Cosmos: Bright Lights (Cosmos sulphureus)
Also Known As: Sulfur Cosmos
Ease of Growing: Easy
Grown as: Annual
Maturity (Bloom): Summer-Fall
Hardiness: Tender. It is really important to plant out well after your last frost date.
Light: Full Sun.
Water: Dry to Medium. Excessively drained. Well drained, soil remains moist for a short period after precipitation.
Suitability: Drought tolerant, Tolerates poor soil.
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Attracts Beneficial Insects?: Yes. Bees, Birds, and Butterflies.
Pollinators: Bee's, Butterflies, and Moths.
Sow Depth: On surface
Produces: narrowly divided, slightly hairy green foliage and 2-3” gold, yellow, orange, or red semi-double flowers with wide, scallop-edged petals and yellow centers.
USDA Grow Zone: 3a-9b
Soil pH: 6.6-7.8, Cosmos prefer to be in weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil.
Because some of these plants can grow really tall, staking may be necessary.
Water regularly, but make sure you don't over-water the plants. Over-watering and over-fertilization can lead to plants with fewer flowers.
Cosmos beds may become weedy due to the fact that they self-seed, so remember to check them.
Seed Viability in Years: 3-4 years
Germination Percentage: 70%
Tomatoes: Cosmos and tomatoes get along like old friends. Cosmos attract bees and other friendly pollinators, which often pay a visit to tomatoes while they’re in the neighborhood. As a result, tomato fruit set is increased. For the same reason, cosmos is a beneficial neighbor to squash and many other blooming vegetables.
Beets: Beets actually do fine without cosmos, so what’s the reasoning behind this combination? It’s mainly aesthetic, as the dark red beet leaves are striking against the colorful blooms and lacy foliage of the cosmos plant.
Cosmos flower companion plants:
Cannas: This tall, sturdy, stately plant bears unique blooms in colors ranging from yellow to pink and red, all on tall, stiff stalks. Dwarf varieties of canna are also available.
Marigolds (Tagetes): Marigolds are familiar, hardworking annuals valued for their orange, yellow or rusty red blooms borne on single, sturdy stems.
Crocosmia: Also known as Monbretia, crocosmia is an interesting plant with bright orange or red funnel-shaped blooms rising above clumps of sword-shaped leaves.
Helenium: Also known as sneezeweed or Helen’s flower, this is a reliable plant that blooms profusely from midsummer to autumn. Helenium comes in shades of rich gold, burnt orange, yellow, mahogany, burgundy and rust.
Dianthus: Also known as Indian pink or China pink, dianthus are neat, shrubby plants blooming in shades of white, pink and red with pink edges.
Poppy: Poppies, a group of colorful plants that include annuals, tender perennials and biennials, are beloved for their cup-shaped blooms in intense shades of every color except blue.
Verbena: The rugged verbena plant produces dark green foliage and clusters of small, flat blooms in a variety of bright colors.
Cleome: Also known as spider flower, cleome is a fast-growing annual with masses of spiky blooms from early summer until the first frost. Cleome is available in shades of white and pink, as well as a unique shade of purple.
Plant Cosmos throughout the garden. Bad insects won't come near it, but it will attract pollinating wasps, green metallic, sweat, and longhorned bees, lacewings, hoverflies, mini-wasps, and pirate, damsel, and big-eyed bugs.
These beneficial insects feed on many different garden pests including: aphids, mealybugs, thrips, small caterpillars, mites, moth eggs, some scales, armyworms, codling moths, European corn borer, flies, gypsy moths, cabbageworms, leaf hopper nymph, insect eggs, tarnished plant bugs, and treehoppers.
Beets: Cylindra (Heirloom) (Beta vulgaris)
Beets: Detroit Dark Red (Heirloom) (Beta vulgaris)
Beets: Golden Detroit (Heirloom) (Beta vulgaris)
Beets seem to have originated in the Mediterranean region, where people grew them for thousands of years. Later, beets grew in Germany and Holland and were used as cattle fodder; they were later imported to England for this purpose, but the poor began to raise them for an affordable food source. American colonists later brought them to the New World, where they became a commonly enjoyed food both for their roots and their greens. According to historians, George Washington experimented with beets, cross-pollinating them to create new varieties.
Squash, Summer: Black Beauty Zucchini (Heirloom) (Cucurbita pepo)
The long loved American heirloom bush-type zucchini variety we all know as 'Black Beauty' was bred at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in Storrs, Connecticut sometime in the 1920's. This was accomplished by stabilizing a cross between 'Caserta' and 'Salerno' zucchini varieties. Then it was introduced into the AAS by breeder John Scarchuk and was selected as the All American Selection winner in 1957. In 45-60 days, this space saving compact plant produces shiny black-green zucchini with creamy, white flesh that are the tastiest when harvested at 6-8” long. Black Beauty can be enjoyed raw, boiled, baked, stir fried, and even sauteed!
Squash, Summer: Early White Bush Scallop (Heirloom) (Cucurbita pepo)
Squash, Summer: Early Yellow Crookneck (Heirloom) (Cucurbita pepo)
Squash, Summer: Dark Green Zucchini (Heirloom) (Cucurbita pepo)
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This is the traditional and reliable zucchini that just keeps on producing! Fruits are dark green, and nice and straight! Matures in about 60 days. Average water needs. Attractive to bees, butterflies, and/or birds.
Squash, Summer: Grey Zucchini (Heirloom) (Cucurbita pepo)
Squash, Summer: Scallop Yellow Bush (Heirloom) (Cucurbita pepo)
Squash, Winter: Sweet Meat (Heirloom) (Cucurbita maxima)
Squash, Winter: Vegetable Spaghetti (Heirloom) (Cucurbita maxima)
Squash, Winter: Waltham Butternut (Heirloom) (Cucurbita maxima)
Tomato: Amana Orange (Heirloom) (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
Tomato: Beefsteak (Heirloom) (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
Tomato: Black Krim (Heirloom) (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
Tomato: Green Zebra (Heirloom) (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
Tomato: Hillbilly (Heirloom) (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
Tomato: Italian Roma (Heirloom) (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
Tomato: Purple Cherokee (Heirloom) (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
Tomato: Sweetie Cherry (Heirloom) (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
Tomato: Yellow Pear (Heirloom) (Lycopersicon lycopersicum)
Bee Plant: Rocky Mountain (Cleome serrulata)
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Marigolds: Naughty Marietta (Tagetes patula)
Marigolds: Sparky Mix French (Tagetes patula)
Poppy: Iceland (Papaver nudicaule)
Poppy: Red (Papaver rhoeas)
Poppy, California: Carmine King (Eschscholzia californica)
Poppy, California: Dwarf (Eschscholzia caespitosa)
Poppy, California: Golden West (Eschscholzia californica)
Poppy, California: Ivory Castle (Eschscholzia californica)
Poppy, California: Mikado (Eschscholzia californica)
Poppy, California: Orange (Eschscholzia californica)
Poppy, California: Purple Gleam (Eschscholzia californica)
Poppy, California: Red Chief (Eschscholzia californica)
Poppy, California: White Linen (Eschscholzia californica)
Poppy, Peony: Antique (Papaver Paeoniflorum)
Poppy, Peony: Black (Papaver Paeoniflorum)
Poppy, Peony: Cream (Papaver Paeoniflorum)
Poppy, Peony: Double Mix (Papaver Paeoniflorum)
When it comes to delightful displays in your summer garden, Double Mix PeonyPoppy is the perfect choice! Not only do they make your garden look great with their showy 4" mixed color double flower blooms and blue-green foliage, but you can cut them and enjoy them in beautiful arrangements indoors.