Back in 2007, US customer Diane Engdahl of Santa Rosa, California, sent Thompson & Morgan (T&M) seeds of an unusual cosmos growing in her back yard. Instead of having separate petals like most cosmos, all petals are fused into one single cup, completely changing the normally daisy-looking flower.
Since then T&M’s breeders have been busy fixing the unusual trait across the colour mix, developing new shades and refining the habit of this uniquely shaped 'cupcake' cosmos. The result? An easy to grow, free-flowering three colour blend of single and semi-double blooms on tall bushy plants ideal for border designs and container growing.
Cosmos 'cupcakes' was the stand out performer in their 2014 flower trials, coping well and looking great come rain, shine or drought.
Sowing months: March - May
Flowering months: July - October
Sow cosmos seed from March to May at a depth of 3mm (1/8") in a good quality seed compost, and cover the seeds with a very fine sprinkling of vermiculite. Place the seed tray in a propagator at a temperature of 18-25c (64-77f) or seal it inside a polythene bag. Keep the soil damp but not wet. Do not exclude light as this aids germination which usually takes 7-15 days.
When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant into 7cm (3") pots and grow them on in cooler conditions until large enough to plant outdoors. When cosmos plants are well grown and all risk of frost has passed, acclimatise them to outdoor conditions over 7 to 10 days. Transplant outdoors in full sun in any moist, well-drained soil at a distance of 45cm (18") apart. Pinch out the growing tip of each stem when transplanting to encourage stems to branch and produce more cosmos flowers.
Position: full sun
Height: up to 120cm (47.2in)
Spread: up to 60cm (23.6in)
Hardiness & longevity: half-hardy annual
Ideal for: patio, cottage gardens, wildlife gardens, cut flower gardens
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