This unique variety of cosmos is early to flower with unusual blooms that have a magical iridescence. Magenta, rose and raspberry pinks are overlaid with an apricot- peach undertone. that changes through the day as the light changes. In addition, as each flower matures the colour fades to a warm, antique rose. This beautiful variety works well in creating a gentle vintage look in the garden or vase.
Cosmos bipinnatus 'Xsenia' is free-flowering and compact. The flower petals are tightly packed and the plant grows in a compact form 65 to 75cm (26 to 30in) tall, with a spread of around 40cm (16in). The plants will add a delicate but striking look to the garden. Grow this eye-catching annual in beds, borders and containers where bees and butterflies will appreciate its rich nectar.
'Xsenia' will bloom early and continue to produce blooms right through to autumn with regular deadheading. Its feathery foliage is light and breezy, adding a lovely texture to summer beds and borders.
- Awarded the Fleuroselect Approved Novelty Award
Fleuroselect, the international organisation for the ornamental plants industry have awarded Cosmos bipinnatus 'Xsenia' the Approved Novelty Award. Showing the ideal combination of vigorous growth and compact habit, the Fleuroselect judges were particularly impressed by its spectacular new colour, the colours changing during the season.
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. They will take approx 70 days from sowing to flowering. Keep soil moderately moist during germination. Plant out three weeks after sowing at a 25cm (10in) on a sunny or half sunny spot.
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 25cm (10in) 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.
Fleuroselect is the international organisation for the ornamental plants industry. Its main activities include the testing, protecting and promoting of new flower varieties. Membership includes breeders, producers and distributors of ornamental varieties. Fleuroselect is run by the members, for the members. A small secretariat operates from the organisational headquarters currently based in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
In order to support and stimulate the development of new ornamental varieties, Fleuroselect conducts trials of new varieties entered by members on approximately 20 private trial grounds spread across Europe. Both indoor and outdoor trials can be conducted. Through the trials, the newness, the practical use, the quality and the exclusivity of the entries are determined. Genuinely new varieties receive recognition either as Fleuroselect Novelties or Gold Medal winners.
The Fleuroselect Gold Medal is awarded to innovative varieties that clearly surpass the limits in breeding and beauty. This symbolises excellence in breeding. Many awarded varieties are widely supported and distributed by Fleuroselect members. The organisation also promotes the winners by way of press releases and displays at trade fairs and in gardens all over the world. Professional growers and hobby gardeners all over the world recognise the Fleuroselect awards as certificates of exceptional merit.
- Awarded the Fleuroselect Approved Novelty Award
- Additional Information
Average Seed Count 40 Seeds Family Asteraceae Genus Cosmea, Cosmos Species bipinnatus Cultivar Xsenia Synonym Cosmea bipinnata Common Name The Mexican Aster Hardiness Half Hardy Annual Flowers Magenta, rose and raspberry pinks are overlaid with an apricot- peach undertone. Natural Flower Time May to August Height 65 to 75cm (26 to 30in) Spread 40cm (16in) Position Needs full sun to flourish Soil Lean, well drained, sandy soils. Time to Sow Sow indoors March to April, or sow outdoors April to May Germination 7 to 10 days at 20-30*C (68-86*F)