Cockscomb Celosia argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) 'Smart Look Red'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
cockscomb 'Smart Look Red'


The Celosia argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) 'Smart Look Red', commonly known as cockscomb, is a visually striking plant predominantly recognized for its showy and vibrant red flowers. The flowers have a fluffy, feather-like appearance resembling plumes or flames, which makes them stand out in any garden setting. These plumes are richly colored and provide a velvety texture that adds to the overall visual appeal of the plant. The foliage of the cockscomb is equally attractive, with leaves that are typically green, although they may have red or purple hues that complement the bold color of the flowers. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stems, contributing to the plant's lush look. The overall impression of 'Smart Look Red' is one of vivid color and unique texture, making it a popular choice for gardeners seeking to add an exotic touch to their landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Cockscomb, Crested Celosia, Woolflower, Red Fox.

    • Common names

      Celosia argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) 'Smart Look Red'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The common name of Celosia argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) 'Smart Look Red' is cockscomb. Cockscomb plants are generally considered non-toxic to humans. There are no well-documented cases of poisoning from ingesting this plant, and it does not contain any known toxic principles. However, as with any plant, individual allergies or sensitivities can occur. If these plants are ingested in large quantities, they may cause stomach upset or gastrointestinal discomfort due to the fiber content or natural plant compounds.

    • To pets

      Cockscomb is the common name for Celosia argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) 'Smart Look Red'. This plant is not known to be toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. Therefore, if a pet ingests cockscomb, it is not expected to experience symptoms of poisoning purely from toxicity. However, ingestion of non-food items, including plants, can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal upset in pets, which may manifest as vomiting or diarrhea. Any pet that eats unusual material and shows signs of distress should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-61 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attractive Foliage: The leaves and flowers add vibrant color and unique texture to gardens and landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it requires minimal water, making it suitable for dry climates.
    • Heat Resistant: It performs well in hot conditions, which is ideal for summer gardens.
    • Easy Care: The plant is low-maintenance, needing little care besides occasional watering and fertilizing.
    • Long Blooming: Provides colorful blooms from summer to frost, ensuring a long season of interest.
    • Pest Resistant: Naturally resistant to many pests, reducing the need for chemical treatments.
    • Wildlife Attraction: Flowers can attract pollinators like butterflies and bees, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Versatile Use: Suitable for borders, beds, containers, and as cut flowers, offering various landscaping options.
    • Fast Growing: The rapid growth rate allows for quick establishment and filling in of garden spaces.
    • Color Variety: The 'Smart Look Red' cultivar specifically adds a bold red hue to the array of available colors.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Edible Garnishes: Celosia flowers, particularly from the 'Smart Look Red' variety, can be used as colorful, edible garnishes for salads and culinary presentations.
    • Natural Dyes: The vibrant red pigments in 'Smart Look Red' Celosia can be used to create natural dyes for fabric, giving it a unique and organic coloration.
    • Educational Tool: Due to its unusual and striking appearance, this plant can serve as a teaching aid in botany classes to illustrate plant morphology and inflorescence types.
    • Artistic Inspiration: The bright, feathery plumes of 'Smart Look Red' could be used by artists seeking inspiration for textures and patterns in their paintings or textile designs.
    • Bouquet Filler: 'Smart Look Red' adds volume and a pop of color to bouquets and flower arrangements, which can be particularly appealing for events or interior decoration.
    • Dried Arrangements: The flowers of 'Smart Look Red' can be dried and preserved, retaining their shape and color, to be used in long-term decorations or crafts.
    • Photo Backdrops: Due to its vibrant color and full appearance, 'Smart Look Red' could serve as a living backdrop for photography, creating visually striking images.
    • Feng Shui Element: In Feng Shui, red plants like 'Smart Look Red' are used in specific areas of the home to introduce fire elements, potentially affecting the energy of the space.
    • Biodegradable Confetti: Dried petals and small flowers from 'Smart Look Red' can be used as a biodegradable alternative to traditional paper or plastic confetti at celebrations.
    • Theme Gardens: Celosia 'Smart Look Red' can be featured in a "red-themed" or "fire-themed" garden, showcasing plants with warm colors to create a visually cohesive garden space.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Celosia is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Celosia is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Immortality: The name Celosia comes from the Greek word 'kelos', meaning burned or flaming, which reflects the plant’s bright and fiery appearance. This vibrant coloration symbolizes immortality in some cultures.
    • Affection: The soft, feather-like appearance of the 'Smart Look Red' plumosa group can represent warmth and affection, being a popular gift to express personal fondness.
    • Boldness and Courage: Due to its striking colors and unique shape, cockscomb (the most common name for Celosia argentea var. cristata) is often associated with courage and boldness, reminiscent of a rooster's comb.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Cock's Comb should be watered deeply once the top inch of soil feels dry, typically once every week, but this can vary depending on climate and soil conditions. Use a watering can or hose to evenly moisten the soil, avoiding overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases. In general, the plant may require about 1 gallon of water per week, ensuring that the water penetrates well into the root zone without leaving the soil waterlogged.

  • sunLight

    Cock's Comb thrives in full sun conditions and should be placed in a spot where it gets at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Partial shade can be tolerated but may reduce the vibrancy of the flowers and overall plant vigor.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The ideal temperature range for the Cock's Comb is between 60°F and 85°F. It can tolerate a minimum temperature of 40°F for brief periods but should not be exposed to frost. During hot summer days, the plant can handle temperatures up to 90°F, but it is important to provide adequate watering in these conditions.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Cock's Comb is not typically necessary, but deadheading spent flowers can encourage additional blooming. Prune any damaged or dead foliage as needed to maintain plant health and appearance. The best time to prune for shaping or size control, if needed, is in late winter or early spring before new growth emerges.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for cock's comb (Celosia argentea 'Smart Look Red') is well-draining, fertile, and loamy with good moisture retention. Incorporating organic matter such as compost or peat moss can enhance soil structure. Aim for a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 to ensure optimal nutrient availability and plant health.

  • plantRepotting

    Cock's comb should be repotted annually in the spring as it performs best with fresh soil. Transplanting it into a slightly larger pot every year will encourage vigorous growth and flowering.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Cock's comb thrives in moderate to high humidity levels. The best humidity level for this plant is around 40 to 70%. Avoid environments that are too dry, as they can hinder growth and lead to flower desiccation.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place cock's comb in bright, indirect light indoors with good airflow.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-draining soil, full sun to partial shade.

    • Hardiness zone

      2-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of the plant commonly known as 'Smart Look Red' plumed cockscomb begins with seed germination, which typically occurs within two weeks when provided with warm temperatures and moist growing medium. Once sprouted, the seedling stage is marked by the emergence of the first set of true leaves, after which the plant begins vegetative growth, developing a strong stem and a lush foliage with its characteristic colorful plumes. As it enters the flowering stage, vibrant red feathery plumes grow from the top, attracting pollinators and adding aesthetic value. After pollination, the plant produces seeds that mature within the dry, withered flower heads, completing its reproductive cycle. These seeds can be collected and sown for the next season or left to self-sow if the conditions are favorable. The plant typically completes its life cycle within one growing season as it is grown as an annual in most climates.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating Celosia argentea var. cristata, commonly known as cockscomb, is by seed. Seed propagation is best done in spring after the danger of frost has passed or indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date. Sow the seeds lightly covered with soil in a well-draining medium, maintaining a soil temperature of around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 degrees Celsius). Germination typically occurs within 1 to 2 weeks. Once seedlings have developed their first set of true leaves and are hardy enough to handle, they can be transplanted outside into the garden. It's important to space them 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) apart to allow for proper air circulation and growth. Cockscomb seeds require sunlight to germinate so a bright spot with some direct light is beneficial for starting seeds indoors.