Celosia argentea var. cristata ‘Ice Cream Pink’, part of the Plumosa Group, is a delightful compact annual known for its soft pink plumes.
Here’s how to grow and care for this charming plant:
- Growth: This annual grows to a compact size, reaching up to 12 inches in both height and width (30 cm). It has a bushy and well-branched growth habit.
- Flowers: ‘Ice Cream Pink’ produces large, densely packed plumes in a soft pink color. These plumes remain colorful throughout the season without fading.
- Bloom Time: Expect blooms from late spring to fall, making it a long-lasting addition to your garden.
- Heat Tolerance: This variety has exceptional heat tolerance, making it suitable for warm climates.
Growing and Care Tips:
- Light: Plant ‘Ice Cream Pink’ in full sun or light shade for optimal growth.
- Soil: It prefers humus-rich, moderately fertile soil that is consistently moist and well-drained. It can tolerate dry soils once established.
- Heat and Humidity: Thriving in heat and humidity, this plant will do well in such conditions.
- Wind Protection: Place it in a location sheltered from strong winds.
- Landscape Use: This Celosia variety is versatile and can be used in various garden settings, including beds, borders, edging, containers, cottage gardens, and cutting gardens.
- Flower Use: The flowers can be cut for arrangements or dried to create everlasting bouquets.
- Edible: While primarily grown for its flowers, Celosia is edible. You can consume its leaves, tender stems, and young flower spikes. They can be boiled or used in sauces, stews, and more. The leaves are particularly nutritious, containing high levels of beta-carotene and folic acid.
- Low Maintenance: This plant is relatively low maintenance and will attract beneficial insects, pollinators, and songbirds to your garden.
- You can propagate ‘Ice Cream Pink’ by seed. Sow the seeds outdoors after all danger of frost has passed, or start them indoors 6-8 weeks prior to the last spring frost date.
Pest and Disease Management:
- ‘Ice Cream Pink’ typically doesn’t suffer from serious pest or disease issues. However, keep an eye out for common garden pests like glasshouse red spider mites, glasshouse whiteflies, and aphids, especially if you’re growing it under glass. It can also be susceptible to root rot in excessively wet conditions.
- In warm winter climates, such as USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, Celosia can be grown as a perennial.
- Deadhead spent flowers to prolong blooming.
- Harvest flowers when they are fully developed and before they begin to produce seeds.
- Keep in mind that this plant is frequently damaged by deer.
- Celosia argentea is native to Tropical Africa.
In summary, ‘Ice Cream Pink’ Celosia argentea var. cristata is a lovely annual with compact growth, attractive pink plumes, and excellent heat tolerance. Its versatility and low maintenance make it a great choice for various garden settings, and its edible qualities add an interesting twist to your garden’s offerings.