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You can depend on this cottage-garden favorite to fill your garden with color all season long. The simple, daisylike flowers appear in cheery shades on tall stems that are great for cutting. The lacy foliage makes a great backdrop for shorter plants, as well. Cosmos often self-seeds in the garden, so you may only have to plant it once, though the colors can appear muddy or odd in the reseeders.
Plant cosmos from seed directly in the ground in spring. Or start from established seedlings. This flower doesn't like fertilizing or conditions that are too rich, which causes the foliage to be large and lush but with fewer blooms. It does best with average moisture but will tolerate drought.
how to grow Cosmos
more varieties for Cosmos
'Cosmic Orange' cosmos
Cosmos sulphureus 'Cosmic Orange' bears many double orange flowers that are great for cutting. It grows 12 inches tall.
'Cosmic Yellow' cosmos
Cosmos sulphureus 'Cosmic Yellow' is a compact selection with double yellow flowers over dark green foliage. It grows 12 inches tall.
Cosmos Sensation Mix bears large, 4-inch-wide flowers in a mix of lavender, pink, red, and white on plants that can reach 5 feet tall.
'Sonata White' cosmos
Cosmos 'Sonata White' bears pure-white flowers on sturdy, 18-inch-tall plants.
Cosmos Versailles Mix is especially good for cutting because of its strong stems and large flowers in shades of pink, white, and red.
Cosmos sulphureus bears orange, yellow, or red flowers and finely divided foliage.
plant Cosmos with
There are few flowers as showy as celosia. Whether you plant the plumed type, which produces striking upright spires, or the crested type, which has a fascinating twisted form, you'll love using celosia in bouquets. The flowers are beautiful fresh, but you can also dry them easily. And they bloom in all the colors of a glowing sunset.Plant established seedlings in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Celosia likes rich, well-drained soil with moderate water. Spider mites can sometimes be a problem in hot, dry weather.Shown above: New Look celosia
Dusty miller is a favorite because it looks good with everything. The silvery-white color is a great foil for any type of garden blossom and the fine-textured foliage creates a beautiful contrast against other plants' green foliage. Dusty miller has also earned its place in the garden because it's delightfully easy to grow, withstanding heat and drought like a champion.
There are few gardens that don't have at least one salvia growing in them. Whether you have sun or shade, a dry garden or lots of rainfall, there's an annual salvia that you'll find indispensable. All attract hummingbirds, especially the red ones, and are great picks for hot, dry sites where you want tons of color all season. Most salvias don't like cool weather, so plant them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.