Their pastel hues and blends of pink, lavender, near red and white are so perfect for the middle of spring when cosmos, Cosmos bipinnatus, begin to bloom. They are just as perfect as bloom continues right through summer and almost to autumn, when the tall and airy plants finally begin to wear themselves out. If they continue through autumn, they eventually succumb to frost in winter.
Individual flowers are as delicate as they look, but are prolific. New flowers replace older flowers a quickly as they fade. Deadheading promotes even better bloom. A few of the last flowers to bloom can be left as the season ends to sow seed for next year. However, fancy cultivars are not true to type, so subsequent generations will be more like the basic specie, with simpler flowers.
Cosmos likes full sun exposure, rich soil and regular watering. Mature plants are about two or three, or even four feet tall, although the most popular varieties stay shorter and more compact. The species name of ‘bipinnatus‘ refers to the pinnate leaves that are divided into very narrow lobes that are also divided into even narrower lobes. The collective foliage is very delicate, lacy and airy.