the celosia turns yellow and dies. The main cause of the disease is waterlogging.
Blackleg can be caused by acidic or very dense soil. If celosia is grown at home, then insufficient ventilation, or its complete absence, can lead to the disease.
Insects can carry the infection. The soil or plant remains can be contaminated. To prevent the disease, you can soak the seeds in potassium permanganate, and pour over the soil with boiling water or a solution of the same potassium permanganate.
Aphids like to settle on celosi. To combat it, plants should be sprayed with Inexid.
If chlorosis is detected, another disease affecting cellosis, you need to use iron preparations.
Observing these very simple rules for planting, growing and caring for a plant, you can observe the flowering of a bright and beautiful plant for a long time.
But that's not all. After all, celosia can be used as a dried flower.
To do this, you need to cut off flowering tall plants, free them from foliage and collect them in bunches.
They are dried in a dark room - in the light, the color of flowers fades, which negatively affects their decorative effect.
In addition, the room must be dry and well ventilated.
If you follow these tips, then a properly dried plant will become an expressive, bright note in any floral arrangement.