Cosmos in Comparison

I believe most of the gardeners I know have at some stage grown Cosmos in their gardens. If you haven’t yet done so I would really recommend you to try. I have grown various ones over the years, so I thought I would do a little review of some that have thrived for me.

In Germany and in the UK they are sown in Spring and then planted out as soon as the danger of frosts is over. Such a shame they aren’t perennial! But they really are worth it as they are easy to grow.

First of all, Cosmos Double Click Cranberries. I have grown this one several times, and it has always germinated successfully, producing sturdy plants which flower profusely without too much foliage.

The petals have varied between plants, as you can see here. The single flower is one that set seed from last year’s crop.

I had forgotten there are quite a few in this series, and looking through old photos I grew this pink one – Double Click Rose Bonbon – some years ago.

I think that will go in my seed order for next year. πŸ˜‰


Another one I have grown frequently is Purity….

As much as I love the pure white flowers and the sturdy stems, I have to say I will not grow this one again as it produces just far too much thick foliage on a lot of the plants, and only the odd plant seems to produce plentiful flowers. (See what I mean in the photo below?)

If you have grown another single white one which you liked, please let me know!

Next, one I grew for the first time this year: Daydream. It is a big success!

Pretty pink flowers, sturdy stems, nice height and not too much foliage.

… and here again complete with bumbling visitor…

One to consider for my seed list for next year.


This next one is one I grew a few years ago: Xanthos…

I loved the pale lemony yellow flowers, but was a bit disappointed that it had so many flowers on the end of each stem making deadheading pretty tricky. Lovely in vases though.

Further away from the traditional pinks and mauves is this yellow and orange mix called Brightness Mixed…

One of these (pictured with Margerites) is Cosmos sulphureus, but is hard to tell apart from the pale orange ones in the mix. All were very prolific on the flower front, but these are not so tall. Perhaps only 30 -40 cm. Perfect for pots though. πŸ˜ƒ

Antiquity is one I discovered last year. It is also a relatively short one, but the way the petals fade, like fabric bleached by the sun, is so endearing. Here it is in a vase with the Double Click Cranberries…

One disadvantage though is that they do look messy if not deadheaded frequently, don’t you think?…

I tend to have irregular deadheading sessions, largely dependent on whether it is too hot or not! So I think I will drop this one from my palette in future.

Others I have grown are Picotee and Candy Stripe, both pale pink. Here is Candy Stripe, second from the left, with the distinctive pinky red fringe on its petals…

There are probably a couple more I have grown in the past, but before the digital age took off, so no photos to remind me! (Oh, I am showing my age! … We were chatting recently about the days when you had to find a telephone box to make a phone call, and how I always made sure I had some change in my purse! LOL!)

Anyway, it would be so lovely if you could post about some of the Cosmos you have grown, or at least leave me a comment about your experience with them and any favourites. πŸ˜ƒ

Thanks for visiting!

36 thoughts on “Cosmos in Comparison

  1. Gosh you really have grown some Cosmos. I love Purity but agree it is lots of foliage before it finally starts flowering. Have you tried Cosmos cupcake? It is such a pretty mix of white and very pale pink. It’s flowers last well and it doesn’t seem to need to grow as tall as purity before it flowers.

  2. Lovely to see all these as a comparison. We have found that it is a big mistake to improve the soil before planting Cosmos. You just get lots of foliage and few flowers. Much better to treat them hard if you want a good show of flowers I think.

    • That is interesting to know, although I must say my soil both in this and my last garden is very poor. I have also noticed tremendous differences in growth over the years, so have wondered if the seed isn’t always up to notch.
      Thanks for visiting!

  3. Thanks for a most interesting and informative post Cathy. I’ve enjoyed reading your insight into the varieties you’ve grown. I usually grow ‘Purity’ every year although fortunately have not had the off putting experiences you’ve had. I just wish they were slightly smaller in height πŸ˜‚ I must sow ‘Double Click Cranberry’ again and have already made a note to try ‘Cupcakes’ next year. This year I tried’ Pink Lemonade’ but have not been taken with it.

    • Hi Anna. I saw Pink Lemonade on another blog and thought it looked quite pretty. I suppose location, weather and soil all play a role though. The double click ones always seem to do well though. πŸ˜ƒ

  4. I have grown Cosmos in the past. I can’t tell you what varieties because I haven’t grown them in years. When I grew them I don’t think there were so many to choose from. You certainly have a good sense of which are the better ones to grow. I can imagine your disappointment in the one with all the greenery.

    • Yes, the variety nowadays is mind-boggling! I like to try at least one new one every year and would hate to be without any at all as they fill gaps and add colour late summer. πŸ˜ƒ

  5. What a collection, I never knew there was such a variety of cosmos. I grew them in New Hampshire but it is really too hot for them in Florida as their season if plants is only from March to May.

    • That is such a short season. I wonder if you miss your garden and home in New Hampshire? And do you still have that cottage at a lake somewhere up there?

      • Gardening in Florida is a real challenge and yes I really do miss our homes and gardens in New England. We don’t have the cottage anymore because it too had a short season. Because of the cold weather, we could only use it June through September so we decided it was best to sell it when we moved south. I get to keep my gardening the memories fresh through lovely blogs like yours. 😊

        • Ah, thanks Karen. πŸ˜ƒ I am sure the warmer climate makes up for much and you have lots of lovely photos of your former home and gardens to remind you too. 😁

  6. I have really enjoyed the Double Click ones – I also grow the white one ‘DC Snow Puff’ although strangely it doesn’t do as well as the Cranberries or Bonbon. I have tried several of the ones you mentioned but am sticking with the DCs, but I will grow the shorter Popsocks again next year, but just to put in the borders. That yellow mix looked striking in a vase but I can’t imagine what they would be like growing in a bed or border

    • I thought I might try Snow Puff, but I am also eyeing up the Cupcake series. I tried to find a long shot of the yellow and orange Cosmos, but perhaps didn’t take any as they were in pots. I had some in my Sunshine bed last year but they were all red. They are very short, only about 25 or 30 cm tall. Now I must look up the Popsocks ones. πŸ˜‰

      • So many to choose from! And depends where you want to grow them too – I had Popsocks in the cutting beds this year but will just grow them for borders next time

  7. So many pretty varieties! You’re the Cosmos Queen. πŸ™‚
    I’ve grown the old mainstay ‘Sensation’ but found it got too floppy and was susceptible to powdery mildew. I’m much happier with the C. sulphureus mixes where I save my own seed.

    • πŸ˜€ I had forgotten about Sensation. I think that was the first one I ever grew. The sulphureus looks so lovely with sunflowers and all the golden late summer flowers. I think I will have to grow some in my Sunshine Bed again next year.

  8. I have tried Cosmos a few times, and the last time, they did not do well at all. Seeing all your lovely varieties, certainly makes me want to try again next year. They certainly are a sweet, airy plant that make a garden look more cheerful and when so many others have faded, they keep on giving until frost. Thanks for inspiring me, if only I can remember this by next spring.

    • They love full sun and poor soil and I have never had to water mine. So maybe just scattering some seed and resisting the urge to do any weeding next spring might work? πŸ˜‰ I realise they aren’t suited to all gardens and climates though. I have a ‘Notes for next Spring’ folder to remind me of mistakes I have made or seeds and plants I want to grow. πŸ˜€

  9. I still prefer the simple sorts. It is what I expect cosmos to look like. My favorite here is the first, not only because it is white, but also because of the simplicity. The color of ‘Double Click Cranberries’ in the second picture is exquisite, but the the ruffled floral form is a bit fancier. The bloom of the self sown cosmos is interesting. Although it is not true to type, it is not completely reverted, and does ot seem to be even halfway reverted. Some cosmos revert to simple bloom within the first generation.

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