Flowers anyone can grow. Flowers for beginners. Flowers that will make you say “Wow, I did that!” Cosmos.

It’s a favorite flower of mine because I didn’t even learn of its existence until I was in my late twenties burning both ends of the stick working 14 hour nursing shifts, landed myself in bed sick & a friend brought me some from her garden ( I can’t tell you how happy nurses are when they get sick so they can rest, 😂 for realz) How could I not know these magical butterfly looking flowers actually grow on the earth?” Then we took the faded flowers and crumpled them outside and Voila-flowers growing outside a rickety old rental in NY, In the crumbling pavement. I’ve grown Cosmos ever since.

My fav Cosmos are all the Double Click colors & a single white variety called Purity that resembles a Japanese Anemone. The Cupcake variety that everyone is crazy for right now is beautiful in the landscape & for photos but their unusual shape & crepe paper texture makes them fade in a day as a cut flower I’ve found. Other varieties last 3-5 days if cut at the proper time.

Cosmos has soft but very floofy ferny foliage on tall stems, making it multi-purpose. You can use it two ways:
1. Strip everything but the flower off it using the thin wiry stem to float above the rest of your arrangement. As an airy butterfly accent it’s divine
2.. Or you can cut it before it flowers using the soft ferny foliage as filler & it’s verifiably swanky. It looks like you used the fronds of an asparagus fern which is way too costly to cut & use. You won’t be sacrificing flowers by using the foliage because the more you cut Cosmos the more it blooms & the more controlled the planting will be in your landscape. Tip: trying to keep the foliage & the flower together & intact for a bouquet just doesn’t work very well though. We can’t have ALL the things…right😇

Seed 6 wks before frost & you’ll have nice starts to put out after the last frost. Don’t try & schedule it for any early summer weddings though. Mother Nature pre-wired Cosmos to trigger blooms as soon as summer solstice passes. A late summer/Fall bloomer she is.

Kim Lango is a Master Gardener working and residing in Spokane, WA.