September 1, 2011

My Favorite Flower! How to easily grow beautiful Cosmos.

I am very excited to share my recently blooming cosmos with you all! Never would I really describe myself as a person into "flower gardening" but recently I have had a bigger interest in the beautiful blooms. They make me feel much more cheerful when I go for a walk in the yard and can spot new ones that were not there the day before!
Cosmos have not necessarily been my favorite flower for ages, not at all. They used to appear very plain and I would not have paid them any mind perhaps a year ago. I tend to look to extravagant colors, lush greens, and a fragrant bloom however these simple petals have won me over!

Cosmos are simple yet lovely.
With these particular flowers, I took a very lazy approach. I bought them simply because when planning to grow a vegetable garden there where many sources that told me I should also have a few flowers to attract bees and pollinating insects to the area. I cleared a small strip of dirt in front of my window and barely covered the seeds with the soil there. I don't believe I even used garden soil, but it looks like it once had a flower bed before we lived here. I watered them from time to time though there were times that I knew I was being neglectful. Often times, the thin bouncy leaves were very wilted and laying flat. Shockingly, they have enough strength to hold themselves up! Since noticing my horrible ways, they have received much more love and attention.

This may be the only Cosmo with 2 flowers.

The Cosmo seeds should be planted a bit after the threat of frost has completely passed. These plants are very sensitive to cold weather and are great to grow as an annual. I sowed mine at the start of June and they are now blooming late August/Early September so planting these a bit earlier is recommended. As long as the weather stays at least somewhat mild they should continue to grow and blossom. In my area of Zone 8 they are great to sow in the ground mid-April.
They should be planted in an area with lots of sun meaning at least 6 hours a day. As I said, I did not prepare the bed for them aside from pulling a few weeds. Cosmos grow very well in poor or normal soil conditions.
Flowers can range from red, white, purple and a combination of all! I've also seen orange. The cosmos blooming in my yard are magenta and light pink, as well as a single light lilac colored one that was nibbled on by snugs.

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