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Dragon’s Breath

A variety of Celosia plumose called ‘Dragon’s Breath’ has been the talk of BGO this fall. Guests stop to admire its deep red color and continue to comment on its beauty even after our first frost killed some of the flowers. But the attention this little annual plant is getting in our Garden is not unique to us; all over the country people are raving about this new annual variety. ‘Dragon’s Breath’ is new to the market, and had only been a trial plant last year, but already people are calling it a favorite.

dragons breath celosia

There are many different varieties of Celosia, and comes in just about every color imaginable, but the ‘Dragon’s Breath’ variety is certainly one of the most brilliant. Celosia is not native to North America, but it is not invasive and not aggressive. It is fairly easy to grow both in the ground and in a container. Though it can tolerate a little frost it will die off as winter sets in and because it is an annual you will need to plant it each year.

It is not a particularly hard plant to grow, especially here in the Ozarks. It likes heat, doesn’t mind humidity, and prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade as well. Though many Celosias stay smaller than a square foot, ‘Dragon’s Breath’ can get just over 24 inches tall and spread out over 16 inches wide. Once its deep red plumes bloom in late summer or early autumn, it stays colorful for 10 weeks as long as a freeze doesn’t hit it too hard. This year the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is still enjoying the beauty of ‘Dragon’s Breath’ into November!