Cosmos: Radiance (Cosmos bipinnatus)
Also Known As: Mexican Aster, Garden 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.
USDA Zone: 3a-9b
Produces: finely divided, feathery green foliage and 2-3” flowers with yellow centers and wide, scallop-edged petals of medium pink that darkens to bright pink or fuschia at the center.
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.
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: Dark Green Zucchini (Heirloom) (Cucurbita pepo)
This is the traditional, 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: Dixie (Cucurbita pepo)