Why You Should Grow Cosmos Flowers
Whether you are a flower farmer, floral shop owner, or event florist you should be growing cosmos. This past year was my first time growing and designing with cosmos. I had seen other farmer florists working with them and adored their look. By the end of the season, they were my absolute favorite flower! Here are a few reasons why I love to grow them and why you should grow them too:
Cosmos are extremely easy to grow and are prolific bloomers!
Cosmos can be direct seeded in the spring after danger of frost has passed. They can also be started indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date. Once the seeds begin sprouting, they should be thinned to about 1 -1½ foot spacing. Cosmos tend to grow rather tall and benefit from support. Once they start blooming, they will continue to blossom until the first frost in the fall. To get the best-cut flower stems all summer, snip off the first bloom -giving it a long stem (the length of your arm or more) no matter how many side shoots are coming off that first stem. This will cause branching and will produce nice long stems for the rest of the season. Cosmos thrive in the heat and won’t wither at the first sign of drought. Trust me when I say they will make you feel like an excellent gardener!
Cosmos have an excellent vase-life.
To ensure the cut blooms are long-lasting, pick them when the buds have color and look like they are about to pop. At this point, the flowers have not been pollinated or munched by a grasshopper and should last at least 5-7 days in fresh water mixed with floral food. And that's outside of a cooler! Even when the first bud on the stem fades, often other buds will continue opening which creates even more interest.
Cosmos are full of whimsy and are excellent in garden style designs.
Their smooth dainty stems create excellent lines to arrangements. Many varieties will produce 3”- 4” flowers that sit gracefully atop their long slender stems adding an airiness and wildness to designs. I often noticed when I put them in an arrangement the bloom would not face just the way I’d like, but after a few hours they would turn up toward the sky and look absolutely perfect.
They come in various colors.
From deep chocolate to rich cranberry, to perfect spotless white that is crisp and clear to everything in between! There is a range of softer pinks and bicolor blooms of pink and white. A variety called ‘Xanthos’ is a hazy buttery yellow. Cosmos can be fully double “fairy skirts” or perfect daisy-like single petals. With so many options, they could grace any arrangement!
You won’t find them at the wholesale florist often.
This is at least true in my part of the Midwest. The florists I introduced them to this past year had never worked with them outside of their gardens and certainly had never seen them at the wholesaler! This may be different in other parts of the country, but there's nothing like picking blooms from your own garden to use in an arrangement!
I am utterly obsessed with these flowers, and if you take the step to grow these dainty beauts, I believe you will be too!