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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Stunning Celosia

Sometimes called Cock's Comb this flower garden workhorse shows up in July and provides color and texture in your bouquets through the end of the season. You will find it in yellows, reds, purples, pinks, terra cottas, creams, and whites in shapes like the one above "Chieftain" that looks like a brain to "Bombay" that looks like a fuzzy fan.

Celosia can be preserved as a dried flower as well, though it takes a little longer to dry than some other Farmette favorites like Strawflower and Gomphrena. Interested in drying flowers at home? Here are a few tips from Johnny's Select Seeds:

"The ideal location for air drying flowers has 3 characteristics:

The open space of a barn's loft originally served to keep hay dry. These conditions — dry, airy, and dark — are what's required for drying flowers.

  • Dry. The less moisture in the air, the better.

  • Well-ventilated. Moving air helps prevent moisture from settling and mold from developing on the plant tissues.

  • Dark. Attics of garages, barns, and houses can be choice locations for drying flowers as most lack windows — while not crucial to the effectiveness of drying, a dark location allows the flower to better retain most of its fresh color, and prevents fading. (Alternatively, sun bleaching — intentionally allowing the flowers to achieve that "sun-kissed" look while drying — is sometimes used for autumnal arrangements with grasses, grains, and thin-stemmed flowers.)

You also need something to hang the flowers from. If you are drying only a small amount — a bouquet or two — a couple of hooks to hang the flowers from will suffice. But for drying larger quantities of flowers, stretch a strong wire or two between the rafters to serve as drying lines, in a set-up similar to a clothesline."

Equally easy to save seeds or allow to reseed in the flower garden, leave some flowers on the plant until the color begins to fade. I recommend using a paper bag indoors to collect next years seed. Once adequately dry, simply turn the flower head upside-down into a paper bag and secure the bag with a string or loose rubber band (if you tie the bag too tight the moisture left in the flower head may cause it to decay spoiling the seed.) Hang upside-down in a cool dry place. In a few week shake the bag gently to release the seed. Label and store in a cool dry place until it's ready to seed indoors in the early Spring or direct seed outside in May. More on growing Celosia here :

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