Plant of the Month
Cosmos ‘Cosmic Orange’
At a Glance:
Latin Name: Cosmos sulphureus ‘Cosmic Orange’
Common Name: Cosmos
Flowers: Golden orange
Foliage: Fine-textured mounds
Hardiness: Summer annual
Height: 22 inches
Soil: Not particular as long as well-drained
Exposure: Full sun
Water Usage: Drought-resistant, but water frequently to keep in flower
Sources: 4-inch plants from local retailers or from seed
I adore cosmos! Few plants are as easy to grow or flower as profusely. Unfortunately, in Texas, most cosmos stop flowering with the first hot days of summer. But not ‘Cosmic Orange.’
This variety was part of the All-America Seed Trial testing program at the Dallas Arboretum. Seeds planted in early spring started flowering a few weeks after emerging, and were still in flower in July and August!
Two-inch, semi-double flowers of deep golden orange constantly cover the plants. Fine-textured, bright-green foliage forms 18-inch-wide mounds and flowers reach about 22 inches tall.
Like all cosmos, ‘Cosmis Orange’ is easy to grow. Purchase plants in 4-inch pots or plant directly from seed. This plant is extremely tough and stands up to full sun and drought. But, for the best flowering, water frequently to keep plants in active growth.
Use ‘Cosmic Orange’ in mass plantings, containers or tucked into perennial borders. The bright flowers show up from a distance and are always popular with butterflies. ‘Cosmic Orange’ also makes a great cut flower!
To see this summer annual and many others, visit the Dallas Arboretum Trial Gardens at 8525 Garland Rd., Dallas. For more information visit www.dallasarboretum.org or call (214) 515-6500.
About the author: Jimmy Turner is the Director of Horticulture Research at the Dallas Arboretum. For more plant profiles by Jimmy, subscribe to Neil Sperry’s GARDENS Magazine.