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Celosia no big enough

Posted by hammerhugger z5IA (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 14, 05 at 10:41

Years ago, I planted Celosia seed where they got very large, like 3 or 4 feet high. They were in shades of red and gold and were the plume type. I have never been able to grow them like that since. Do they have to be started from seed in order to get that large? I had the best luck with a seed tape but have bought plants that did well too. I want Celosia like I used to have! Any suggestions?


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RE: Celosia no big enough

  • Posted by Lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 14, 05 at 20:24

Buy the tall variety!
Linda C


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RE: Celosia no big enough

hammerhugger, do you have any idea which varities you have? I grew the 'Fresh Look' varieties this year as well as the Castle series. Fresh Look does get tall, but I wouldnt say as tall as yours did. I have never heard of
any kind getting that tall! My Fresh Looks must be about 30 inches tall, an each plant has grown to perfection, side by side in a mass planting. Of all the celosia I have grown, I have never seen any that grow like this. They are very bushy, very healthy and are loaded with plumes, without having to be pinched early on.

Do you have a Stokes seeds catalog? If not, you can send off for free, and they have a very nice detailed selection of Celosia seed, with very helpful growing instructions and detailed plant information.

FYI, most people who I know have bought celosia from nurseries in cell packs, where they already have a 4 inch plum in each cell, have had terrible luck with them. I dont even start my seeds until April 1, as is instructed to do. Then, I transplant them into cells, then jumbo cells. When they are planted in the ground (in Mid May), the plumes are just starting to show at the top of the plant. They do not get really full until about two months later. Now, mine are peaking and are very nice. I cant help but wonder if some of those small plants (in cells) that are blooming already in April are what causes others to have problems with their celosias. It gives clear instructions not to start the seeds early. There must be a reason why! And also, what the impact of doing so will have once planted outside.

Maybe someone here can elaborate?


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Photos

I was off on my measurments. My 'Fresh Look' yellow and red are about 24 inches tall. Here is a photo:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

And a photo of the Castle Pink (dont mind the weeds!):
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I looked up in my Stokes catalog and found something interesting. It says that the 'Fresh Look' would be 14 inches tall. Yet, the other variety selections also note how tall the plumes are. I assume this means that the plume height is in addition to the height of the plants? This would explain why my plants are taller than 14 inches. I never really paid attention before. I assumed that 14 inches would be the height of the plant, plumes and all. Yet, I havent paid attention till now. Maybe this would help you to pick a celosia to get the height that you want. There is a section for Tall Plumose Types, which says the plants get 27 inches tall with 12 inch plumes. So, the overall plant would be about 39 inches tall. Would this give you the height that you want? This is the Century series. Perhaps you should try that one next year?

Hope it's helpful!


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RE: Celosia no big enough

  • Posted by Susy Zone 5/6 MO. (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 16, 05 at 8:33

Ellen--nice photos. That is a colorful border.


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RE: Celosia no big enough

Ellen, first of all, I had a typo. I meant to say "Celosia NOT big enough"! Thanks so much for your reply on Celosia. I sent for a Stokes catalog but have not received it yet. Meantime, at their website, I cannot find any place where it lists the celosia you mentioned. I will wait for my catalog. It only lists 4 different kinds, 2 being the wheat variety, and 2 the plume variety with them being small. Thanks so much for your input and your celosia are gorgeous! Yes, mine were much taller. The celosia that I used to grow were just thrown in the ground because someone gave me a seed tape. The first time I had them, they were grown in ground that had been a pasture so maybe the ground was really good and the second time, they were grown in front of my house with exceptionally good soil. Both times I did not amend. I did not garden much then, so did not really know what I was doing. Beginners luck I guess!


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RE: Celosia no big enough

Celosia come in a really wide colour range. I saw some at the Thompson & Morgan trial ground a couple of years ago and loved the way the flower colour suffuses the leaves and stems - the whole plant seems to glow. I tried 'Century Mixed' last year, which are supposed to get to a reasonable size, and the plants just stayed about 6 inches tall! I was really disappointed, but maybe I'll try again next spring. Can anybody recommend a good, tall variety and where to get seed?


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RE: Celosia no big enough

Flowers that bloom in cell packs are bred to do that so people will buy them. They don't grow much bigger than what you see. There are so many varieties of celosia. I saw a spectacular, five foot tall, dark red celosia 'bush' growing behind a fence on a sidewalk which I had to have. I took a few seeds and have been growing them ever since. I have no idea where they originally came from. If I find a source, I'll post it.


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RE: Celosia no big enough

Susan, can I be so bold as to ask you for a few seeds? I would be most appreciative. I will give you my address in a private email if you send me yours privately. Some that say they are large in the seed catalogs are not, so this way I would be sure. Many thanks.


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RE: Celosia no big enough

susan, are you saying that ALL flowers grown in cell packs wont grow much bigger,and this is an intentional thing? That is just so not true!!! Though I dont need to buy my own annuals every year, I have bought jillions in the past and, if NONE of them grew, I would never buy them!! Nor would anyone else I would think! Even the celosia will grow, it is just that they didnt grow WELL for other people.

My father purchased 1000 impatiens this year from a nursery...........I think he would have been massively dissapointed if they didnt grow any more than when he bought them!!!!!

susan, could you elaborate more about what you mean by that for new people who could be reading this? I would not want one single new gardener to believe that plants are actually "bred" not to be a good performer past the cell pack stage, and that this is intentional just to get people to buy them in flower!


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RE: Celosia no big enough

I am not saying that all plants in cell paks will not grow bigger. I am referring to those tiny celosias. And plants ARE bred to flower in cell paks in order for people to want to buy them. It takes a knowledgeable gardener to foresee that a pot of leaves will turn out to be a five foot plant full of orange plumes. The nursery trade knows what they're doing.

Plants that flower early and look good in the nursery paks sell well, regardless of how big they may eventually grow (impatiens for example, which grow huge.) Celosias that bloom in the paks are short, from my experience. They will never grow to five feet.


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seeds

Hammerhugger, I'd be glad to send you some seeds. I'll email you.


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RE: Celosia no big enough

  • Posted by Lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 21, 05 at 18:25

I hugely beg to differ that plants are bred to bloom in cell paks and bloom early and will never grow tall!!!
Plants are bred to bloom early....cell pak or not....in a pot or in the ground. Some early bloomers are short and some are tall variety, no more to it than that!
If you want tall celosia, you need to look for a tall variety. C. plumosa is one.
Most gardeners want dwarf plants that don't need staking....so varieties are being bred to stay short.....varieties of everything from sweet corn to patio tomatoes. Blooming in cell paks hasn't a lot to do with it. Plants blooming in cell paks were simply planted earlier, or are varieties that have fewer days to bloom.
True buyers like to know what color they are buying, but the time of first bloom has very little to do with ultimate size. Surely, if you are a biologist you know those things.
Linda C


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RE: Celosia no big enough

susan, you are making this whole thing sound like the nursery trade is trying to trick people into buying junk plants. I do NOT know a tenth of what commercial growers know, but I know that there are ways of retarding plant growth and ways of initiating bloom at certain stages. I have seen plants in bloom way before they are actually supposed to bloom, and at a much smaller size than the plant should mature to. How they do this, I dont know. How well do they perform in the garden? It is different for everyone. You are giving me the illusion of a bunch of plant breeders sitting around trying to find ways to breed a plant to only grow to its best in a tiny cell pack. YES, some plants are poor performers, but I highly doubt that someone INTENDED for it to happen, especially at the stage of plant breeding!!!

I am a veeeeeeeerrrrryyyy small-scale grower, but no matter how small I am, or big I get, my intentions are to do the exact opposite of what you are insinuating. I would be devastated if someone accused me of selling something that I knew would not be a good garden performer for them!

You certainly seem to have a negative attitude towards the nursery trade. Can you back up this information you have contributed here to all of the new gardeners reading this who now feel like they are being "tricked" into buying garbage plants?

Calliope, if you are reading this, will you please jump in here with your growing expertise? Because if there is some truth behind this, then I need to find a new business. I would never knowingly grow or sell anything that is not expected to perform past its two inch cell pack.

PLEASE, others who are more informed, shed some light on this issue!


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RE: Celosia no big enough

Ellen, I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill! It is just Susan's observation that Celosia doesn't grow large like it used to. I have not in the last 20 years, seen Celosia as large (anywhere) as I used to have it. Anytime I have bought the cell-packs, they do not grow! I am not that much of an amateur of a gardener! I am not an expert either but I do know SOME things. Just calm down about it and let Susan be!


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RE: Celosia no big enough

I am sorry but I strongly feel that there were some statements made that need to be corrected or elaborated on. Maybe it is the way they were worded or something that just doesnt sit well.

I am viewing this from the new gardeners perspective. They are trying new things, making mistakes, blaming themselves. Only to read this and think "well, that plant was never going to grow well anyway, it apparantly was BRED to not grow any bigger."

To me, the cell pack is just a "stage" of growth. Next stage is the 3 or 4 inch pot if necessary, or the bed they are planted out. I do not know one single plant that does not grow any bigger than the pot it came in!!! I never once in susan's statements seen where she was comparing the new celosias to the old. Her statements are clearly stating that the plants are bred to perform this way. She also didnt specify that her statements were towards celosia only. It gave the reader the thinking that ALL plants grown in cell packs are bred to perform this way.

We all interpret things differently on gardenweb, and everyone feels strongly about certain things.


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RE: Celosia no big enough

  • Posted by Lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 23, 05 at 10:38

The cultivar of celosia that grew large in the past.....grows large today! You just have to be sure the celosia you buy are a tall variety.
Saying celosia don't grow tall like they used to is like saying petunias are not as pink as they used to be. It's just that growers are growing different colors....and different cultivars of plants.
Plants bloom either at a set number of days from sowing....or in response to the length of day and/or temprature.
Try sowing seeds in your garden.....they will start to bloom way before they achieve a mature size.
Linda C


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RE: Celosia no big enough

Hi There, I believe this variety may be what your looking for. It's called Celosia-Flamingo Feather http://onaleeseeds.bizhosting.com/seeds_available_in_bulk.html
Thanks,
Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: celosia


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RE: Celosia no big enough

Posted by: susanzone5 z5NY (My Page) on Sat, Aug 20, 05 at 11:32

I am not saying that all plants in cell paks will not grow bigger. I am referring to those tiny celosias. And plants ARE bred to flower in cell paks in order for people to want to buy them. It takes a knowledgeable gardener to foresee that a pot of leaves will turn out to be a five foot plant full of orange plumes. The nursery trade knows what they're doing.
Plants that flower early and look good in the nursery paks sell well, regardless of how big they may eventually grow (impatiens for example, which grow huge.) Celosias that bloom in the paks are short, from my experience. They will never grow to five feet.

THAT was my followup which some of you failed to read. If you look at Ellen's photo in this thread, you will see exactly how SOME nursery plants blooming early in cell paks grow. They are fairly short.

How do I know this? I know a man who has greenhouses that grow these short plants for his chain of nurseries in my area. I have also read this info in gardening journals.


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RE: Celosia no big enough

susan, I havent grown the taller varieties of celosia. However, I am very confident in my growing skills, and if I chose to grow them, I would transplant the seedlings to cells (jumbo cells), grow them on, then transplant them to the garden when the time is right. I feel that those tall ones would be at the exact same stage of growth as the dwarf ones--that they would just be starting to bloom, however, there should be a long delay (like a about 6 to 8 weeks) before those blooms begin to really show. In my experience with celosia, that is just their nature to grow, and grow well. I hear from other people that have purchased celosia in cell packs, with blooms on them already, that they do not have good luck with them. I attribute this problem to be due to the very reason why growers guides say NOT to start the seeds before April 1st. OBVIOUSLY a plant purchased in mid to late April with a four inch plume on it already was started way earlier than April 1st. THIS is the reason why I feel that those plants do not perform well, that and being root bound for too long, for a variety of growing conditions, and for whatever reason why it is that those plants are not supposed to be started so early.

I am sorry that you and I are clashing about this. You keep saying that it is something in the breeding. I havent seen anything that can back up what you are saying. I have seen where plants have been "bred for better pack performance", however, I dont see where this breeding affects the overall plant performance in a negative way. What a waste of a man's life work to breed a plant to put on its best show in a cell pack! You are saying that this "breeding" is what is making these plants not grow, where I am saying that it is not this breeding, but it is in the responsibility of the grower who chose to sow and grow these plants earlier than when they should be.

I seen an abundance of 'Fresh Look' celosia for sale in nurseries, starting in mid April with blooms on them. I had started my seeds on April 7th, and there were no blooms on them until Mid-May. You cannot convince me that those who bought those celosia from the nurseries and had poor luck with them has anything to do with breeding, when my 'Fresh Look's have grown to perfection. It has nothing to do with the seed, but how the seed was grown.

I feel that any tall variety of celosia can be grown in a cell pack, and still reach it's potential, as long as it has been seeded and grown on at the right time.


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susan, please read

In continuance of what Ijust said at the end of my response--- I am in 100% agreement that IF those tall varieties ARE in a bigger bloom in a cell pack that it probably will not grow to its full potential. This will be a problem with any celosia, tall or dwarf. This is obviously a growing problem, not with the variety in general.

Susan, I strive very hard to educate new gardeners and any gardener in general who has a problem. I am a horticulture student, a very passionate gardener, a small-scale grower and seller, and a confessed plant geek. I feel that it is important to get the information correct. I have read your bio....you are a horticulturist, a teacher and a biologist? Surely you are compelled to educate others as well? I just think that some of your statements would cause a new gardener to feel that their plants would be doomed from the beginning, and that their plants were bred to perform poorly. That they were tricked into buying those plants because they have a nice pretty bloom on them. When in reality, the plants did have potential, had they not been nursery grown the wrong way.

I dont want to have an argument with you or anyone, I just want the information to be right! I wish a grower would jump in here and inform us all correctly, to end this confusion and argument. And certainly, if plants are bred to be poor garden performers even if they are grown correctly, then we all should know about it.


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RE: Celosia no big enough

Ellen, I never said their plants would perform poorly. People have put those ideas out themselves. Just look at your pics. Those plants are gorgeous! I only stated that plants are specially grown to bloom in cell paks to entice people to buy them and that plants (like celosia) that bloom at 3 inches tall in cell paks will not grow to five feet. I didn't say anything about performing POORLY, just that they will be a shorter variety.

There are tall varieties and short varieties. The taller ones usually have to be started by seed by the gardener, and are found in seed racks and seed catalogs. This is another phase of gardening fun and can get you varieties that are not found in garden centers, because they perform poorly in tiny cell paks.

New gardeners should not look at this as failure, for goodness sake! I never said that!

Gardening is fun. Please stop this misinterpretation because it is not beneficial to anyone. I love teaching new gardeners, and I also tried to make them see that it is not their fault if a plant doesn't grow tall...it's the genetics of the variety that was sold in the cell pak, which was chosen for sale by the nurseries. It has nothing to do with failure.

By the way, seed for the 5 foot celosia is on its way to the original poster from me. I hope she gets as much pleasure from the plants as I have. The seed I saved is from 1998 and is still giving me giant plants. Seed saving is another form of gardening fun, and a source for unusual plants.


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also

Ok I can see you reading what I wrote in the wrong way again. Genetically tall celosia varieties grow better by seed because they outgrow the nursery cell pak quickly. They would need to be marketed in large pots and would require a much longer greenhouse time and labor to bring them to flower. I grow these plants, and they are about 2 feet tall before they put out their first flower.

Plants that bloom in their tiny cells are not junk plants, nor are they grown wrong. They are perfect. That's the genetics of that variety. That's just the way they perform...they look nice and people will buy them. It's not a trick, it's a marketing strategy. They look gorgeous in the garden once they are planted, but they will be relatively short. The original poster wanted tall celosia plants and asked if she had to start them from seed.


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RE: Celosia no big enough

Susan, here is how it all got started:

......."Flowers that bloom in cell packs are bred to do that so people will buy them. They don't grow much bigger than what you see."..........

Your generalized statement about "flowers" made it appear like you were talking about "all flowers". I hope you can see why I felt so adamant about correcting that.

I agree that misinterpreting is not good, but incorrect information isnt good either! I just felt that it needed to be elaborated, so that everyone understands clearly what is going on. I hope you understand.............

Truce?


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RE: Celosia no big enough

How about buying 'cells' and growing in ground to 'seeee' what happens? Experience is the best teacher!...


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RE: Celosia no big enough

  • Posted by Lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 25, 05 at 22:05

All this is speculation by people new to growing plants....
The variables are huge....one of which is the size of the "cell-pak" and others being the growing medium, light, heat etc....
If your celosia are not as big as you want.....buy a taller variety!...PERIOD!
Linda C


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RE: Celosia no big enough

Linda, why do you insist upon being so curt everytime you have a response? Who are you to determine how experienced a gardener is? I have been a very passionate gardener and horticulture student for 14 years, and I doubt susan appreciates you cutting down her years of experience as well. We are simply having a disagreement here, and your final response provided NO answers to the issue at hand. Do you have any information to contribute to the discussion of celosia breeding? Because I dont think anyone was asking for basic plant growing information in this discussion.

I do NOT appreciate being referred to as a new gardener, simply because I am open enough to ask for information about something that I havent heard of. It is really aggravating coming to gardenweb and having to deal with "self-proclaimed" know it alls..........


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RE: Celosia no big enough

  • Posted by Lindac Iowa Z 5/4 (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 26, 05 at 22:55

The original poster asked why she couldn't get her celosia to grow tall like they had before. I told her that she had to buy a tall variety to get tall celosia.
The discussion deteriorated into discussions of growers intent, of breeding plants to bloom in "cell packs" what ever is meant by that....the 1 by 1 variety or the 3 by 3 variety...
You may think that at 14 years into planting plants you are not a new gardener....but I can tell you that I at more than 40 years as an adult gardener, have a lot to learn.....as do we all.
Plants are not bred to be poor garden performers.....
Ther ultimate size of a plant depends on many things....but I can assure you, no breeder breeds plants to be poor garden performers.
Linda C


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RE: Celosia no big enough

ive grown celosia for many years...the crested and the plume type......the very large crested type seed that we use is called red velvet....we grow it from seed right into the flower beds....when they get up a bit....we thin them and transplant ....we now have very loose and composted rich soil....they must like it...because we have had single heads up to 17 inches across...there is a crested type that is bright red....called fireglow.....and another type called..bombay..that comes in several colors and there are many plume types also......i dont care to pick them up in nursery as plants...dont seem to do as well.


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RE: Celosia no big enough

oh yeah.....forgot.....the main cockscomb that we grow to enter in the fair is called.....Red Velvet..it is a rich deep red magenta color.....its a crested variety that can get very large....


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RE: Celosia no big enough

I got seed from Chiltern this year: Celosia cristata 'Tall mixed' and C. plumosa 'Century Mix'. They are supposed to grow to a decent size - not like those wimpy, tiny ones that I think are bred for non-gardeners to buy on impulse. They're small seedlings right now - I'll give an update in a month or so.


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RE: Celosia no big enough

I work at a large scale commercial nursery and I'll give you my two cents if you'ld like. That blanket statement that plants in cell packs are bred to be small is partially true, but not because the growers are trying to "trick" the consumer. It's a logistics problem. The more plants a greenhouse can fit on a bench the more plants can be sold in the shortest amount of time. If a fast growing annual...like celocia or impatiens get too large before they are ready to bloom then they wouldn't be cost effective for the greenhouse to grow and sell. So we have a little trick to solve the problem. It's call growth inhibitor chemicals and specialized fertilizers. Not the kind of chemicals that "poison" the plants, but naturally occuring chemicals (synthetic hormones sort of) that are stepped up a notch. They make the plant more compact with super flower-power which makes the consumer's eyes pop out at the store. They take the plant home and somehow it looks much punier in the garden than it did at the store. Most plants will eventually "grow-out" of these chemical treatments on their own, but some just never quite grow to their full potential. Celosia is so easy to grow from seed. It almost grows on it's own straight out of the package. I recommend growing this particular annual from seed because you can choose any variety you like that will fit perfectly in your garden scheme. And they do grow so quickly and flower quickly too so your reward is very short in coming.


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RE: Celosia no big enough

thanx for the additional input broomhildah......i worked in a local nursery in early 90s and someone told me that they put a growth inhibitor on some of the plants..once in my garden i usually didnt see a difference...except with the alyssum....the ones from the greenhouse...stayed in a tidy mound....but the ones i grew from seed were more natural looking.....but both grew well....i have bought the shorter castle mix of celosia from greenhouse....but for the large ones....the plumosia and crested ones i prefer the seeds....the red velvet crested variety has one stock with one large head....takes all summer here in ks....to grow large


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