Intense 'Intenz'

By Susan Littlefield

If you''re looking for something to add pizzazz to your container plantings or garden beds this summer, check out Celosia 'Intenz', a new offering from Ball Ingenuity. But you better put on your sunglasses first! This annual bears spiky plumes of an incredible deep reddish violet all summer long, adding a jolt of intense color as well as unusual texture to any planting.

The flamboyant color of this cultivar of Celosia caracas will grab attention no matter where you plant it -- in window boxes, containers, or in the landscape. Its compact size -- just 10-14 inches tall and 12 inches wide -- and mounded, upright growth habit make it a versatile choice for many different settings. Use it as an eye-catching accent plant or really liven up the garden by using it as a knock-your-socks-off edging plant. You can even grow it as a houseplant.

Combine 'Intenz' with orange flowers, such as Profusion zinnias or lantana, for a sizzling combo. Or grow it along with icy lime-green 'Envy' zinnias or silvery dusty miller for a cooling contrast. 'Intenz' will do best planted in full sun and well-drained soil and is drought and heat tolerant once it's established. Look for 'Intenz' celosia in garden stores this spring.

For more information on 'Intenz' celosia, go to National Garden Bureau.

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