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Cosmos bipinnatus (photo courtesy of Laura Dunkin-Hubby)
Cosmos bipinnatus (photo courtesy of Laura Dunkin-Hubby)

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Zone
Zones 1-24
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Cosmos sulphureus

Yellow Cosmos

Annuals, Flowers

COSMOS

Native to tropical America (mostly Mexico). Showy summer- and fall-blooming plants, open and branching in habit, with bright green divided leaves and daisylike flowers in many colors and forms (single, double, crested, and frilled). Heights vary from 2 1/2 to 8 ft. Use for mass color in borders or background, or as filler among shrubs. Useful in arrangements if flowers are cut just after they open and placed immediately in deep, cool water.

Sow seeds in open ground where plants are to grow or set out transplants from spring to summer. Plant in not-too-rich soil. Plants self-sow freely and are attractive to birds.

Cosmos sulphureus (photo courtesy of Annie’s Annuals & Perennials)
Cosmos sulphureus (photo courtesy of Annie’s Annuals & Perennials)

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Cosmos sulphureus

This annual grows to 7 ft. tall and 1 1/2–2 1/2 ft. wide, with yellow-centered, yellow or orange-yellow single flowers. Tends to become weedy-looking at the end of the season. Two 3–4-ft.-tall, semidouble-flowering strains are Bright Lights, with 3 1/2-in. flowers in yellow, gold, orange, and orange-red; and Klondike, with 2-in. flowers ranging from scarlet-orange to yellow. Dwarf Klondike or Sunny strain is 1 1/2 ft. tall, bears 1 1/2-in. flowers. Foot-tall semidouble bloomers include Ladybird mix, with 2 1/2-in. scarlet, yellow, and orange flowers; and ‘Sunny Red’, with orange-red blooms. ‘Yellow Garden’ grows to 3 ft. tall and wide, bears light yellow blooms with white center and edge.

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