Annual of the Week – Cosmos (Sonata Mix)
Cosmos are a great flowering annual that do not get the recognition they deserve. They are a stellar annual that is very easy to grow and perfect for the beginner as well as the seasoned veteran gardener. Why you ask? They love to be ignored because neglect is their middle name.
Cosmos prefer to be planted in a full sun area of your garden in a well drained not overly moist soil. Believe it or not they are quite drought tolerant and do fairly well in crappy soil. The Sonata series are a great variety for the garden as they have a compact growth habit and do not look weedy. They are an excellent tall flower for container gardening and an ideal choice for your flower beds and borders, or a cut flower garden. They produce bright colored daisy like flowers on stems of ferny looking leaves that don’t fall over in the garden. Mature plants can reach a height range from 18-24 inches. They flower from spring thru the summer into the fall. Plant a few seedlings together in a bunch, and space them about 6-8 inches apart. This will give you a nice mass in the garden. Occasional dead heading will keep these blooms coming strong all season.
Beneficial characteristics of Cosmos are that they attract butterflies, make great cutting flowers, and are drought tough. They have very few pests that bother them.
When first planting the cosmos, incorporate into the soil rich compost such as Bumper crop, along with some peat moss. This will provide a perfect soil foundation for new plants that can retain water and nutrients. To help in drought conditions use Espoma Bio-tone soil conditioner with beneficial mycorrihizae. This will help establish a large healthy root system. Follow with a monthly feed of Espoma Flower-Tone or a weekly feed of Miracle Gro liquid feed.
When planting your garden, don’t just settle for your everyday flowering annual. Shoot for the stars and plant cosmos. They are out of this world.