Want to add striking color to your home garden? Grow a vibrant bloom of Dragon’s Breath Celosia varieties! This plant is indescribably beautiful and doesn’t need much effort to stay alive. Just put it in a spot that receives lots of bright light and water frequently until it develops drought tolerance after a year of growth.
Read on for more details on how to care for this plant.
Dragon’s Breath Celosia | A Brief Overview
The actual name of this plant is Celosia Argentea Plumosa. It’s native to the tropical areas of Asia, Africa, and America.
But why is it popularly known as Dragon’s Breath? Because the red and orange hues of this plant look similar to a dragon’s fiery exhale. Another common name for this plant is Cockscomb.
Celosia Dragon’s Breath is a really fun choice for first-time gardeners. It’s easy to grow, and its iridescent maroon foliage and red-scarlet-maroon flowers can significantly spruce up your garden.
You can grow it directly in the ground or any pot lying around your house; it thrives well and looks beautiful in both conditions. The interesting cut flower of this plant pairs well with ornamental grasses, marigolds, and other plants for a perfect fall arrangement.
Moreover, Celosia Dragon’s Breath is an annual plant, meaning it doesn’t live from one year to the next.
You have to protect it from frost to keep it alive for a longer period or propagate new Dragon’s Breath plants via seeds or stems.
Care Requirements for Dragon’s Breath Celosia
Here are all the essential points you should know about Celosia Dragon’s Breath care.
Originating from tropical areas, Dragon’s Breath Celosia loves the heat and requires bright sunlight to thrive well.
Although it doesn’t instantly die in an area with partial sunlight, it develops the best when exposed to full Sun for at least six to eight hours a day.
If you keep the plant in the shade for too long, away from full sun, its leaves and flowers wilt and die. Also, shaded areas often harbor more moisture than the plant can tolerate, eventually leading to fungus and root rotting.
Deciding to keep your Dragon’s Breath Celosia in the yard? Create a row of decorative stones in the background to trap more sunlight.
But remember, too much direct sunlight may burn the leaves. If you see burn spots on the leaves, move the plant indoors near a curtained window that receives direct light.
Use soil that doesn’t retain water but stays a little moist. If the soil isn’t well-draining, the roots eventually rot due to being soaked in excess water.
The soil must also have enough nutrients to facilitate the healthy growth of Dragon’s Breath. You can add peat moss, compost, or aged manure to your soil if it isn’t fertile enough.
Thankfully, this plant isn’t choosy in terms of pH levels. It can tolerate all acidic, alkaline, and neutral levels.
To be more precise, Dragon’s Breath Celosia can flourish well in sandy, chalky, or loamy types of soil.
Regular watering of a Celosia Dragon’s Breath and moistening its soil in early growth stages are essential.
After a year, Dragon’s Breath Celosia becomes fully established and develops great drought tolerance.
How Much to water
You only have to water them when the top few inches of the soil feel dry. But you must water more frequently in the hot and dry season to get as many blooms as possible.
Remember that the soil should be evenly moist and not wet. Don’t overwater or let the plant sit in standing water. Excess watering can cause the roots to rot quickly. Also,
Water the celosia from the base and not the top. This prevents the leaves from getting wet, keeping them away from spots and diseases.
Since Dragon’s Breath Celosia is native to tropical regions, it thrives well in very warm temperatures.
Hot and humid conditions are perfect for this radiant plant. An ideal temperature range in the daytime is 68℉ to 70℉ (20℃ to 21℃), while temperatures around 50℉ and 60℉ are okay at night.
Winters are destructive for Dragon’s Breath Celosia. In fact, your plant might even die at first exposure to the first frost. If you have kept the plant in your backyard, bring them indoors in winter to save their lives.
As for humidity, your plant may not die under low-humidity levels. You should keep them in a high-humidity area if you want them to bloom well.
The best way to describe the fertilizing needs of Celosia Dragon’s Breath is ‘not too much but specific.’
There are numerous chemicals in certain fertilizers that might harm your blazing plant. However, an extra boost of the right nutrients can significantly improve its growth.
- Calcium-nitrate fertilizers work the best if you want deep-dark red feathery blooms.
- Nitrogen and phosphorous feed foliage instead of the flowers; both chemicals lead to lush, vegetative growth of green foliage
- Some other helpful elements in fertilizer are boron, potassium, and magnesium.
In the growing season, use a water-diluted liquid fertilizer every month to grow healthy red blooms.
Using excess fertilizer in the growing season or fertilizing in the dormant period may lead to leaf burn or root rot.
Dragon’s Breath Celosia plants can easily propagate through seeds or stem cuttings.
- The clusters of flowers on this plant are full of seeds that don’t require much effort to propagate. If you want to plant the seeds, don’t go too deep into the soil; half an inch is okay. The seed will rot if you plant it too deeply.
- You can also take stem cuttings and re-root them in soil or water to grow a brand new Dragon’s Breath. Keep the propagation container in a warm place and wait for new roots to show up. After new roots emerge from the cutting, transplant them into an average-sized pot.
The versatility of Celosia Dragon’s Breath is truly amazing. You can cultivate them as annual flower bedding in the backyard or grow them in plant containers and pots.
When growing it indoors in a plant container, ensure the container has proper drainage holes to prevent excess water and moisture accumulation.
Please note that Dragon’s Breath Celosia may not respond well to repotting. You shouldn’t move these plants to a new pot or container unless necessary.
These plants grow fast but compactly, so they don’t need frequent repotting like other fast-growing plants.
If you have a valid reason to repot, gently remove the plant without putting too much pressure on the roots.
Make sure the potting soil in the new container is well-draining. Also, bury the roots at the same level in the new pot.
Celosia Dragon’s Breath doesn’t require frequent pruning; you should let these plants grow naturally. The only time you should prune is when you see numerous decaying or dead leaves, flowers, and parts of the plant.
You can also carefully prune a few cuttings when you want to propagate new plants. Always use a sharp and sanitized tool whenever taking cuttings and trimming your plant.
Dragon’s Breath Celosia risks attacks from slugs, mealybugs, aphids, thrips, and spider mites.
One way to avoid such pest infestations is growing pest-repellent plants along with Dragon’s Breaths. Plants like oregano, chives, and parsley can combat common pests and protect nearby Dragon’s Breath plants.
Another way is to constantly check your plant and detect an infestation as early as possible to nip it in the bud.
If the insects or pests have already attacked your Dragon’s Breath Celosia, spray the leaves with water and clean the insects off them. Then, rub them with alcohol or insecticidal soap to eliminate the pest infestation.
Rabbits also love to snack on the leaves of Dragon’s Breath Celosia. You can use pepper spray or rabbit repellent to prevent attacks from these rodents without harming them.
Frequently Asked Questions and Final Thoughts
Are Dragon’s Breath Celosia Poisonous To Pets?
The best part about a Dragon’s Breath plant is that pets and children are safe around them. It doesn’t harm humans or animals if they ingest the leaves or flowers by mistake.
Why is my Dragon’s Breath Celosia Dying?
Dragon Breath may die because of problems like pest infestations.
Pests suck the sap out of leaves, stems, and other parts, causing your plant to wilt and die. Some pests are so small that they often go unnoticed until the damage gets out of hand, especially spider mites. It is essential to regularly check the plant for any spots, webs, or damaged spots to diagnose a pest infestation early.
Roots of a Dragon Breath Celosia start to rot if you overwater or over-fertilize the plant. You might notice leaf burns that signify your plant has a root problem.
Dragon’s Breath Celosia may also start wilting if it doesn’t get enough light. They are sun-loving plants, and adequate light throughout the day is crucial for their development.
Moreover, if you don’t keep your young plants well watered, they might start dying. Try giving them a good drink to help them survive. As the plant becomes more established, infrequent watering won’t affect it much.