Cosmos Sensation Mix
2011©Jennifer Martinez

The Enchantment Mix Cosmos took off faster than any other we planted this year.  A beautiful addition to a struggling garden.  I misread the Burpee seed packet: 4′ (feet) but I thought it said 4″ (inches) so I planted them in our smallest pots.  It didn’t take long to realize that these babies had out grown their intended size within the first few weeks after planting.  Oops.  Oh well, they are still our most healthy flowers to date.

The smaller pots stunted the growth of our Cosmos for the most part, however they have been our most productive plant this season.  I read online that Cosmos are generally wild growing flowers.  That is so true.  My initial plan was to keep them against our side wall that leads up to our front porch.  The area gets good morning sun and shade in the mid afternoon.  It was good for about 2 months, however once the flowers started blooming and the stems continued to grow taller and taller (2-4 feet) the tops started leaning.  I mean REALLY leaning. I’m talking V8 style lean.  Drove myself nuts trying to decide what I did wrong.   So a bit more research online and I understood the problem.

As a garden newbie and former black thumb, I assume that since these plants were tall they would benefit from the wall they rested upon. WRONG.  Basically the opposite is true.  What our tall and lanky Cosmos needed was more sunshine and wind.  That’s right, wind.

It scared me at first honestly, because I just knew that I’d regret moving the pots based on something I read online. But thank you to the random person on a random forum that lead me to find the saviors of our beloved babies.  Wind and sun.  What the wind does is make the stems stronger and thicker to be able to support blooms.  Exercise… it’s like Cosmo Calisthenics:)

So we moved the pots to the edge of the yard where they now enjoy full sun and wind all day.  Okinawa has no shortage of wind and rain so we’re in luck.  Speaking of rain, the Cosmos can go without water for longer than most other plants.  As long as they get a bit of aqua now and again they will do their own thing.  Not drought resistant though, because they will curl up and die after a week.  Mostly the blooms last 4 days before a new one takes it’s place.

From spring to autumn (that is if Okinawa had 4 seasons…) here is the gallery.  Click any image to enlarge.