Autumn can become awash with brown and reds as leaves on the trees prepare to fall. The array of summer colours has died off, and there is a risk the garden can look rather tired. I started sowing flowers two years ago and picked up a packet of cosmos. At the time, I knew very little about the flower and what to expect, but I have grown to love it and the colour it brings to the flower bed when most everything else is dying back.
Cosmos can be annuals (grow and flower in one year) or biennials (grow foliage in the first year, flower and seed in the second). I tend to grow cosmos as an annual from seed.
I use cosmos for two purposes, to fill gaps in my summer flower beds and then add colour in the autumn and early winter. Cosmos will grow during the summer, adding green foliage to the flower bed and helping keep weeds at bay. Once the other plants are dying back, cosmos will reach up and open flowers with a beautiful range of colours.
Cosmos are easy to grow from seed and, once in the flower bed, require little maintenance other than watering regularly for the first few months, then only during dry spells. The plant does not need much feed, but a potassium-rich liquid fertiliser will encourage the plant to produce more flowers.
Once cosmos starts to flower, regular deadheading will keep the plant from producing stunning flowers to brighten up the increasingly dull days.
After a second successful year, I plan to sow even more cosmos next year for use around my garden in various flower beds. I will also look at different varieties to find ones to suit other spaces in the garden.
Why not give comos a try. It is kind to a new gardener and adds various colours during colder months.