Cosmic Cosmos

This is one of my favourite Summer blooms and even better, it’s one of the easiest flowers to grow from seed.  Also, they grow densely and have a good vase life. It’s always the flower I recommend people giving a go, and now is the time to start thinking about growing them. I therefore thought it would be useful to summarise how I grow mine. 

How do you grow them?

I usually sow mine directly into the soil once the risk of frost has gone. All you need to do is create a very light trench which I usually do this with my finger.  I then sow the seeds two to three inches apart, finishing off by covering them with a thin layer of soil and watering them very lightly. Remember, you don’t want to wash those seeds away. You will also need to make sure that your soil has been turned over and is fine in consistency so you are able to create the trench and cover them.

Once you have sown your first layer of seeds you can go back every three-four weeks and add more seeds to give you a lovely dense mass of Cosmos. I’ll usually repeat this two or three times.

The other method which you can use if you have a greenhouse is to start sowing your seeds now. All you need to do is invest in a seed tray, fill each module (or compartment) to about halfway, pop in two seeds, cover and give a light water.  In about a months’ time you should see them starting to pop through the soil and if both seeds have taken you just remove one. When the risk of frost has passed, you can then plant them out and voila, you hopefully will have bloom soon.

Tiny little Cosmos seed. NB: This is not Karen’s hand!!!

How often do you feed them?

I tend to feed all my plants at least once a month with an organic feed that I add directly to water. In terms of watering, I always give them a lightly sprinkling if there’s not been any rain.

Do they have any special requirements?

Although hardy, they do grow tall so will need staking to prevent them breaking in the wind. Once they have started to grow to a considerable height, I pop a bamboo cane beside each one and then secure them using flexi tie or garden string. I tend to support them up the entire length of the bamboo. It may sound like overkill, but it is worth doing. After all that hard work growing them, you don’t want them snapping off!

And finally, and this in my opinion is the best bit – you need to either pick or dead-head on a regular basis. I personally say pick to enjoy inside. If you are deadheading, then don’t forget to cut down between a main stem and a leaf as this will cause a new bud to form. If you are picking for a vase then take the same approach – just remember the lower down the stem you go, the more delay there will be between the flower you’ve picked here and the next flower.   

I’m really hoping this has inspired you to give Cosmos a go. I look forward to sharing with you my Cosmos progress along the way over the next few months, but more importantly, I can’t wait to start using them in my arrangements again.

With love and stay safe, Flowers and Lifestyle by Margot –

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