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Cosmos spp.

Common Name(s):
Orange Cosmos Sulphueus

Let cosmos bring beauty to your universe! Cosmos is an easy-to-grow flower that can reseed itself and grow in hot, dry conditions, making it a good choice for North Carolina gardens. The hardy annual will give you blooms from summer to frost. Cosmos sulphureus has golden-yellow or orange flowers and can grow up to 6 feet. The ‘Cosmic’ series will give you lots of 2-inch double and semi-double bright, non-fading blooms in shades of orange, red, and yellow, and will get 12 to 18 inches tall on well-branched plants.

Cosmos bipinnatus offers a variety of maroon, pink, lavender, and white flowers on stalks that will get to 4 feet tall. Gardeners taking advantage of the naturally smaller-growing cosmos bipinnatus varieties have an amazing selection, such as ‘Gloria’ (pink), ‘Versailles Tetra’ (red), ‘Candy Stripe’ (white with red veins), ‘Day Dream’ (white with red halo around yellow stamens), ‘Picotee’ (white petals with red margins), ‘Sea Shells’ and ‘Dwarf Sensation Mix’, both sold as mixed colors, usually in pink pastels, and ‘Psycho White.’

Plant cosmos in a location that receives at least a half day of direct sunlight. Sow the seeds outdoors after danger of frost is past and when the soil has warmed to at least 65 degrees. Rake seeds into a loose soil; planting seeds too deeply will hinder germination. Keep the soil moist for 5 to 10 days after seeding. Seeds will germinate in 7 to 21 days. Cosmos needs only basic care to provide an abundance of colorful blooms all summer. Taller varieties may need staking if subjected to high winds and frequent storms.

When the spring-planted cosmos appears to have an abundance of dried seed, do not remove the plants. Encourage re-bloom by cutting the plants back to 12 to 18 inches high. They will be back in bloom in a month and the seed that is cut off will fall to the ground, germinate in the hot soil, and increase the density of your plant population and the eventual bloom display.

Spring to early fall
Lilac, pink, red, white, yellow
36-72 in.
10-12 in.
pink, annual, summer, lilac, showy flowers, white, drought, yellow, red, fall, spring

NCCES plant id: 48

Cosmos spp. Cosmos spp.
Cosmos spp. Cosmos
Cosmos growth habit, CC BY - 2.0