Cosmos, Bright Lights Mixed Colors
Semidouble 2-3" blooms in a vibrant color mix.
Borders, Cut Flowers
Cosmos seed should be sown directly in the garden after frost.
- Direct sow seeds in average soil in full sun after danger of heavy frost.
- Select a location in full to part shade with good rich well-drained organic soil protected from wind.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
- Sow seeds 4 inches apart and ¼ inch deep
- Firm soil lightly, water and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 7-10 days.
- Thin plants to stand 8-10 inches when seedlings are 1 inch high.
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Keep soil evenly moist but not wet.
- After plants are about 6 inches tall, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer such as Flower-tone, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
- Tall cultivars may need staking to prevent their thick, hollow stems from breaking due to heavy rain or wind.
- Pinch off spent flowers to encourage continuous bloom. Pinching stem tips can reduce height and encourage branching but isn’t necessary. Deadheading is recommended since it lengthens the bloom season. Cosmos plants that aren’t deadheaded will self-sow in warm regions.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Remove plants after they are killed by heavy frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.
- Cosmos plants can withstand heat and drought conditions.
- Tall cosmos add a soft, airy touch to the back of an annual or mixed border. You can also use them as a fast-growing annual hedge or in a cutting garden. Since the taller cultivars are not always uniform in height, they’re perfect for adding an informal look to cottage gardens. Shorter cultivars of both species are ideal near the front of the border, in containers, or as edgings.
- Cosmos makes beautiful cut flowers.
- Because cosmos is easy to grow and the seeds are large and easy to handle, it is a good choice for a children’s garden.
SunFull SunHeight36 inchesSpread14-16 inchesOrnamental UseBorders, Cut FlowersLife CycleAnnualSow MethodDirect SowFloweringtrueBloom Duration10
Cosmos, Bright Lights Mixed Colors is rated out of 5 by 13.Rated 5 out of 5 by ChristianaBD from So Pretty! I love how easy these were to plant and grow, they did get huge, but with so many flowers it certainly made a statement. I ended up taking all of the seeds and giving them to my many neighbors who asked for some. You can now see them all over the neighborhood!Date published: 2014-03-18Rated 4 out of 5 by Chris515Gardener from Great Cosmo! I bought seeds for this Cosmo, and they turned out great! They were mostly light orange and shades of yellow, and grew to about 2.4 feet tall. Planted it in full sun and average soil, and the bumble bees love them! Don't listen to the other reviews there not true if you live in the Midwest!Date published: 2014-02-15Rated 5 out of 5 by Caliveggie from The very best These are a wonderful flower for the lazy gardener. One reviewer writes that they become invasive and get over 6 feet tall if treated like a normal annual. So do not treat these like a normal annual. Grow them like wildflowers. They reseed for five years if you let them, but this year's reseed from a seed pack from 2009 was too inbred to flower, so I bought another pack. I got two shades of orange, no reds or yellows. Only orange! And two shades of orange! They are beautiful and my mother loves them. They reseed. They need little care!Date published: 2013-07-15Rated 3 out of 5 by gerryn from nothing but orange Time for Burpee to post a photo of what these really look like. Seriously, do you see any color but orange/yellow? Thse are sold as "mixed colors"Date published: 2013-07-01Rated 4 out of 5 by Stamen from Joyful but only orange Sweet feminine flowers that add a relaxed tone to the garden and are decent as cut flowers. Have grown half a dozen times but like others, have yet to see a flower other than orange. Burpee needs to step up and deliver on the promise.Date published: 2012-04-13Rated 1 out of 5 by hh126 from Excessive growth Burpee should include on the seed packet a warning that this plant will become huge and possibly invasive if it is planted in good soil and watered. It will grow up to 6 ft. and spread 3 ft. or more if treated like a normal annual. Plant in poorest soil available and do not water and it may perform as advertised.Date published: 2011-10-13Rated 5 out of 5 by Frosty from Easy, Great I planted these seeds in the middle of a blistering hot July and they survived and prospered in drought and 95 degree heat. They flowered profusely, attracted butterflies, and produced seeds for next year. My only complaint is that they were all orange. Old reviews from 2008 also indicate that they're all orange. I got two different shades of orange in my seed pack. No yellows or reds. Still, I'm giving them 5 stars.Date published: 2010-08-15Rated 5 out of 5 by Austin from Amazing Color When I saw these flowers on the seed packet I was amazed and even more amazed when I grew them! The grew fast and bloomed incredibly and heavily (I counted 24 blooms on one plant and it is still blooming). However every cosmo that came up was orange... but that didn't matter because of their beauty and their color. I still rate them a 5 due to their absolutely amazing beauty. Even if they were all orange they will still pretty and possibly the best annual I have ever grown. Attracts a lot of honeybees and butterflies too.Date published: 2008-08-04