From the Desk of Ed Hume: Cosmos

April 12, 2010 at 9:52 AM Leave a comment

Good morning everyone, and happy Monday!  How was your weekend?

This week we will have our article on Monday and our podcast on Wednesday.  We like to mix it up some weeks to surprise you!

Cosmos: The Easy to Grow Summer Flower

For decades now, one of the most popular, easy to grow Summer flowers are the cosmos.  Not only are they easy to seed, grow, and care for, they very often will reseed and come back the next year and often for years to come.

In addition to being colorful in the garden, they also make attractive cut flowers.  Some of the newer varieties come in a wider range of colors and are more colorful than the old ones.  The new “Sea Shells” variety have flower petals that are somewhat tubular and are often described as looking a bit exotic.  This variety comes in the typical red, rose, and white shades of most cosmos.  The plants grow about 4 to 5 feet tall, making them excellent tall background flowering plants in shrub and flower beds.  Since the plants grow tall, it is wise to select a spot where a strong wind is not apt to blow them over.   Like all varieties of cosmos, simply broadcast the seeds into a desirable spot after danger of frost has passed then cover the seeds with a fine layer of only about 1/8″ of soil.

“Bright Lights” is another newer variety of cosmos that has flowers in bright shades of red, yellow, orange, and gold.  The showy flowers, which are beautiful in the garden or as cut flowers, are a bit smaller in size than the other varieties of cosmos.  The 2 ½ to 3 feet plants tend to be bushier than the other varieties of cosmos.  Like the others it blooms until frost and is very effective when grown in masses as a background planting in the informal flower garden.

Then there are two varieties of Sensation mix cosmos: the standard variety, which grows 3 to 4 feet tall, and the dwarf variety that grows only 2 feet high.  Both have the larger, typical cosmos size flowers.   Their flower colors range in shades of rose, crimson, pink, and white.

Cosmos are one of the easiest of the Summer flowering annuals to grow from seed.   About the only care they need is that the taller varieties may need staking if they are planted in a spot that is subject to severe winds.

Cosmos seeds germinate in about 7 to 10 days if temperatures are 70 or above.  This is an excellent flower seed for young kids to plant, because they will see results as the young seedlings begin to appear in only about one week or so.   If the seedling plants appear too crowded, simply replant the thinned plants, spacing them about 12 inches apart.   Try to do this before the seedlings get up over 2 to 4 inches tall.

It’s hard to beat the beauty and ease of care of cosmos, and this is the perfect time to scatter the seed in your garden.

-Ed

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Clip of the Week: Spring Lawn Care Ed’s Podcasts: Lettuce

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