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Yes it's a celosia, treat it like an annual bedding plant
I knew they were roots, but I didn't know it had a fancy name, thanks Edd
Sciarid flies if you want the correct name
Scale insects perhaps
Let your pots dry out and only water them from the bottom so that the top of the soil is dry( which you should do anyway). Or cover the tops of your pots with gravel. They only lay eggs onto wet compost
Don't let the slugs get them
I love the little drawing
It looks like mildew, not enough water
Looks like sunflower, are the leaves bristly?
Kirsten there is a natural skincare company based in the Elgin area called Mary Jean and they make a body lotion called Highland Midge Lotion which is supposed to repel the little biters.