How to cultivate Cosmos flowers to create a lovely landscape

Cosmos flower known as “Candy Stripe.” Published by Janet Loughrey.

A frequent way to raise cosmos, a flowering warm-season annual, is from seed. Cosmos are a mainstay of cottage-style borders, bearing cheery daisy-like flowers all summer long into fall. This flower is so simple to grow that even inexperienced gardeners will have success.


Cosmos are resistant to the majority of pests and illnesses when given the proper growing circumstances. Aphids, Japanese beetles, leafhoppers, spider mites, and thrips are a few examples of pests. Slugs and snails can cause damage to young plants.


Among the diseases that can arise from overwatering or inadequate air circulation are aster yellows, bacterial wilt, botrytis, fusarium wilt, powdery mildew, and white smut.

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Chocolate Cosmos is a delicate perennial that is cultivated from tubers, in contrast to other species of Cosmos. The name comes from the peculiar flowers’ deep, velvety reddish-brown scent, which is reminiscent of chocolate. Use as a distinctive focal point or to give containers and beds a more elegant appearance. New strains that can be produced from seed have been developed in recent years. “Choca Mocha” and “Black Magic Chocolate” are two varieties.

Soft apricot-yellow petals with lavender undersides are a unique tint. For a visually arresting impact, a mauve-pink ring encircles the bright yellow core. Plant this smaller variation in a butterfly garden or border in the cottage style.
Large, single flowers, ranging in width from 3 to 4 inches, feature a yellow center surrounded by white petals with carmine-pink edges or stripes. The flowers are vary in color and make a dramatic statement in beds and borders. Use this taller variety in a meadow garden or in the center of a mixed border for naturalization.

Large, pure white flowers, measuring 4 to 6 inches across, are produced on tall stems in this traditional variety. Makes an excellent floral cut. Plant in a border or a cutting garden in the cottage style. Staking may be advantageous for plants.

This unique species produces striking 3-inch-diameter flowers that open to a rich ruby-red color before maturing into hues of terracotta and dusky rose, creating a multicolored impression. This dense, bushy annual can be used as a border around a cottage-style plot or to cover any gaps in a mixed border.

Named for its distinctive tubular petals, which resemble seashells. Flowers come in pink, white, or scarlet hues. Add mass to a cutting garden or border to create a breathtaking appearance in the landscape. Staking is a good idea for this taller variety to prevent plants from toppling over.

Sensation, an award-winning species of cosmos with flowers 3 to 4 inches across in pink, magenta, and white hues, is one of the most widely planted varieties. Plant this taller cosmos in back of a border designed in the cottage style, or naturalize with other annuals that are simple to sow.

Semi-double flowers have vivid orange, red, and yellow tones. Arrange this shorter species in a border or curbside strip in a cottage design. Various types of Klondike Cosmos are also referred to as “Bright Lights,” “Cosmic” series, and “Diablo.”

Pale yellow petals with a creamy white ring that are ruffled produce a soft pastel look in the landscape. For a complimentary contrast, pair with pastel blue or lavender flowers. This shorter variant can be planted in containers or used to border paths and borders.

‘Xsenia’ flowers have a distinctive coloring that changes with the light, with tropical tones of coral, apricot, peach, pink, and rose. Use this dwarf variety in pots with other warm-season annuals, or use it to edge paths or borders.

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