Cosmos are easy-to-grow, versatile annuals that produce daisy-like flowers through summer and into autumn, often up until the first frosts.
They can be used to plug gaps in borders, grown as a feature in their own right, or used in container displays. Cosmos flowers attract a variety of bees, butterflies and hoverflies, and also look great in a vase.
For ideas and inspiration, check out eight cosmos planting combinations.
For best results grow in full sun in well-drained soil, and deadhead spent blooms regularly to prolong flowering.
Discover 10 great cosmos varieties to grow, below.
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Dazzler’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Dazzler’ bears carmine-red blooms that really do dazzle in the garden, from early summer to mid autumn.
Cosmos: vivid pink-red bloom of ‘Dazzler’
Formerly called Bidens atrosanguinea, chocolate cosmos is now a fashionable late summer highlight in warm borders, as much for its scent of vanilla and hot chocolate as for the dusky brownish-red blooms.
Brown-red blooms of chocolate cosmos
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Gazebo Red’
Cosmos ‘Gazebo Red’ is a medium-sized and bushy, early-flowering variety of cosmos, with lovely large, velvety red blooms.
Cosmos: large red blooms of ‘Gazebo Red’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Fizzy Pink’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Fizzy Pink’ is a superb, tall, eye-catching annual, with flowers in strong colours ranging from white to carmine.
Cosmos: pink blooms of ‘Fizzy Pink’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Picotee’
Cosmos ‘Picotee’ has pretty, eye-catching blooms The soft pinkish-white petals are fringed with an irregular deep crimson.
Cosmos: magenta-fringed white petals of ‘Picotee’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’
Cosmos ‘Purity’ is a pure white form that flourishes in a spot in full sun. It’s a beautiful garden plant but also makes an excellent cut flower.
Cosmos: white blooms of ‘Purity’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Rubenza’
Cosmos ‘Rubenza’ has two-tone flowers which emerge a deep velvety red and mature to a rich rose. As it’s more compact than other varieties, it works well in a container.
Cosmos: velvety red flowers of ‘Rubenza’
Cosmos ‘Sonata White’
Cosmos ‘Sonata White’ bears large white flowers on compact plants, making it another variety that’s ideal for growing in pots.
Cosmos: large white bloom of ‘Sonata White’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Sea Shells’
Cosmos ‘Sea Shells’ has unusual, fluted petals like a sea shell. Bright pink petals fan out from a yellow, button-like centre.
Cosmos: fluted pink petals of ‘Sea Shells’
Cosmos bipannatus ‘Sensation Mixed’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Sensation Mixed’ bears large, daisy-like flowers in shades of pink and white, throughout the summer and right up until the first frosts.
Cosmos: deep-pink bloom of ‘Sensation Mixed’
Collecting cosmos seeds
Have a go at collecting seeds from your cosmos. Although you’re not guaranteed exactly the same flowers next year, it’s exciting to see what will spring up and it’ll save you money on seeds.