Foliage as Bright as the Blooms!
(P)?Pkt of 10 seeds
Has there ever been such a radiantly beautiful Celosia? This variegated Cockscomb offers red-hot plumes above olive-green leaves edged in and shot with red accents. A late-flowering variety, it holds beautifully, thrives in heat and humidity, and doesn’t mind drying out a bit between waterings. It’s the answer to the container gardener’s biggest summer dilemma, and a boon for any sunny setting!
Dragon’s Breath is a magnificent presence in the annual bed, patio pot, and vase. It grows quickly and flowers over a long, late season, extending the glory of the Celosias into fall. And there is simply nothing like it in terms of eye-popping, irresistible color.
Reaching 2 feet high in bloom, Dragon’s Breath actually increases its leaf and flower production in hot, humid weather, and likes its soil on the dry side. Many container annuals simply cannot last in the punishing conditions of August, but Dragon’s Breath prefers the soil to dry a bit between waterings, so those sweltering days are no problem. Amazing!
The variegated foliage is another boon, keeping Dragon’s Breath handsome both before and after bloom as well as during its long show of color. You will love the red-and-green mix on these leaves: it shades rather than outlines, so you can’t really tell where the green ends and red begins!
Dragon’s Breath seed does best when direct-sown, and once it has germinated, it would rather not be moved. Sow the seed outdoors well after all danger of frost has passed, setting it just 1/8-inch deep and covering lightly. It should sprout in 5 to 7 days. Thin the plants to about 8 inches apart for dense, leaf-to-leaf coverage. They should be blooming by mid-July from a May sowing.
If you prefer to begin them indoors, here’s how: Sow them at 75 to 80 degrees F, 1/8-inch deep and covered lightly. After germination, grow on at 70 degrees F, and bottom-water with lukewarm water to avoid chills. The seedlings are usually ready to transplant in just 3 weeks. When you set them outdoors, protect them from direct sun for about a week while they acclimatize.