A summer garden is incomplete without cosmos. This article covers the basics of the cosmos plant to help you grow it in your garden.
In the world of warm weather plants, cosmos is a standout. This tropical beauty is available in countless varieties and colors, from the classic orange cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) to a brighter yellow variety (C. sulphureus). Cosmos is easy to grow and has few pests or diseases; it is an excellent addition to perennial gardens or fresh-cut flower arrangements.
Click here for one way you can grow cosmos in your garden:
What Is Cosmos?
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) is an annual plant that produces many small, colorful flowers. This herbaceous perennial is native to Mexico and Central America, but it is also grown in the United States as an ornamental plant in gardens and parks. The variety of colors in which cosmos can be found range from purple, white, pink, red and orange to yellow. Some smaller types are often mistaken for wildflowers because they grow so low to the ground.
The plants are hardy and easy to grow, requiring sun and well-draining soil. In fact, they will tolerate some drought conditions, but the plants produce more flowers when watered regularly throughout their growing season. Most gardeners who grow cosmos choose to plant them in containers or hanging baskets because they tend to spread out over a large area with aggressive growth if left unattended during warmer weather. Cosmos bipinnatus flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators as well as hummingbirds that are drawn by the brilliant colors of the blooms.
Cosmos also has medicinal uses; people have used it for cenand hummingbirds and the ability to combat inflammation without causing drowsiness or other troublesome side effects associated with pharmaceuticals.
How Tall Does Cosmos Grow?
The bipinnate cosmos flower produces a single, large, star-shaped bloom with a central axis of twelve to twenty-four individual pink or white petals. The flower’s coloration and the shape of its colors all depend on various environmental factors. Unlike most other species in the genus, the cosmos bipinnate produces an inflorescence (inflorescence is the technical term for a group of flowers that appear from one point on a plant’s stem) consisting of multiple flowers in different stages of development, which makes it increasing as it progresses from bud to bloom. As noted above, its central axis can be aligned with either east or west (depending on where it is planted), which results in identical blooms when planted west or east, respectively. When grown under proper conditions and given adequate light leresultingut each season, flowers can live for a week be off—but even though they fall off quickly shortly enough after blooming, they continue maturing into tiny seeds as they slowly dry up and turn brown over time.
In addition to its aesthetic appeal, cosmoses bipinnatus has also been used historically by Native American groups as food and medicine. It was consumed fresh by acorn eaters in eastern Canada and by the Iroquois Nation along the banks of Lake Ontario around fourteen thousand years ago.
Are Cosmos Annuals or Perennials?
The first thing to do is clarify whether your plant is a perennial or an annual. Most plants are hardy only in their native climate and may not survive outside of that. Certain zones have special rules for growing certain types of plants, like the ability to grow cosmos perennials in zone 9 where they wouldn’t usually be able to live.
Your plant doesn’t necessarily have limited options just because it’s zone 10 only; some varieties of cosmos can survive through the winter and even self-seed! Some other popular perennials in zone 10 include lantana, impatiens, and coleus, so you’ll have plenty of options for colorful flowers year after year. If you’re interested in something with continuous color from spring all the way through fall, consider something like begonias, dahlias, or inpatients. These will give you a long season of flower power from spring through fall—or even winter if you bring them indoors!
Growing Cosmos bipinnatus
Cosmos bipinnatus is an annual flower that is also a perennial. That means it will grow from seed every year, but it does tend to do better in its second and third years of life. If you live in a climate with short summers or get frosty weather, wait until the end of September or early October to plant your cosmos seeds so they have some time to get ready for winter.
You can start with seeds or starter plants. Cosmos seeds are large and easy to handle, which makes them perfect for younger kids who want to learn how to grow their own flowers. Because cosmos seeds are so easy for small hands to handle, I recommend choosing this method if you wish for children to be involved with the project.
If you buy started plants instead of starting your own plants from seed, be sure you know exactly what kind of plant you’re getting before committing to buy it. Some sellers might try to pass off different species as true cosmos bipinnatus because they look similar and have identical flower colors.
When planting your cosmos seeds or starter plants, be sure there’s plenty of space between them because they will grow into full-sized plants that need room to spread out their foliage and flowers while still having room left over for growing new stems and leaves each year (which gives each plant the ability to bloom more than once). Keep in mind that these annuals need a lot of water during their growing season after being planted from either seed or a starter plant. Plan on watering them regularly even if rain keeps falling in your area—these aggressive growers need plenty of water so they don’t wilt away before producing many blooms during their summer months!
The Basics of Growing Cosmos Flowers
It’s also worth saying here that cosmos seedlings are difficult to transplant, so if you have any friends or family who would like to help you out, give them a few plants. Otherwise, planting and tending to the flowers is quite simple—and will require very little in terms of equipment.
If you’re planting from seed once the weather begins to warm up in spring or early summer, it’s a good idea to start earlier than that if possible. They can take several weeks before they actually grow into flower stems and leaves, so seeds are better than cuttings (which only germinate sometimes). You can sow seeds directly in the ground or simply pot them up indoors and transplant them outdoors when they reach 6 inches tall.
Planting Cosmos: Once you’ve sown your seeds and have them growing on your windowsill, it’s time for their next step—planting! To do this successfully…