How to Grow Intenz Celosia – (Cockspur)

Purple Spikes

Intenz Celosia is the botanical or Latin name for Cockspur. It is pretty and easy to grow; the flower has feathery purple spikes and pointed dark green leaves.

Brightly Coloured Flowers

In zones 9 – 12, these plants are delicate perennials, known as annuals. But in all the other zones, they are thought of as hardy annuals. Their flowers are brightly colored either entirely in red, purple, pink, orange, or yellow.

For generalization, this article will cover the flower’s performance and needs in the other areas and not discuss Zones 9-12, where they react quite differently.

Zones 9 – 11

In the United States of Agriculture, Zones 9 to 11 are the areas or zones with the lower temperature – say between 25- and 40-degrees F or 3 – 4 degrees C.

Daytime temperatures are warm even in the Winter in the United States. Encompassing such areas as Texas, California, Louisiana, Florida, and other southern regions of the states. Their characteristics regarding water vary enormously, which is a huge consideration when choosing plants.

Splendid Plumes

In most climates, Intenz Celosia needs to be replanted each year. There are very few places where the plant will grow back.

These flowers show off splendid plumes of purplish flowers that can be seen rising well above the foliage from summer to mid-fall. It requires occasional maintenance, and it is best to cut it back in late fall in preparation for Winter.

The Flowers Are Great for Cutting

The flowers are easy to cut, and the pointy dark leaves remain green throughout the season. A thick, herbaceous annual that spreads upright, Intenz Celosia’s medium texture blends well into a garden and can be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for a more compelling composition.

Planting & Growing

This plant is about 14 inches tall when fully grown, with a spread of 12 inches across. When grown in masses or used for ground coverage, individual plants should be spaced approximately 10 inches apart.

Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring plants in front. This fast-growing annual will normally live for one full growing season, needing replacement the following year.

Full Sunlight and Drought Tolerant

Only to be grown in full sunlight, Intenz Celosia is adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions. However, it cannot bear standing in water.

The plant is considered to be drought-tolerant, and so it makes a reasonably good choice for a low water garden or xeriscape application.

It’s not particular or fussy regarding soil type or pH. However, it is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner-city developments

Interspecific Hybrid

This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid. Cuttings can propagate it as a cultivated variety, so be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Spiller, Thriller Filler, Stylish Groupings

Intenz Celosia is an excellent choice for the garden, and it’s also an incredible variety for planting, in outdoor containers, and hanging baskets.

It is often used as a ‘filler’ in a container combination of ‘Spiller, Thriller, Filler’ Grouping, which is very stylish, and so provides a big spread of flowers which make the larger thriller plants stand out and make quite a show.

Water More Frequently

Be advised that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they could need more frequent watering, than they would, in the yard, or garden.

So, you need to keep an eye open in the early days for thirsty plants and make a plan to arrange for extra watering if necessary but make sure you don’t drown them.

Versatile Landscape Applications

Let’s look at these following suggesting landscape applications as Intenz Celosia is quite adaptable as an eye-catching plant that gives a flash of beauty to otherwise dull areas – making it a versatile landscaping charmer!

Intenz Celosia (Cockspur) is recommended for the following landscape applications;

Mass Planting

Border Edging

General Garden Use


Container Planting

Hanging Baskets

Bedding Plant

The actual plant grows to about 14 inches high in adulthood with a spread of 12 inches. So, if you use it as a bedding plant, the individual units (plants) should be planted by spacing them out at ten inches apart (not social spacing but planting spacing)!

That way, you get the best it has to give for one full season, and then the following year, it will need replacing.

Nothing but Full Sunlight

This plant requires full sunlight for at least six hours a day. It’s such a decorative plant. It’s worthwhile finding just the right places in your garden for it, as it will repay you fully with its attractive spread.

Low Maintenance Except for Bees and Deer

It’s a plant that doesn’t have problems with growth and is very low maintenance but, It does attract bees.

Strange to relate, if the deer are short of food, they fight off the bees so they can munch hungrily on this plant. To keep the deer away, put down a lot of wet or damp coffee grounds that will repel them.

Very Attractive

Available only through Ball Horticultural Seeds, several new varieties of Intenz Celosia have been created, and they are beautiful. This plant makes a taproot and can therefore be sensitive to root damage.

Bench Cards Will Help You Choose

Balls Horticultural do not supply directly to homeowners. Still, they provide bench cards so that you can get a good view of the species of the plant you would like to grow and then you can visit your local garden store or nursery to stock up on the particular plant you intend to grow in your garden.

The Journey Begins

Personally, I like the idea of starting the seeds off on the kitchen table by carefully putting them in their tiny growing sections so they can have an undisturbed beginning.

Then I have a little serving room just off the kitchen, which gets full sunlight (so it’s never used for serving), and the seeds start their journey in there. In that little room, seeds that prefer full sunlight always seem to germinate faster and grow better than anywhere else in my house.

The Plants Have Claimed the Back Stoep

I have various rooms in my house that I don’t use for their original purpose. The huge covered stoep at the back of the house is creaking with the number of seedlings undergoing germination and all sorts of other things.

Don’t get the idea that the plants come first but, I suppose anything that can’t talk and stand up for itself comes first in my life. Maybe that’s why I’ve even got plants in my airing cupboard. You’ll get the idea.

Plant Talkers

What a great beginning for them in full sun, and very few interruptions. They are mostly at peace as they grow. If the plants are happy with their surroundings, they’ll reward you by growing well with flourishing blossoms and sturdy stems.

Others think I should be declared mad for talking to the plants!

Did you know that we expel oxygen when we speak, and plants make significant progress when oxygen is breathed upon them – that why we’ve got the phrase about talking to the plants.

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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