Cosmos ‘Antiquity’ is a completely unique colour of Cosmos in the colours of a beautiful faded tapestry. Launched in 2008. The flowers are rich burgundy on opening and change to an antique bronze-salmon when ageing.
It is a very dwarf variety, growing to only 38cm (15in) tall and teeming with 5cm (2in) flowers. They are excellent in containers, beds and borders as well as the cutting garden where their toughness and showiness can keep the flower show going all through the summer.
Cosmos are perfectly designed plants, massive performers - even with a healthy dose of beginners' neglect. If you sow them in spring they germinate easily within a week (particularly if you can give them a bit of heat, at about 20°C / 68°F). They're guaranteed to be in flower in ten weeks and will be covered in hundreds of buds and flowers from then until Guy Fawkes night.
Cosmos is one of the best nectar plants for attracting butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects to the garden or vegetable patch.
Disease free and its tolerant of poor soil, heat and humidity, make it an excellent choice if you are looking for an easy to grow "no fuss" annual that will thrive on minimal care.
Sowing: Sow indoors March to April, or sow outdoors April to May
Sow indoors in early spring 3 to 4 weeks before planting outside, alternatively, the seed can also be sown directly where they are to flower in mid to late spring. Keep soil moderately moist during germination.
Use well drained soil and cover to a depth of 3mm (1/8in). When large enough to handle, transplant the seedlings into small pots to grow on. Acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost 15cm (6in) apart.
Prepare the ground well and rake to a fine tilth. If sowing more than one annual in the same bed, mark the sowing areas with a ring of sand and label. Sow 1mm (1/18th in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart.
Sow seed sparingly or they will choke out other seedlings.
The seedlings will appear in rows approx 6 to 8 weeks after planting and can be easily told from nearby weed seedlings. Thin the seedlings out so they are finally 30cm (12in) apart. Carefully replant thinned plants.
When the seedlings have three pairs of leaves, pinch out the tips, leaving at least one pair of leaves.
Only water in an extended drought and do not apply large doses of fertiliser as flowering will be suppressed.
Stake the taller varieties with a single or tripod of canes and some twine. Cosmos foliage is finely-cut into threadlike segments. When flowering, the taller varieties may become top heavy. This problem is alleviated when grown in groups, as the bi-pinnate leaves interlock, and the colony supports itself.
Deadhead to prolong flowering and encourage new flower buds. At the season's end, don't be too quick to pull up withering cosmos plants. Birds (particularly gold finches) love to snack on their seedheads in autumn, and the seeds that they miss may drop to the ground and reward you the next year by sprouting into a whole new crop.
Cosmos is a cut-and-come-again bloomer, meaning that the sooner you cut the blooms, the quicker new buds will pop up to replace them. The blooms appear so profusely that you'll still have plenty of colour in the garden after you've picked your flowers.
If you sear the stem end in boiling water for twenty seconds they will last a week in water.
Cottage/Informal Gardens, Flowers Borders and Beds. Container Planting.
Cosmos have been reassuring gardeners ever since the 1930s, when breeders first coaxed cosmos to bloom earlier than the native Mexican species, the flower-growing public has been hooked.
Like many of our warm weather annuals such as marigolds, Cosmos originated in Mexico and South America. Spanish priests grew cosmos in their mission gardens in Mexico. The evenly placed petals led them to christen the flower "Cosmos," derived from the Greek kosmos, the word for harmony or ordered, or balanced universe. From this we also get the common name of "The Mexican Aster".
The species name is from the Latin bipinnatus meaning “twice-pinnate” The botanical epithet is from the Latin pinnatus meaning “with leaflets arranged in opposite pairs.
- Additional Information
Average Seed Count 25 seeds Family Asteraceae Genus Cosmea, Cosmos Species bipinnatus Cultivar Antiquity Synonym Cosmea bipinnata Common Name Dwarf Mexican Aster Hardiness Half Hardy Annual Flowers Rich burgundy on opening and age to an antique bronze-salmon. Natural Flower Time May to August Height 38cm (15in) Spread 30cm (12in) Position Needs full sun to flourish Soil Lean, well drained, sandy soils. Germination 7 to 10 days at 20 to 30°C (68 to 86°F)