Cosmos are one of the easiest things to grow in the flower garden. (see my 3 easiest flowers to grow guide here) They don’t love a ton of water, they don’t like a ton of fertilizer, they just bloom. The only issue I have with them is they need a lot of support. Which, don’t we all these days?
This year I changed a lot of things in the garden up. One of the major ones being I flipped my rows from vertical to horizontal. This has made a huge difference in the management of my garden. Not only are the paths able to be wider, the amount grown is more manageable for me. When I was planning my garden back in January, I thought my life was going to look a bit differently. However, God had other plans and the smaller garden was implemented and truly the sized down-ness of it all has been a bit of a blessing this season. Moving back into the house, organizing and all the craziness that comes with a renovation has made things a little hectic and a smaller garden, welcomed.
I used to grow over ten different types of Cosmos but over the years trial and error has revealed my favorites which are the only ones I chose to grow this year. Two of my favorite types are Cupcake and Double clicks. The Cupcake Cosmos look just like delicate cupcake wrappers, Folded and fanned to perfection. The Double Click Cosmos have multiple layers and look like pompoms.
When you cut your cosmos for harvesting, make sure to cut down the stem as much as possible to encourage the plant to produce longer, stronger stems. I usually cut about elbow length down just above a pair of leaves. It might seem harsh and that you are hacking off half your plant, but trust me it will payoff in the long run.
This year I ordered all of my cosmo seeds from Johnny’s. The germination and growth of the plants has exceeded expectations and I would highly recommend purchasing from this company. I ordered:
- Cupcake White Cosmos
- Cupcake Blush Cosmos
- Afternoon White Cosmos
- Fizzy White Cosmos
- Double Click Bi Color Violet Cosmos
You can direct seed cosmos but I like to start them inside a few weeks before frost to give them a head start. They do grow fast so make sure you know your frost date before starting them. Example: Our last frost is around Memorial Day so I start them around the last week of April. I am zone 5b/6A (find your zone here)
In short, cosmos are worth the little bit of effort they require. I find it a bit ironic that in the language of flowers cosmos signify order and harmony. I feel they look wild and a bit unruly which makes them one of my favorites for adding interest to bouquets and fullness in the garden.
Have you grown Cosmos before? Tell me your favorite varieties in the comments below!