Celosia makes it into ‘use again’ file

Have you made any “use this again” plant entries in your garden journal? One that will be going into our file is celosia, a beautiful plant that was a real winner in our plantings!

Celosia belongs to the amaranth family, a very colorful and flamboyant family among plants. Amaranth also includes “Love Lies Bleeding” and “Joseph’s Coat”, but the celosia cousins are just as striking!

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We usually see two kinds of celosia, the interesting “cockscomb”, which does indeed look like the comb on a rooster; or the fluffy celosia plumosa that looks like a large tuft of feathers. They are easy-care plants, enjoying full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. They are not plagued with pests, and will do equally well planted in containers or directly into our flower beds. The plumes are long-lived, so we can enjoy them for weeks. Or, if we choose to pick them, they will make a real focal point in a vase or flower arrangement.

Celosia grows about a foot high, in compact, bushy plants. The colors of the plumes are amazing: red, orange, yellow, and even purple. If you had a cluster of these in a flower bed, they’d be a real delight! And they are just a beautiful in a container. We had ours planted in a low container, and they seemed very happy there.

I saw a picture of another interesting celosia cousin, “celosia argentea” which had fuchsia flowers that were more in the shape of a candle, darker at the tip and fading into mauve below. There are also other varieties that look like a compact, rippled, ball-shaped flower. The celosia family is indeed fascinating!

If you’ve grown celosia, you know how they add flair and whimsy to our plantings. And if you haven’t grown it, give it a try next year!

So, one more entry in our garden journals. A fellow gardener told me that she also takes pictures of things that worked well, or plants that she really liked, to serve as a reminder next year. This is a wonderful idea!

Another entry: plant borage. We have several borage plants throughout the garden, and they are wonderful to attract the bees! Between the borage plants and the blooming oregano, the garden is buzzing, literally! The bees are most welcome guests; we do all we can to give them a hospitable place to visit.

Yet one more entry: pollinating zucchini. There is always such a joke made about people having too much zucchini; in fact, August 8 is even “Sneak Some Zucchini On Your Neighbor’s Porch Day”. But if you are noticing fewer pollinators in your garden, and that zucchini fruits seem to be growing then shrivel, they are likely not being pollinated and may need your help. Yes, you can do this and it is an easy process. Pick a male flower, remove the petals, then brush the pollen onto the centre of a female flower. Doing this in the morning is best, when the flowers are fresh and fully open.

Remember, you can enjoy the flavors of the garden with produce from the Yorkton Gardeners’ Market! It is on every Saturday beginning at 8:00 a.m. till noon at Melrose Avenue and Simpson Street, Yorkton. If you’d like more information, either as a buyer or seller, please call Glen at 783-7040 or send a note to ethelda61@hotmail.com.

Visit us at www.yorktonhort.ca and have a great week! Be sure to wear a hat!

© Copyright Yorkton This Week


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