Cosmos are pretty and bright, and give you plenty of color for a small investment. These flowers grow easily from seed and make beautiful cut flowers. The word “cosmos” is Greek, meaning balanced universe.
Cosmos are members of the flower family that includes asters, sunflowers and daisies. Flowers are 2 to 4 inches wide and plants can range from 1 to 6 feet tall. Since they are tall, they look great in the back of a flower bed. Colors include include white, pink, orange, yellow and scarlet, and some varieties have double flowers.
Most cosmos are annuals, but there are perennial varieties. Popular tall choices include Bright Lights, Cosmic Orange and Cosmic Yellow; dwarf plants include Sunny Red, Sunny Gold and Lady Bird. Cosmos bloom all summer, and you can usually get a second bloom from them by cutting back the early blooms. When they go to seed, collect and save seeds for next year, or let them naturally scatter and regrow.
Sow cosmos seeds just before your region’s last frost. Space seeds a couple inches apart, and water thoroughly. Native to Mexico, cosmos like hot, dry climates. They actually grow better in poor soil–soil that is too rich causes them to become lanky. They love sun, do not require much water and are also resistant to most insect damage. Especially tall plants may require staking.
Learn more about Growing Cosmos: