Beautiful Cosmea, a guest from South America, has firmly settled in our gardens. Gardeners love this beautiful flower for its ease of cultivation and unpretentious care.
Cosmea is a herbaceous plant from the Asteraceae family. The height of the plant ranges from 50 to 150 cm. The stem is thin, straight, branched. The leaves are delicate green in color. Large flowers 12-15 cm in diameter. Flower petals (inflorescences) can be fused, in the form of a bowl, or in the form of tubules with dissected edges. The core is a set of tubular flowers with a yellow color. Inflorescences are located at the top of the stem independently, or in small groups.
- Growing cosmos from seeds
- Sowing seeds for seedlings
- seedling care
- Transplanting seedlings in open ground
- Outdoor care
- Sowing seeds in open ground
- Seed collection
- Preparing cosmos for winter
- Types and varieties of cosmea
- Cosmea doubly pinnate
- Cosmea chocolate (blood red)
- Cosmea sulfur yellow
- Cosmea terry
- Cosmos in landscape design
- Diseases and pests
Growing cosmos from seeds
Sowing seeds for seedlings
For growing seedlings, cosmos use wooden boxes or disposable cups. The container is filled with loose, fertile soil, previously aged for 20 minutes in a microwave oven for disinfection, and the seeds are evenly laid out on the surface. Seeds germinate only in the presence of good lighting, so they should not be buried in the soil. It is only necessary to slightly press them with the palm of your hand. If sowing is carried out in cups, then two seeds are placed in each cup.
Using a spray gun, moisten the soil and cover the container with polyethylene to create a greenhouse effect. A container with seeds is placed in a room with good lighting and a temperature of 16-18 degrees. It should be remembered that at a higher room temperature, the seeds germinate poorly.
Polyethylene is removed daily for a short period of time to ventilate the seedlings and moisten the soil as needed.
The first shoots will appear in a week. After germination, the polyethylene is removed. If the seedlings have two true sheets, they must be dived, and the temperature in the room should be reduced to 15 degrees. If the seedlings were grown in wooden boxes, it is enough to thin out, leaving the strongest and most well-developed seedlings. The distance between seedlings should be at least seven cm.
In order for the seedlings to grow strong, it is necessary to carry out the following care measures:
- Watering must be carried out regularly, preventing the soil from drying out, but it is also not necessary to fill the seedlings.
- After each watering, it is necessary to loosen in order to prevent stagnation of moisture in the soil and the formation of a crust on the soil surface, which prevents the penetration of oxygen to the roots of the plant.
- When pulling seedlings, the top must be pinched. To prevent seedlings from stretching, it is necessary to organize additional lighting.
- Two weeks before transplanting into open ground, seedlings must be hardened off. To do this, containers with seedlings are taken out to fresh air every day, gradually increasing the residence time.
Transplanting seedlings in open ground
The area where kosmeya will grow in the future should be well lit and protected from drafts. The soil should be loose, moderately fertile, with low acidity. On too fertile soils, the plant will actively increase its green mass, but there will be no good flowering.
Seedlings are planted in pre-harvested holes at a distance of 30 cm from each other. Before planting the seedlings, the holes are filled with water, they wait until the moisture is completely absorbed, then the seedlings are buried in the hole, covered with soil and pressed well from all sides so that voids do not form at the roots of the plant.
If the varieties are tall, when planting, pegs are installed to which the bush will be tied. When a bush grows 50 cm high, the tops of the shoots must be pinched to increase the bushiness of the plant. The flowering period begins in late June or mid-July.
After transplanting seedlings into open ground, the following care is taken for them:
- Water the plants once every seven days. Watering should be plentiful. One bush consumes 40-50 liters of water.
- Loosening is performed after each watering, while removing weeds.
- Top dressing must be carried out three times:
- in the period before budding;
- when forming buds;
- at the beginning of flowering.
For top dressing, fertilizers for flowering plants are used. To improve the flowering of the plant, it is recommended to spray with the Bud preparation.
- Remove faded blooms regularly.
- With excessive growth, the bushes are recommended to be cut. This will not affect flowering, and the bushes will take on a neater look.
Sowing seeds in open ground
Sowing seeds in flower beds is carried out in early spring, immediately after the snow melts. Seeding can be done in two ways:
- sowing seeds in holes;
- distribution of seeds on the soil surface.
Sowing in holes. In pre-prepared soil, holes are made at a distance of up to 40 cm from each other. The hole is filled with water, and wait until the moisture is absorbed. Three or four seeds are placed in each hole and lightly pressed down with the palm of your hand to deepen them a little. The depth should not exceed 1 cm, otherwise the seeds will not germinate.
When sowing in the second way, the seeds are evenly distributed over the surface of the soil, lightly pressed with the palm of your hand to the ground and covered with a thin layer of humus. After sowing, the flower bed is plentifully watered. The flowering period begins in late July – early August.
Sowing can also be done in the fall – at the end of November. It is important that at the time of sowing the soil temperature was +2 degrees. A place for sowing is prepared in advance. The bed is dug up, weeds and roots are removed, humus is introduced. Seeds are evenly laid out on the surface and sprinkled with a layer of soil 1 cm thick. During autumn sowing, the soil should not be watered. In the spring, the seedlings that have risen must be thinned out, leaving only the healthiest ones.
You can prepare seed material yourself. It is recommended to collect seeds in dry, clear weather. Harvesting begins in the afternoon, when the dew from the plants has completely evaporated.
To collect seeds, you must select the largest buds and leave them on the bush until they are fully ripe. To prevent the seeds from spilling onto the ground on the heads, it is necessary to put on fabric bags.
As soon as the seeds become darker in color, they must be collected, identified in paper envelopes or cloth bags and stored in a dark and dry place. Seeds with proper storage remain viable for three years.
When preparing seed material on your own, it must be remembered that kosmeya is a cross-pollinated plant, so parental characteristics will not be preserved. To obtain specific varieties, it is better to purchase seed material in specialized stores from trusted suppliers.
Preparing cosmos for winter
In order for the cosmea to delight with its luxurious flowering for more than one year, it must be properly prepared for the winter. After flowering, the stems are cut off, leaving ten cm above the ground. The soil around the bush is well loosened and humus or compost is laid. The thickness of the layer should be at least five cm. From above, the bushes are covered with spruce branches.
Types and varieties of cosmea
Cosmea doubly pinnate
This species belongs to annual herbaceous plants, and differs from other species in the height of the bushes, reaching from 85 to 160 cm. The leaves of the plant resemble dill in appearance. The flowers are large, 8-12 cm in diameter. The middle of the flower is yellow, the petals can have a different color:
The most popular varieties of this species are:
- Sonata is a low-growing variety with highly branched stems 45-60 cm high. Large flowers have a white, pink, red, crimson color.
- Radiance – The petals of this variety are close together, which gives the flower a more lush appearance. The color of flowers from light lilac at the edges turns into darker tones in the middle.
- Dazzler – This variety differs from others in the ability to change the color of the petals during growth from deep red to crimson. The middle of the flower has a bright yellow color.
- Full cup – have flowers with tightly fused petals along the entire length, in appearance resembling a deepened bowl.
Cosmea chocolate (blood red)
Refers to perennial species. The middle and petals of the flower have a burgundy color. The flowers exude a chocolate aroma. This species is grown in pots.
Cosmea sulfur yellow
It has straight stems, reaching a height of 150 cm. The leaves are dissected into three lobes, pointed at the top. The middle of the flower is yellow, the petals are orange in color. The plant belongs to annual species.
This species has flowers with reed-shaped petals, located in several rows, which gives the flower splendor. The color of the flowers is varied. This species has hybrid varieties:
- Polydor fox – flowers have an orange or scarlet color;
- Golden Valley – bright yellow flowers;
- Redpipe – rich red flowers;
- Double click – flowers resemble a rose. The petals are wavy along the edges and have light blotches in color.
Cosmos in landscape design
A bright variety of colors allows you to create a beautiful design. In flowerbeds, kosmeya goes well with flowers such as:
- marigolds ;
- phloxes ;
- delphinium ;
- bells ;
- iris ;
More undersized flowers feel great in the shade of cosmos, covering them from bright sunlight.
Also, tall varieties of cosmea can be planted along the fence or decorate the border with it.
Diseases and pests
Cosmea has good immunity to various kinds of diseases and pests, so it is practically not affected by them. Of the pests that plague the plant until it has gained strength, only slugs and snails bring harm. To get rid of them, the plant can only be collected by hand. To lure uninvited guests out of the flower bed, it is recommended to place bowls with beer at a distance.