How to Grow Celosia from Seed: A Complete Guide

With their uniquely shaped blooms and brilliant colors, celosias make a vibrant addition to any garden. While often purchased as transplants, starting celosia from seed is quite easy if you follow some key tips.

Here is a complete guide to successfully growing celosia from seed.

When to Plant Celosia Seeds

Celosia is extremely sensitive to cold and frosts, Wait until all danger of frost has passed and soil temperatures have warmed above 60°F before sowing seeds

  • In most climates, mid to late spring is ideal.

  • In very hot summer regions, celosia can be planted in fall for winter blooms

Starting too early while soil is still cool will prevent germination. Be patient and wait for warmer soil before planting.

How to Direct Sow Celosia Seeds Outdoors

Celosia can be directly sown into the garden once the weather is sufficiently warm. Follow these tips:

  • Prepare soil by mixing in compost or organic fertilizer. Celosia likes rich, well-draining soil.

  • Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and 4-6 inches apart in rows or clusters.

  • Cover seeded areas with a thin layer of straw to protect emerging sprouts.

  • Keep soil consistently moist but not soaked until germination occurs.

  • Expect germination in 7-14 days when soil temperatures are 65-80°F.

  • Protect young seedlings from heavy rains, winds and pests until established.

  • Thin overcrowded areas to proper spacing once plants have several true leaves.

Starting Celosia Indoors from Seed

For an earlier start, celosia can be seeded indoors 4-6 weeks before the last expected spring frost.

Supplies Needed

  • Celosia seeds
  • Seed starting mix
  • Cell packs, trays or pots
  • Grow lights or sunny window
  • Gentle watering can with fine rose spout

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Fill containers with moist seed starting mix. Smooth and level surface.

  2. Sow 1-2 seeds per cell, 1/4 inch deep.

  3. Cover trays, place under grow lights and maintain 65-80°F temperature.

  4. Keep soil moist but not saturated until seeds germinate.

  5. Remove lids once sprouts emerge to prevent damping off disease.

  6. Thin to one strong seedling per cell.

  7. Transplant outdoors after hardening off, once frost danger has passed.

  8. Space plants 12-18 inches apart in garden.

How to Grow and Care for Celosia

Sun and Soil

  • Celosia thrives in full sun. Provide at least 6 hours of direct sun daily.

  • Rich, well-draining soil amended with compost is ideal.

  • Avoid wet, poorly draining sites which can cause stem rot.


  • Water celosia regularly to keep soil moist but not saturated.

  • Allow soil to dry slightly between waterings.

  • Avoid overhead watering which can promote foliar diseases.

  • Reduce watering as plants become established. Mature plants are quite drought tolerant.


  • Celosia prefers daytime temperatures of 70-90°F. Cooler temps below 60°F stunt growth.

  • Can tolerate higher heat but may require more frequent watering.

  • Extremely sensitive to frost – provide cover if cold snaps occur.


  • Apply balanced organic fertilizer at planting time.

  • Fertilize every 3-4 weeks to fuel growth and blooms.

  • Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers which cause lush foliage but fewer flowers.


  • Pinch back tips when plants are 6-12 inches tall to encourage branching.

  • Remove spent flowers to prolong blooming period.

  • Cut plants back by half after first flush of blooms is finished.

With the right growing conditions and care, celosia grown from seed will reward you with unique, vibrant flowers all season long. Be sure to select heat-loving varieties suited to your climate.

Starting celosia from seed

There are lots of celosia varieties you can start from seed and they’re pretty easy to get going. And yes, you can save seeds from your own plants. Just keep in mind that the flowers they grow might not be the same color as the ones you saved the seeds from. The picture above shows you where to look for celosia seeds on cockscomb types. They aren’t exactly where you’d think they would be. Seeds from plume and wheat celosia types can be harvested in a similar fashion.

Step 4: Provide heat and light

Set the tray of celosia seedlings under lights that are 6 in. above the foliage and move it up as the plants grow. When the celosia seeds begin to sprout, remove the flat from the heat mat and put it under lights 24 hours a day. Continue to adjust the grow light to 6 in. above the foliage as the plants grow to avoid burning the seedlings. Theyll grow best if you adjust the room temperature to be around 63 to 68 degrees F.

HOW TO START Celosia From Seed And Care Instructions | PepperHarrow


How long does it take for celosia to grow from seed?

DAYS TO GERMINATION: 8-14 days at 70-80°F (21-27°C). Bottom water or mist lightly to avoid displacing seeds and soil. SOWING: Transplant (recommended) – Sow into 72-cell flats or preferred seedling container 6-8 weeks before planting out.

Do celosia seeds need heat to germinate?

Sow seeds directly onto the surface of your seed starting formula, but do not cover, they need light to germinate. Keep temperatures at a consistent 70-75° F and sprouts will emerge in 7-10 days.

Is celosia a perennial or annual?

Celosias are one of the most eye-catching annuals to grow in the garden. Technically speaking, however, they are tender annuals, as they are perennial in Zones 10 to 12.

Should I start celosia indoors?

Sow seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before your Average Last Spring Frost. Be sure to keep them in a warm place as they are growing. They can be transplanted out after the threat of frost. The seeds can also be direct sowed into the garden well after the threat of frost has passed.

When should I start Celosia seeds?

Start celosia seeds 6 to 8 weeks before your average last frost date by filling small peat pots with premoistened seedstarting mix. Peat pots are nice because later, you won’t have to disturb the tender roots to transplant — just plant the pot and it will eventually decompose.

How do you grow Celosia?

Celosia is relatively easy to grow and maintain. Here are some basic growing tips: Plant in well-draining soil or containers with a well-drained potting mix. Richer soil produces more vibrant blooms. Plant celosia for the brightest blooms, where it will receive at least six hours of full sun daily.

Can Celosia grow in full sun?

Celosia does it’s best when it’s in Full Sun. Rich, well-draining, moist soil – with lots of compost, are the best conditions for this plant. Celosia seeds require light to germinate, so be careful not to cover them when planting. Learn more about germination light requirements here.

Does Celosia multiply?

Yes, celosia does multiply. It reproduces by both self-seeding and by propagating through cuttings. The parent plant will drop its seeds, and new plants will sprout from them in the following growing season. Cuttings can also be taken from the parent plant and rooted in soil or water to create new plants with identical characteristics.

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