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Cosmos

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Outlander, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. Outlander

    Outlander Gardener

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    Hi all.

    We visited a great country fair today in the grounds of Cadhay House in Devon (Sorry, no pics. I forgot the camera as always :noidea:) The grounds were beautiful and included many stunning Cosmos plants in vivid pinks and reds.

    When I got home, I did a bit of research and read that these plants need to be lifted from the ground over winter because they are not true perennials. I find it hard to believe that all those plants in Cadhay are lifted every year, I mean there are hundreds of them.

    Is there another way therefore of over wintering them? Maybe a thick mulch or something?

    Thank you
     
  2. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    They are a great plant with great flowers and superb foliage, Outlander. To be honest, most Big House gardens, at around here in Cheshire, don't bother to overwinter Cosmos as they are so easy to grow from seed, and overwintered Cosmos might be coarser in appearance the following year. I, personally always grow Cosmos from seed although, by accident, left some in a large potg and they did grow again last year but I wasn't impressed by them. But, if you want to try overwintering you could mulch over them or lift them, pot them up and leave them in a sheltered place. That's the thing about gardening you can try different methods and/or break the rules quoted by the "experts" and get great and surprising success!!

    There are a lot of plants that are termed perennials but are short term perennials which might only last 2 or 3 seasons.:coffee::snorky:
     
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    • Outlander

      Outlander Gardener

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      Thanks @ARMANDII

      Yes, I have heard they are easy to grow form seed, I could give that a try. I don't have proper facilities but I have experimented with various cuttings this year which seem to be working so far. I think, as you suggest, I need to try different methods.
       
    • ARMANDII

      ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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      All you need is some seed, a seed tray, compost, a windowsill, and then sow the seeds when it says on the packet.:dunno::snorky: If you can't use a windowsill then place the seed tray in a sheltered place outside, place a transparent plastic box over it, with a brick on top to stop it blowing away and wait for the seedlings to show.:snorky:
       
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      • Outlander

        Outlander Gardener

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        I'm sure I can manage that, much to the annoyance of Mrs Outlander who hates cluttered window sills. :roflol:
         
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        • ARMANDII

          ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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          :sofa::heehee::heehee:
           
        • ARMANDII

          ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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          Oh, just one thing I forgot to mention:doh: with the seeds tray to help keep the compost warm and damp. If not try putting it is a large clear plastic food bag which will do the same thing:thumbsup::snorky:
           
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          • Outlander

            Outlander Gardener

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            Brill, thanks @ARMANDII :spinning:
             
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            • ARMANDII

              ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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              Hmm, something happened to my last post in that it should read "just one thing I forgot to mentionis that you can get a transparent cover for the seed tray to help keep the compost warm and damp"..........where's that mug of tea!!?
               
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              • Loki

                Loki Total Gardener

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                Cosmos are amongst the easiest of annuals. And a really good dooer .
                I start mine early April in a pot, I sprinkle, not to close together, water gently and pop the pot into a sandwich bag. Tie the top and keep on a window ledge ( the bag keeps the cill clean :blue thumb:) as soon as they germinate open the bag and put somewhere light. Light is more important than heat :thumbsup:
                Only cover your seeds lightly, don't bury them. A lot might come up with the Seed still attached, I find wetting my thumb and finger and gently 'wetting ' them helps . Good luck :thumbsup:
                 
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                • Verdun

                  Verdun Passionate gardener

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                  I have never tried lifting cosmos to overwinter.......what is the point? In the average gh, space is at a premium over winter and the number of cosmos plants many of us grow would make it impractical.

                  However, I have taken cuttings and overwintered them ......but sowing fresh seed every year is easy, cost effective and doesn't require over wintering :noidea:. So sowing seed is my preferred choice.

                  Interesting idea loki....never tried that method. Always learning new things!

                  I like to grow a few cosmos in the garden even though annuals are not really my "thing". I could not do without a few groups of Purity. The odd coloured cosmos plant too grown as a specimen makes a fine feature.

                  The important things with cosmos seed are not to sow too early and not to over water I think.
                   
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                  • Outlander

                    Outlander Gardener

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                    Thanks all. Some good advice as always.

                    I will definitely try the seed method.
                     
                  • Loki

                    Loki Total Gardener

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                    I love purity too @Verdun. I even late sowed some , mid June, for gap fillers, they are doing brilliantly :blue thumb:
                    This year I tried, for the first time, fizzy rose picotee and bright lights (yellow). Really impressed with both, the rose picotee has the delicate foliage of purity and really pretty light to dark pink flowers ( should take a picture) The bright lights is much sturdier and has been full of flowers for months now :dbgrtmb: A really good plant. I don't normally grow yellows/ oranges but if you like the colour I would recommend it :blue thumb:
                     
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                    • Verdun

                      Verdun Passionate gardener

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                      I have grown cosmos as very large plants.
                      By potting on regularly into 5 litre or 10 litre pots eventually planting out, stopping shoots and preventing flowering until mid summer cosmos will make superb September and autumn plants. They can be tied in against a warm wall, fence etc., to make plants 6' tall. Bit of fun but shows how adaptable and versatile plants can be.:)
                       
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