Cosmos Flower Care – Tips For Growing Cosmos
The following are some tips which will help you grow your own cosmos flower:
1) Choose a location with good light conditions (sunlight).
You need to have lots of sunlight during the day time. If you don’t get enough sun, then it won’t produce flowers properly.
Also if there is too much wind or rain, then the flowers will not bloom at all.
2) Do not over water your plants.
Too much water will cause the roots to rot and the plant to die. Watering too little causes the roots to dry up and die.
Plants require a certain amount of moisture for proper growth. Over watering will cause root rot and death of the plant.
3) Keep your soil moist but not soggy when possible.
Moisture helps prevent fungus from growing on your plants roots, thus preventing them from flowering properly!
4) Do not use chemicals to kill pests.
Insecticides and fungicides can harm your plants. They may even kill your flowers!
Use natural methods such as spraying insecticide on the foliage, or using a spray bottle filled with water. Remember to rinse off any excess before applying it again to the leaves or flowers.
5) Avoid excessive heat and cold temperatures.
Heat will cause your plants to freeze and die while cold temperatures will make them wither and die!
6) Keep your soil fertile but don’t overdo it.
You can add organic material such as grass clippings or dead leaves around the base of the plant. This will decompose and release nutrients to the soil.
Do not use chemical fertilizers! These may kill your flowers.
7) Deadhead or remove flowers when you see them go brown or droop.
If you have a lot of dead blooms, it may be because you are over watering your plants! Check for moisture and wait for the soil to dry out a bit more.
8) Deadhead or remove brown or dead flowers.
These flowers are done blooming and take away nutrition from the rest of the plant to grow.
These steps should help you properly care for your cosmos plants. Happy growing!
What Is Cosmos Flower?
The cosmos is a popular garden flower that is originally from central America. It can be grown as either a annual, biennial or even a perennial depending on the type of variety. Even though it looks like a wildflower, the cosmos is actually a cultivated plant. It’s height ranges from about 6 inches up to 3 or 4 feet tall, making it great for both garden borders and wilder areas of your yard. It has large clusters of flowers that come in shades of white, yellow and orange, although there are also varieties with red, pink, purple and blue blooms.
The plant is a great choice for a beginner gardener because it is very tolerant of different conditions. It can grow in hard or soft water, in areas with low or high pH levels and doesn’t mind full sun or partial shade.
It loves compost so adding some to the soil before planting will help it thrive. It grows quickly when in ideal conditions so you may want to divide your plants every few years to prevent them from taking over their space. It can also self seed if the conditions are right, popping up in unwanted areas of your yard. Deadheading (removing) the spent flowers will prolong the life of your cosmos and keep it from going to seed.
To harvest cosmos, cut the stems with scissors once the flowers have bloomed and before they begin to go brown. Dry the flowers in paper bags or on screens and once completely dry, store in glass jars out of direct sunlight.
The cosmos is the state flower of Alaska, adopted in 1955 when it was discovered byCaptain William Bligh of the HMS Bounty and brought to the attention of the public upon his return to England. He gave small plants to the daughters of an American ambassador, who shared them with friends and family.
The flowers eventually became so popular that they were recognized as the Alaskan state flower.
Even though the flower is native to North America, it has been introduced to many parts of the world, including Europe and Asia. It grows wild in many areas of Australia where it has become a common sight in rural and urban landscapes.
It is considered an invasive species in some parts of the country, taking the place of native plants and causing issues with the environment.
The word cosmos refers to the world or universe. The flower gets its name from the large clusters of flowers that each resemble a small galaxy when looked at through a telescope.
The shape of each bloom resembles the Big Dipper constellation, which is part of the larger Ursa Major constellation, which is known as the Great Bear.
The flower has long been used in traditional medicine. The Aztecs used the plant to treat a wide variety of ailments, from toothaches to broken bones.
In modern times, compounds found in the plant have been used in cholesterol medication, anti-cancer treatments and a general pain reliever.
The cosmos is the state flower of four different states in the U.S., more than any other species.
It is also the state wildflower of Kansas, Nebraska and Texas.
Parts of the plant have been used for a variety of purposes by Native American tribes. The Miwok tribe of California used the flowers to make yellow dye.
The Cherokee chewed the seeds as a substitute for chewing tobacco.
In the early 19th century, before photography became popular, botanical artists made their living painting pictures of plants from pressed flowers, seed pods and other plant matter. The cosmos was a popular subject for paintings since the array of colors made for vibrant paintings.
One of the most famous painters of this type of art was a woman named Anna Atkins. An early feminist, she was one of the few women artists of her time to achieve recognition.
She began painting at a time when women weren’t able to attend art schools or join artist guilds. Atkins learned how to create her botanical paintings by studying the work of artist John Keats. Her painting of a cosmos is part of the collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London. It’s the oldest living painting in the world and the oldest vegetal painting as well. It’s also the first book completely illustrated with photographs.
In the 1800s, botanists in Europe were looking for a way to preserve plant specimens that would last longer than the typical method of pressing them between pieces of glass and wood. They tried a number of experiments with chemicals and finally ended up using a process called photography, which had just been invented.
They placed plants on plates coated with light-sensitive silver nitrate and exposed them to sunlight. The part of the plant that was exposed turned black after a few days. They then washed away the unexposed silver nitrate and treated the remaining plant matter with other chemicals. The result was a detailed, life-like print of the plant that could be preserved forever.
Anna Atkins was one of the first to try out this new method, publishing the results in 1843 in a book called “The Vegetable System.” It contained images of over 300 different plants, the first of its kind.
It was meant to be an updated version of “Plates of British Ferns,” a book her brother published 19 years earlier that was considered the first book to use this new photographic technique.
Since that time, advances in technology have made the process much simpler and more precise. Today the process is known as photolithography and is used in everything from printing money to making TV tubes.
After a plant specimen has been cleared of any dirt or impurities, it is immersed in a solution containing silver nitrate. It is then placed on a light-sensitive plate and exposed to sunlight for about five minutes.
After exposure, the plate is covered and stored in complete darkness for two days so that the plant material can turn completely black. Then the plate is developed in a solution of sodium thiosulfate, which stops the development process. The plate is then ready to be inked and printed much like an ordinary image.
When this process was first developed, it revolutionized botany and made the preservation of plant specimens much easier and more reliable. Today, it’s still a useful tool for artists and photographers because it allows for much finer detail than ordinary photographs.
You can see a sample of this photography process in action on the PBS web site. The article was adapted in part from the book, “How Products Are Made,” published by Chartwell Books, Inc.
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