Cosmea or cosmos is an annual plant, native to central-southern America, often called astro of Mexico; it is part of a family that has about 20-30 species, some of which are cultivated as annuals, others perennials. It constitutes large roundish bushes, which tend to take up a lot of space; it has small elongated dark green leaves, and large simple flowers, with a yellow center and very colorful petals, white, yellow, pink or red. It is widely used in the garden for ease of cultivation and for the flowering that lasts from spring to summer. The flowers of these plants are very similar to large daisies; this variety can be grown both in the ground and in pots, producing a long and lasting flowering in the spring and summer period.
There cosmea likes sunny positions, but develops well even in partially shaded places; the complete shadow inhibits flower production. The variety of plants cosmos fears the cold, is in fact grown as an annual, while in places with particularly mild climate it can be maintained during the winter, taking care to protect it from too intense cold. It should be placed in areas that are sheltered from the strong wind, a factor that can disturb the growth and development of cosmos plants. The greater brightness allows you to get more flowers to color your garden to the fullest.
It is also possible to decide to cultivate the specimens of cosmea as perennials; in this case, however, they must be adequately protected from low temperatures, placing them in sheltered places and adequately protecting the plants, so that the root system is not ruined by the harsh climate.
As for the water supply, the cosmea needs regular watering, but not too abundant during the hottest period. Check that the soil maintains a certain degree of humidity between one watering and another but that water does not form, which could be very harmful to the well-being of the cosmos. Add fertilizer for flowering plants every 10-15 days to the irrigation water.
This particular genus of plants is multiplied by seed using the seeds of the previous year in spring. Wanting can be sown in January-February in seedbed, the seedlings should be placed at home with the first warm, in April-May. In fact the new plants must be kept in a protected place until the external temperatures are rather pleasant, otherwise there is the risk that they will die, given the little resistance to lower temperatures.
Cosmea - Cosmos: Pests and diseases
It is a fairly rustic plant, which does not particularly fear adversity; occasionally it can be attacked by aphids and cochineal. There are numerous insecticidal products on the market that can be distributed on the plants before flowering to protect them from possible attacks. If you notice the presence of parasites it is also possible to intervene with natural preparations based on nettle or garlic to be soaked in water, which will then be vaporized on the affected specimens to effectively counteract the problem.