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.
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.
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 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 bipinnatus ‘Picotee’
Cosmos ‘Picotee’ has pretty, eye-catching blooms The soft pinkish-white petals are fringed with an irregular deep crimson.
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 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 ‘Sonata White’
Cosmos ‘Sonata White’ bears large white flowers on compact plants, making it another variety that’s ideal for growing in pots.
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 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.
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.