Cosmos – A Plant of the Asteraceae Family
The genus Cosmos has about 20 species of perennial and annual plans in the Asteraceae family that is the family of sunflowers, daisies and asters. The Cosmos flowers are produced in capitulum and are surrounded by a ring of broad ray florets and a center of disc florets. The Cosmos flowers are 2 to 4 inches in diameter and there is a lot of color variation in between the species. The cosmos flowers come on brightly single or double colored flowers in white, pink, orange, yellow and scarlet colors. It is herbaceous perennial flowering plants that can grow 3 to 6 feet tall. The leaves of the Cosmos plant are simple, pinnate or bipinnate and are arranged in opposite pairs.
The word Cosmos is derived from the Greek word which means balanced universe. In the language of flowers cosmos flowers are the symbol of innocence.
Uses of Cosmos
- They are used in the treatment of Malaria in Brazil and Mexico.
- It is also used in infused oil as topical ointment.
- The plant in useful in many health issues like eczema, fibromyalgia and antiviral properties,
- It can also be used on sore muscles and skin issues.
- They are also a major source of yellow to orange dyes in the civilizations of Central and South America.
- Cosmos flowers are really popular as cut flowers.
- The Cosmos genus includes Cosmos bipinnatus commonly known as Mexican Aster and Cosmos sulphureus, Yellow Cosmos and Cosmos atrosanguineus Chocolate Cosmos.
- Cosmos bloom heavily but dies with first frost.
- The flowers of the plant blooms twice a year and only once in the season.
- Chocolate cosmos can fill the surrounding air with its sweet scent of vanilla tinged chocolate.
- Cosmos sulphureus plant leaves resemble the leaves of the marigolds.
- The cosmos do not require any special soil preparation; the soil in fact should not be too rich as it will encourage foliage at the expense of bloom.
- The cosmos flowers tolerate warn and dry weather.
How to Plant?
- Cosmos seeds are one of the easiest seeds to grow in the world.
- The Cosmos flowers can regrow in the next spring if the seeds fall on bare ground.
- You can sow the cosmos seeds directly in the ground just before the last frost.
- Give the plants space of about 12 inches and spread the cosmos seeds overly freshly turned bare soil.
- Press the seed into the dirt and do not cover the seed.
- The perennial varieties of cosmos are Rhizomes and that can be propagated by division.
Maintenance and Care
- Spent flowers should be deadheaded regularly and it can bloom for many weeks.
- The flower production can be reduced through overwatering and overfertilising.
- The cosmos flower plants are drought tolerant but water them regularly during long dry spells,
- When the plants die after first frost, remove them and keep them as compost which can used as mulch for the next year’s plants.