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Growing Cosmos for the first time


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Sive
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:02 pm    Post subject: Growing Cosmos for the first time Reply with quote

I grew Cosmos from seed for the first time in my life and I can't believe what good value they have been. I thought none of them would survive when I planted them out into flower beds because of the endless rain and wind this summer. But some not only survived, but are still full of wonderful, colourful flowers as we go into November.
Why have I never grown them before? I have no idea, except possibly that I don't grow many annuals, but I am a complete convert now.
Is there anyone else who grows these beauties? Any tips ? I'm just hoping this success wasn't just a dose of Beginner's Luck !
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dinahdabble
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, no, it's not begginers luck you must have looked after them well. They are lovely flowers, I have pink, white and purple ones. Mine have just finished flowering (probably a higher altitude than yours, and windy) but they did well. I've collected some of the seeds to grow for next year. I leave some seeds on the stems to find their own places to grow, and put some in a seed tray just in case. I put the seeds in around February, and keep them in untill after the danger of frost, but they seem to self seed well enough if they like where they're growing. It sounds like yours do. Good luck with them again next year.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip about the seeds, dinahdabble, I hadn't even thought about that. I'd be delighted if they self-seed as well ! We're very exposed here too, and I'm sure some of the young plants died before they had a chance to settle in, but quite a few survived, thank goodness. I love the feathery foliage as well as the flowers, I imagine they would look good in any border.
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Protein
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a soft spot for Cosmos, because they are "roadside special" from my native South Africa

I too planted some in my garden, and even though the blooms have taken a battering, they are clearly still in flower.

I won't be saving my seed, because I got numerous packets.

If anyone would like to give them a go - pm me.

me

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Sive
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My goodness, Protein, South Africa must be very beautiful if you have such plants growing by the roadside ! Mind you, I am aware that our gardens here are full of all sorts of plants that originally come from S.Africa......it sounds like a botanical paradise.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There're actually beautiful plants that grow along the roadside here but they get chopped down when the verges are cut. However, there lots of little side roads around us that never get trimmed and some of the more attractive plants that grow there unmolested are

Purple Loosestrife

Meadowsweet

Male fern dryopteris

Typhia latifolia

All four of these varieties are now growing happily in my garden. Laughing Laughing

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sal
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have 3 plants i bought when in Carlow,the strain is chocha mocha,i have collected the seeds and hope to grow tyhem again ,i notice on one of the pots it says its perenniel,is that right?i also grow meadow sweet in my back garden its a lovely large plant and looks better than some shop bought ones.
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Protein
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cosmos you bought is indeed the herbaceous perennial, but not the annual we are referring to.

They don't do particularly well in this country. They like good well drained soil, and thrive in heat. Keep your Chocolate Cosmos well protected over the winter months.

me

p.s Sive, every keen gardener should do the Garden Route in South Africa - its such a plethora of flora that changes so rapidly around every bend

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Sive
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Protein, I have seen photos and TV programmes of expanses of wild flowers in S. Africa and it looked like a total paradise.
Trouble is I really don't like flying !
Interesting what you say about the perennial Cosmos.... I didn't even realise there was such a thing.
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Sunflower
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i only saw this post now, I too tried cosmos for the first time this year. they're really beautiful, mine are still blooming away though this week has been harsh! my problem is that mine have flopped over since the start, though the dog running through them doesn't help. Do you tie yours or use cane? Smile
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Sive
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't do anything with mine as we have very strong winds here, and sometimes it is worse to tie things up. Within reason, I like to let nature take its course. I thought my Cosmos were doomed, went away for the first two weeks in September and returned to find mounds of blooms....maybe the Indian Summer helped......but they have been just beautiful ever since....until the very heavy rains.
I am definitely planning to plant more seeds this spring....are you?
Mind you, dinahdabble says they should self-seed, so either way I hope they will become a permanent feature of my garden. I just don't know why I never tried growing them before!
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dinahdabble
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They should self seed, but as I say I take some of the seed heads off and plant them in a pot just in case. You can never be sure with self seeding until you have plants coming up, because unexpected things can happen! A strong prevailing wind, or even a few gusts at the wrong moment can blow the seed heads into the neibours garden Rolling Eyes or a very warm snap in early spring can cause all the little seeds to germinate early, but is followed by a spell of frost, which kills them off - and that is just the start of a long string of sometimes bizzar happenings that are impossible to predict. So it's best to be on the safe side, and keep a few somewhere safe.

My favourite flower is one I found in mid-winter, growing between the slabs of a pavement on the sea-front at Portstewart. It was a tiny thing, but it didn't look like any wild plant I had ever seen and it was going to get trampled. So I carefully wittled arround its roots, got it out and took it home. It grew into a wonderfully scented, prolific, deep purple flower, which blooms all year round and looks something between a wallflower and stock. I'm still not sure which of these it is - if either, but my garden is now full of it's decendents. Even so, I still save seeds in case of an unforseen crisis. When I'm sure that they've survived the winter, I give any extra seeds away.
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Sunflower
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to try some in a pot too, see what happens, though I'd be quite happy with them self-seeding, i like the surprise element. I tried quite a lot of seeds this year but the garden is such a work in progress that I'm sure I dug half of them back up again or at least trampled all over them.
Next year they'll all have a more peaceful start!
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forest flame
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI DINAHDABBLE
ANY CHANCE OF SEEING A PICTURE OF YOUR PLANT IT SOUNDS VERY INTERESTING
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dinahdabble
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Forest Flame, Well you could, if I'd figured out a way of taking photographs and uploading them. Unfortunately, neither my mobile phone nor my "I bought it because it said it took photographs but it dosn't" gadget do anything when connected to the computer. Tell you what, I've got lots and lots of seeds - can I send you some? They take 2 years to start flowering, but then they seem to flower for ever. Anyone else who wants some can have them too - no problems, I'd love to think they grew everywhere.
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