Caring For Chocolate Cosmos Plants: Growing Chocolate Cosmos Flowers

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By Angi Schneider – author of The Gardening Notebook

Chocolate isn’t just for the kitchen, it’s also for the garden – especially a chocolate one. Growing chocolate cosmos flowers will delight any chocolate lover. Read on to learn more about growing and caring for chocolate cosmos in the garden.

Chocolate Cosmos Info

Chocolate cosmos flowers (Cosmos atrosanguineus) are dark reddish brown, almost black, and have a chocolate scent. They are relatively easy to grow, make wonderful cut flowers and attract butterflies. Chocolate cosmos plants are often grown in containers and borders so their color and scent can be fully enjoyed.

Chocolate cosmos plants, which are native to Mexico, can be grown outside as a perennial in hardiness zones 7 and above. It can also be grown outside as an annual, or in containers and overwintered inside in colder climates.

Propagating Chocolate Cosmos Plants

Unlike most other cosmos flowers, chocolate cosmos are propagated by their tuberous roots. Their seeds are sterile, so planting chocolate cosmos seeds will not get you the plants you desire.
Look for roots that have an “eye” or new growth on them to start new plants.

If you are growing chocolate cosmos flowers as an annual, the best time to look for this is when you dig them up in the fall. If you are growing chocolate cosmos flowers as a perennial, every couple of years you can dig them up and divide them in early spring.

Caring for Chocolate Cosmos

Chocolate cosmos plants like fertile, well-drained soil and full sun (6 hours of sunlight a day).

Too much water will cause the roots to rot, but a once a week deep watering will keep them healthy and happy. Make sure to let the soil dry out between waterings; remember that chocolate cosmos flowers originated in a dry area.

Once a bloom has died, the plant will greatly benefit from it being removed, so be sure to deadhead the cosmos regularly.

In warmer climates, where they are grown as perennials, chocolate cosmos plants should be heavily mulched during the winter. In colder climates, where chocolate cosmos plants are grown as an annual, they can be dug up in the fall and overwintered in a frost free area in slightly moist peat. If they are in a container, be sure to bring them inside for winter.

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