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Choosing The Type And Variety Of Cosme
Choosing The Type And Variety Of Cosme

Video: Choosing The Type And Variety Of Cosme

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Messenger of space - kosmeya

cosmeya
cosmeya

Cosmos flowers, like guests from another planet, sway all summer on thin stems and rock graceful barrels, which are attracted by large, chamomile-like, multi-colored petals.

This summer is just perfect for decorating absolutely any suburban area, and a huge number of varieties that have been created today allow you to choose a plant for literally every taste and color.

Cosmeya has been known in the culture for more than two hundred years. Its pleasant name comes from the associations that arise when looking at a flower. This is a real "kosmeo", because in translation this word means "decoration". Cosmeya is loved almost everywhere, not only Russian gardeners, but also gardeners from many other countries of the world, where she is most often called "beauty", treat her with tenderness and care.

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Features and types of cosmos

cosmeya
cosmeya

Cosmea, or cosmos (Cósmos) is a genus of annual or perennial grasses belonging to the Asteraceae family, which are native to the tropical and subtropical regions of South and North America. Most often these are tall plants that have opposite pinnately dissected leaves and numerous inflorescences-baskets, which diversify their naked peduncles.

Currently, there are more than two dozen types of cosme, but only two of them are used in culture - double-feathered cosme and sulfur-yellow cosme.

Cosmos bipinnatus or otherwise Chinese chamomile (Cosmos bipinnatus) is an annual plant that is quite widespread in our gardens, with densely branched erect stems reaching a height of one and a half meters and having light green leaves that are twice pinnately cut into filiform lobes, which give the entire bush an openwork appearance …

The inflorescences of double-pinned cosmos are rather large and powerful chamomile, reaching a diameter of 12 cm and located in the upper part of the bush in the form of singles or collected in an inflorescence - a rare shield. The main color of the marginal flowers is different, it varies from pure white, pink or crimson to dark burgundy or wine red and purple. The central flowers of double-feathery cosme are small, yellow and folded into a small disk.

Sulfur-yellow kosmeya (Cosmos sulphureus) is a new annual for Russia, which has straight, branched and slightly pubescent shoots reaching a height of 120 cm.This species, when compared with double-pinnate cosmos, has less dissected leaves, and the inflorescences reach a diameter of 4 -8 cm and abundantly cover the whole plant, which looks extremely impressive.

Despite the official name of the species - "sulfur-yellow", most modern varieties of this species have not only golden-yellow, orange and even red reed flowers. The tubular flowers are often small and yellow, with dark anthers and orange tips protruding outward.

Growing cosmos with seeds and seedlings

cosmeya
cosmeya

Plants belonging to both species are very cold-resistant, moderately drought-resistant, undemanding to the soil, although they succeed much better on fertile ones. They tolerate the transplant normally.

These plants bloom very profusely and practically during the entire warm season. Plants reproduce well by self-sowing, sometimes you don't even have time to notice when and how the seeds were formed, but in the spring, in the place where the cosmos used to grow, plants appear annually.

As a result, they can occupy large areas of your site, and if this is not part of your plans, then make it a habit to remove inflorescences that are beginning to fade. So you completely exclude self-seeding, improve the appearance of the plant, and extend the flowering for some more time.

In general, if we have already started talking about growing cosmos, then it is worth noting that this can be done in two ways: by sowing seeds in open ground or, which is somewhat more difficult, through seedlings.

Seeds are usually collected in August or early September, as they ripen. Mature seeds are dark and rather large, there are a little more than 100 of them in one gram, they are very viable, do not lose germination within 3-4 years.

Now let's move on directly to the technology of growing cosmos. Let's start with open ground. Seeds are sown in a permanent place either before winter or in spring. The second option is preferable, since in spring the soil, as a rule, is rich in moisture and well warmed up, which makes it possible to obtain a germination rate of 90%. In the southern regions of Russia, it is advised to start sowing seeds in early April, in more northern regions, as well as in the center, the optimal time for sowing is early May.

Seeds are sown in a previously prepared soil brought to a loose state in small holes, where they are placed in 2-3 pieces. The seeding depth should not be large, 1-1.5 cm is enough, and the optimal distance between the nests usually depends on the growth strength of the variety and is 25-50 cm.In order for the seeds to sprout together and quickly, it is necessary to water them, especially if the soil not damp enough. The area where you sow kosmeya should not be shaded, and the optimum soil temperature should be + 18 … + 20 ° С.

The first shoots usually appear 8-10 days after sowing. For the normal development of seedlings, a temperature of + 15 … 18 ° C is required. If there is a risk of recurrent frost, it is necessary to cover the seedlings with a light covering material. Thinning can be started as soon as the plants form a pair of true leaves. As a rule, one strongest plant is left in each nest, the rest are removed or transplanted to another place.

cosmeya
cosmeya

Kosmeya blooms in the open field usually in late July or early August. You can speed up this process, for which you must first grow seedlings. How to do it? Read about it below.

So, when growing cosmea through seedlings, seeds are sown not in open ground, but in small boxes or pots, which are placed in a cold greenhouse around the beginning of March in the southern regions or in mid-April - in more northern regions.

Containers with seeds should be placed in a cool but well-lit place and the temperature should be maintained at + 15… + 18 ° С. At a higher temperature, seedlings may appear faster, but the seedlings will be strongly elongated and weakened, they may not bloom earlier, but even later than their counterparts.

Seeds usually germinate after a week or more. Seedlings with the formation of the first pair of leaves must be thinned, leaving a distance of 2 cm between them. 14-16 days after thinning, they must be cut into separate pots or greenhouses. After that, the seedlings are left to grow. When they reach a height of 8-10 cm, they can be moved to a permanent place.

Seedlings are planted in open ground, usually in late May or early June. The plants must be planted one at a time, keeping the distance between them 25-50 cm.

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cosmeya
cosmeya

Another option is also possible, when the cosme seedlings are planted together - two or three plants. These groups look more impressive than single ones, but you should not thicken the plantings too much. Too small a feeding area can negatively affect the appearance of the plants. This will manifest itself primarily in the reduction of inflorescences.

As for the landing site, you should choose only the most open and wind-protected places with plenty of sunlight, moisture, but without its stagnation. It is advisable to choose nutritious soil for planting, on which the kosmeya grows and blooms much more actively. Even a simple application of wood ash helps to increase the strength of growth and the intensity of flowering, but it is better not to experiment with mineral fertilizers, they can stimulate the active growth of shoots to the detriment of flowering.

Caring for the plants after planting is simple, it consists in regular weeding with the removal of all weeds, as well as in the removal of all wilting inflorescences to exclude self-seeding. As for watering, the plants do not particularly need it, they can tolerate a long period of drought, however, the abundance of moisture has a positive effect on the intensity of flowering, so it is better to moisten the soil periodically.

Types and varieties of cosme

cosmeya
cosmeya

All these recommendations are ideal for both the species of cosmos and the newest varieties of this crop. Currently, the varieties have different colors, vigor and flowering intensity.

The most popular varieties at the moment are: Purity - which has a snow-white color of flowers, Soul - with graceful purple-pink petals, Diablo and Beauty - with spectacular fiery red flowers. Bright red young inflorescences belong to the Dazzler cultivar. It is also interesting that they eventually change color to crimson.

Some varieties of cosme are bicolor, they have color splashes, edges, stripes and even central parts, located in the pink-red range. The most outstanding of the line of these varieties are: the cultivar Pink Dream, which has beautiful snow-white flowers in a pinkish frame, Candy Strite, the flowers of which are snow-white and have raspberry touches, Dey-dream, which has pale pink flowers with a bright pink base.

Of the new varieties that are currently gaining popularity, it should be noted, first of all, the cultivars Ozornitsa and Yunets, whose petals are painted in a pearl-white color and have a crimson border, which successfully contrasts with a beautiful cherry smear at the base of the flower.

cosmeya
cosmeya

Another interesting cultivar is Radiance, which has a dark pink stripe around the yellow center, followed by a lighter-colored border. In addition, the inflorescences are distinguished by closely spaced and even sometimes overlapping ligulate flowers that seem perfectly round.

In addition, varieties with the usual chamomile inflorescences are already slowly replacing graceful semi-double and double varieties, the marginal flowers of which are located in several rows around the central disc, and also possessing anemic inflorescences of an unusual shape with reed flowers fused into rather large tubes.

Blooming shoots of tall varieties of cosme look perfect in vases. They can decorate absolutely any flower arrangement. This plant is also suitable for cutting. Cosmos intended for bouquets are cut at the stage of half-open buds, only in this case they can retain their decorative effect for a long time and stand for more than two weeks in an ordinary room.

Tall varieties of cosme are successfully used in group plantings. They are in good harmony with decorative deciduous plants, look elegant on lawns, in massifs, and are also used to decorate flower beds and flower beds. These varieties are ideal for the background of the border, for the formation of flowering walls, creating a background that is formed from their finely dissected feathery leaves and numerous inflorescences that look informal.

cosmeya
cosmeya

Cosmees easily tolerate a haircut. Therefore, they are used to form annual hedges, as well as curtain plants for decorating resting places and decorating tall, unsightly outbuildings.

In addition to the usual tall varieties of space, undersized forms of double-feathery and sulfur-yellow cosmos, which are obtained as a result of complex hybrid crossing of these species, are quite widespread.

At the present time, varieties have been obtained and are available for free sale that do not exceed half a meter in height, which are very different from the standard cosme and can hardly be called "provincial".

One of the first cultivars from a whole series of undersized forms was Sonata White with snow-white inflorescences. In essence, this is just a short form of the Sonata variety. However, now a whole series of unique undersized cultivars with a varied color range of reed flowers have appeared on sale.

This is a bright raspberry variety Sonata Carmine, and pink Sonata Pink Blush, and yellow Crest Lemon, as well as semi-double with a bush height of no more than 20 cm - Bilbo variety, whose inflorescences are colored orange. In Russia, the Solar series of varieties Sunny Gold and Sunny Red has gained popularity, the flowers of which are semi-double and painted in golden yellow and red shades.

All undersized varieties of kosme are also ideal for arranging bouquets, decorating flower beds, mixborders and rabatoks, as well as for creating large groups against a green lawn. Having shown a little imagination, with the participation of cosmos, you can make whole flower arrangements, for example, multi-level plantings of space with high varieties placed in the background and dwarf ones in the foreground look very interesting. In addition, the forms of compact cosme are ideal for growing in street vases, containers and pots, which can be placed on a balcony or loggia. Or you can simply decorate a gazebo or a resting place in the garden with them.

cosmeya
cosmeya

In addition to the traditional varieties of kosmeya, variety mixtures are also in demand, combining plants of various colors. The most popular varieties of kosmea today are Sensation with a plant height of about 100-150 cm and inflorescences colored in pink, red and white; Polydor - 80-100 cm high and inflorescences painted in lemon, bright orange and red tones; In war, a click is a group of terry cosmes no more than a meter high, differing in color, ranging from white to pale pink and red; Iridescent overflows - plants reach a height of 120 cm and have large double inflorescences of a rich color range, ranging from white and pink to red and dark burgundy; Sea shells are one of the most interesting mixtures of varieties that have voluminous and reed flowers grown together into a tube,expanding upward and resembling seashells; Ladybeard is the brightest representative of the undersized cosmos, which has golden yellow, bright orange and red flowers that harmonize well with emerald green openwork foliage. These plants reach a height of 25-30 cm and are ideal for garden pots.

Any kosmeya planted on your site will be ideally combined with variegated annual flowers that are close in color. Of these, the most expressive combination can be achieved with verbena, cloves, phloxes, chamomiles, marigolds, as well as dimorphoteca and salvia.

Irina Guryeva

Junior Researcher, Berry Crops Department, VNIIS im. I.V. Michurina

Photo by Galina Pugacheva and Olga Rubtsova

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