Information for florists and shops
A few years ago four high school students have done profound research in cut flower Celosia. From their report came a number of conclusions and recommendations, one of them was to put more info on the internet and hence this page.
Cutflower Celosia is a stunning decorative product with a good vase life, if a few conditions are forfilled to take care that the flower reaches the consumers in optimal condition and shape. Therefore attention is needed to matters that can reduce the decorative value and vase life, such as : braking off ( especially with comb – Celosia ), forming of fungi and reduced vase life caused by “dirty” water or the use of – for cut flowers – unsuitable pot / garden varieties.
To have some additional information about the new regulations of the auctions and the way a flower distributor should deliver Celosia in optimal condition to you, it’s advisable to read the subpage with information for flower distributors a short while.
First of all this remark:
From the past there still remains a myth that the leafs of Celosia are weak and soon turn yellow. It’s hard to fight this ! The truth is that old Celosia varieties ( before the “Bombay’s” entered the market ) existed mainly out of plumes and that those plumes mostly remained to short in the greenhouse because they were in fact in breeding designed to be a half – high garden plant.
Therefor growers cut them directly above the surface to save length, but the lowest part ( foot ) of the stem is woody and harden and doesn’t absorb water enough. So the leafs were blamed but that wasn’t the cause of this ! That “foot” must be removed !
In breeding we achieve to select varieties with enough length, so this problem must now a days be solved.
Unfortunately an old plume variety is still in small amounts in production, that is “Kim rose” ( also known as “Cynthia rose” ). In fact this is improper use an old Japanese variety that was bred in that country as a half high garden plant and stayed in the local climate over there very short and harden.
In the mean time new Celosia varieties from the “Sunday” series are available which have more than enough length in the green house. And with that the problem of cutting the harden foot must be solved, because that’s not needed anymore. The vase life of these new varieties is tested and proven excellent. So…. give this a chance !
* Note : In the series there’s also a very similar colour as the former mentioned “Kim rose” available called “Sunday bright pink”. Especially bred to replace “Kim rose” in the cut flower market. And that should happen a.s.a.p. !
Then some tips:
- Some distributors are transporting Celosia in a cooled truck, simply because their truck is not build to store them uncooled. If these flowers arrive in your shop, let them acclimatize by storing them wide out, so condense can a.s.a.p. dry out. But keep them straight up, Celosia grows on when put on water and can be curved by that. Watch out for sleeves that cover the flowers!
- Celosia is a subtropical flower and doesn’t need cooling, they don’t turn ripe soon. It’s more important to keep them dry! Watch out: Celosia drinks a lot from the vase or bucket, especially uncooled. Maybe unnecessary to mention: Take care for clean water and clean material and use minimal 1 chlorine tablet (Florissant 500 / Chrysal CVB) per 3 liters of water, also in the water that is used to refill. Many “summer flowers” (including Celosia) are very sensitive for bacteria growth in the water.
- We have good experiences with 1 chlorine tablet in 2-2.5 liter water, that doesn’t cause damage.
- Because Celosia needs a lot of water we do not recommend the use of floral foam like Oasis, the amount of water that passes through the foam is insufficient and hence Celosia will slowly weaken. The solution when the use of foam is needed: shorten the stem with only some leafs on it, use only the flower head or making the stem “bold” by removing all leafs.
- The combination of ripe pollen and half an hour humid can cause the forming of fungi. Two kinds of fungus are found in Celosia : The blue one that also grows on old bread, this one isn’t harmful and only reduces the value of the flower a bit. Grey fungus (Botrytis) grows on into the base of the flower and causes rotting. Fungi must always be prevented because they can also appear together.
- And then at last a remark about tint differences in (mostly) pink cockscombs: This is a problem that occurs in all kinds of annuals from seed with pastel colours. In Celosia it happens most with the bright “Bombay pink”, the most grown variety in that colour. We are working hard on that for already ten years to achieve more colour uniformity by means of severe selection, but tint variation is locked up in the genetics and because off that it’s impossible to solve that completely. Recently introduced varieties in the colour pink have much less problems with tint variation and are already in production by some growers.
This is a very trendy and clever way to reduce evaporation of Celosia. Five stems in a glass “pipe model” vase. On the left Celosia “Bombay firosa” ( combs ) after 3 weeks in a ( warm ) office during mid summer ( July ). Now some leafs finally turn brown and the flowers are – of course – very ripen. On the right fresh new “Sunday” ( plumes ) mix, placed in the same vase model. Note : No water refill given to the “Bombay firosa” combs, the flowers survived on the existing vase water with originally only chlorine tablets added.
* An attractive “ready to sell concept” b.t.w. !