Gathering seeds for a more formal cottage look.

Cosmos in October
Long lasting bloom

Cosmos bipinnatus loves a Colorado summer.

This summer my front yard’s main flower bed took on the appearance of an untended cottage garden, mainly due to the cosmos I let take over all along the driveway.

Cosmos (cosmos bipinnatus), a native to Mexico and the southern states, are a happy annual that readily reseed here in Colorado.  From just a few plants I purchased in 2009 to fill in the empty bed, I now have a mini-meadow.  The plants from seed take longer to bloom, appearing in late July or early August.

If you like pollinators, the bees and butterflies love this plant.

Cosmos in August
Cosmos in October















This fall I plan to gather the seeds and plant them in a more structured fashion next year.  I love my cosmos, but not the meadow affect on only one side of the bed.   If I had a meadow they would be sure to be a large part of the landscape!

The seed should be collected after the petals fall and the seed heads are a dark brown or black.  You want to make sure to collect the seeds when the heads are dry to keep the stored seeds from molding.

I plan to seperate out each color of cosmos so I can create my own mosaic but many gardeners collect them in a bunch and leave the combinations to random.  Since I am going for a more manicured look, I want to be sure the lower growing cosmos in a darker pink stay in front and the pretty lighter pinks and whites can mix in behind.


To ensure the seeds are properly dried, store the seeds in a card board box in a dark cool place.  You can shake the box now and then to ensure all sides have exposure to air.  Check your seeds in about 6 weeks, and transfer to a plastic bag.

I have read you can store cosmos seeds up to 6 months.  I will be sowing mine in early May.


Cosmos are not too fussy when it comes to sowing.  You can spread them over the ground and apply 1/4 to 1/2 inch of soil.  Then lightly water.  The cosmos should begin germinating in about 10 days.


Cosmos in the morning
The Cosmos Prarie


More about Cosmos here

An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.

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