The Amaranth family is distinguished by an amazing variety of decorative forms and colors. Each species of this large community represents a whole world, fascinating and colorful.Today we will talk about one of its most interesting representatives - a plant called combi celesia, whose bright decorative effect, multiplied by unpretentiousness, makes it possible to grow it in a garden plot, city beds, in park areas and at home on a windowsill, decorating everyday life with fireworks of colors and joy.
Description of the species
The genus of celosium is represented by almost sixty species of a flowering plant. A native of the warm tropical regions of the African, Asian and American continents, celosia exists excellently in the wild and, more recently, in horticultural culture. Cellosia is most often grown comb, pinnate, or spikelet.
Despite the fact that this culture is usually a perennial, in the gardens of temperate Russian belts, it is common as an annual, because severe winters do not leave it a chance for survival. But as a celosia comb, as an indoor plant, it is excellent: almost undemanding to the growing conditions, it blooms for a very long time. The stem of the plant is straight, strongly branched and densely leafy. Inflorescences consist of small flowers, gathered in scallops of fancy shapes and sizes. Separately, we note the colorfulness of these expressive colors.The palette of their shades is diverse - from light yellow to copper-golden, from pink and purple to purple and orange. Seeds ripen in a multi-seedling box. The culture blooms in June and continues until frost, and when grown indoors, until October-November.
Distinguished by its gorgeous color and long flowering period, the plant is also appreciated by florists working with a dry texture because the comb combed before seeds ripen and properly dried celosia loses neither color nor shape. It is a win-win element in any composition. To dry the flowers should be in a dark cool room, hanging them inflorescences down.
In Russia, the flower is cultivated as an ornamental annual, not only when grown in open ground in garden plots and flowerbeds. Experienced growers recommend using the same algorithm of actions in home breeding: after a long productive flowering, the plant is removed from the pot, and the seeds are sown again in early spring. But more often gardeners decorate their plot, because with their magnificent decorative effect, celosia is very easy to maintain.
Regardless of where the flowering is planned, at home or on the site, in February-March, flower growers sow seeds for seedlings. Since the plant comes from hot places, it will require a lot of heat and light for good development. But direct sunlight can cause burns on the leaves and significantly reduce the decorativeness, so they have containers with seedlings, and subsequently - pots with adult plants, next to the windows of the south or south-west direction so that there is enough diffused light.Do not like flower celosia comb drafts, when installing the pot or planting in a permanent place it should be considered. The culture is sensitive to sudden temperature changes.
Choosing a place to land
Ideal for planting a plant, it is considered to be a well-sheltered area from the wind and a sunlit area with light, friable neutral or slightly acidic soil. Heavy soils do not fit the culture: without air access to the roots, it will develop poorly and will wither. Coarse river sand is added to these soils. Not in last place - soil fertility in the selected area. The best for cellosia are black soil, but the usual garden soil, dug up with high-quality organic matter (compost or humus), is perfect for growing a flower.
Celesia comb: growing from seed
Beginning growers should remember that seed cultivation is the best way to propagate a crop, since only it maintains all the varietal characteristics. Therefore, it is preferable for the reproduction of a plant such as celosia comb. Growing starts with a seedling stage. Pre-prepared containers filled with loose substrate, the seeds are sown in the grooves with an interval of 1 cm, gently sprinkled and moistened with warm water from a spray bottle. To create a more comfortable atmosphere, containers are covered with glass or garden film, which are removed when seedlings appear.
Indoors with a razadnym boxes provide the necessary conditions: maintain a constant temperature, high-quality lighting, sufficient humidity and ventilation. Strengthened seedlings dive, transplanting in separate containers. The culture is unpretentious and with a certain caution transfers the transplant quite easily. Cellosia comb develops well in a pot, no worse than in an open flower bed, so flower growers often leave several instances of the plant for home cultivation.
Transplant into the ground
Seedlings are transplanted into the ground when the threat of spring frosts is over, since this southern culture is very sensitive to even insignificant cold returns. The prepared and dug up soil in the garden, where transplantation is supposed to be, is fertilized with humus and treated with a solution of manganese or peat-humic fertilizers for soil disinfection, since at first the root system of seedlings is very vulnerable to bacteria and pests that can weaken or destroy the young plant. When planting plants take into account the presence of groundwater. If they come close to the intended site, then the soil will need to be pre-drained. To do this, fine crushed stone, expanded clay or stone powder. The final stage of planting is a generous watering of young plants.
Celesia comb: care
Caring procedures for the plant are not burdensome for the gardener. There are only a few necessary conditions, the fulfillment of which will ensure the qualitative development of the culture and its abundant bright bloom.Care is reduced to ensuring the air permeability of the soil, loosening and removing weeds, as well as to regular but moderate watering. The basic rule is the content of the soil layer in the wet state, prevention of drying or over-wetting. The best time of day for watering is either early morning or quiet evening hours if excessive heat occurs during the day. Ideally suited is the water that has settled and warmed up in the sun.
Intensive flowering and preparation for it require considerable strength and nutrition. Celosia is responsive to supplements, which are carried out in small doses every two weeks. A proven and reliable method of application is an aqueous solution of fertilizer added to water for irrigation.Usually they use complex mineral fertilizers (15-20 g / 1 m 2), the range of which is very wide today. Their regular introduction will provide a normal level of nutrients in the soil, not exceeding the permissible and not depleting the soil.
Diseases and pests
Often, unknowing gardeners cause problems with the development of celesia by improper care, first of all, by the error in irrigation. The most common disease associated with poor quality care is the “black leg”, which develops from fungi in the soil and devours the tender stems of young plants. Constant overmoistening provokes the disease, and getting rid of it is quite difficult.
At the first signs of the emergence of this scourge, watering should be stopped, it is good to gnaw the ground beneath the plants and mix it with wood ash, which will act as an adsorbent and supporting nutrition. Such measures can only help at the very beginning of the defeat. Running forms are incurable, badly damaged plants are best removed as soon as possible, because the disease is very contagious. It manifests itself in a thinned stalk, violation of sap flow and general wilt. Celesia comb at home is also at risk of undergoing the described disease. It may also arise from insufficient airing of the room.
The omnipresent aphid, settling on the stems and tops of plants, does not bypass the side of celosia. When these insects appear, solutions of insecticides are used, the concentration of which is regulated in accordance with the dosage indicated in the instructions attached to the products.
A lack of iron can be manifested by the occurrence of chlorosis. They get rid of it by treating plants with iron preparations.
So, all the necessary aspects of the cultivation of such a plant as celosia comb are covered. Growing and caring for her is a simple operation, all efforts are more than offset by the magnificent flowering of cute scallops.