How to Grow & Care for Cosmos Flowers

Cosmos are annual plants that are easy to grow and maintain. This plant can grow in any soil, in the hot sun, and withstand drought conditions. The cosmos plant has ferns-like foliage with flowers taking different shades of pink, red, purple, lavender, and orange, all with yellow centers. Here is how to plant and care for cosmos flowers.

5 Different Varieties of Cosmos Flowers

There are over 20 species of cosmos plants. Here are the popular varieties.

Cosmos Sulphureus (Sulphur Cosmos)

Image source: Pixabay

This is a seed-producing annual plant native to South America. Sulfur cosmos can grow to two meters high. It produces beautiful flowers of different red, orange, and yellow shades. The right time to plant this variety is in early spring, and it can take about 21 days to germinate and extra 55 days to bloom. It thrives in full sunlight.

Cosmos Bipinnatus (Garden Cosmos/Mexican Aster)

Image source: Flickr

This annual flower is native to South America, and it has a standard growth range of 2-5 feet. It is a widespread species because of its low maintenance and late-blooming features. It has medium green leaves and flowers with yellow centers enclosed in single or double florets that come in orange, red, and yellow shades. This flower blooms from summer to fall.

Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos Atrosanguineus)

Image source: Pixabay

It has deep red flowers with a chocolate-like aroma. Unlike other varieties of cosmos that grow from a seed, this one grows from tubers. This variety does well in well-drained soil under full sunlight, and it doesn’t tolerate winter. You can grow it in containers and along the borders to enjoy its chocolatey scent. Its flowers come in shades of dark maroon and brownish-red.

Cosmos ‘Sonata White’

Image source: Flickr

This variety bears large white flowers and bright green feathery foliage. It’s perfect for growing in annual borders or as filler plants in the middle of perennials. Cosmos ‘sonata white’ makes one of the best choices for flower pots and cut flowers. It grows in full sun and blooms from summer through fall. This dwarf plant can grow as high as 2 inches.

Cosmos Cosimo Peppermint Candy

Image source: Flickr

This is an early blooming and dwarf cosmos variety. Its flowers come in shades of purple-red and white with a touch of yellow at the center. This species has no two flowers that are perfectly alike. As a dwarf plant, this variety can grow to a height of 2 feet. The best time to plant this type of cosmos flower is after the dangers of frost have passed.

Cosmos Flowers Care & Maintenance

Cosmos flowers are easy maintenance plants. Once a cosmos flower is grown, the major maintenance is deadheading to prolong flowering. Regularly lookout for weeds and remove them. Adding a layer of mulching in early spring will help control the weeds.

Cosmos Propagation

You can propagate this flower in different ways. Sowing seeds is common, but you can also plant them via stem cutting. Particular varieties like cosmos atrosanguineus don’t have seeds; you can only grow them from their tubers.

Cosmos Growth Conditions


All cosmos flowers varieties do well in full sun locations. However, they can also bear partial shade if the sun is extreme.


This plant requires regular watering during its early lifecycle. As cosmos flower matures, it requires less watering.


Cosmos flowers require soil that is well-drained with average fertility. Too much soil fertility will boost foliage growth and not flowers.

Pests and Diseases

Aphids are common pests on cosmos flowers. You can deter them by using insecticidal soap. Watch out for powdery mildew too.


Cosmos flowers are one of the fuss-free flowers you can grow in your homestead. Choose any of the varieties above for your flowerbeds. 

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