Cosmos are sun-loving plants that make fantastic cut flowers – guaranteed to brighten up any garden – well into autumn with their long flowering season.

Happy in a full sunny border or container of moist, but well draining soil.

Cosmos will produce masses of flowers, in colours ranging from white through to pink, red and orange, which contrast with their feathery foliage.

They are great for attracting bees, butterflies and all other pollinators into your garden.

Maintenance is easy, just dead-head regularly to prolong their flowering and feed with a liquid fertiliser. When dead-heading, cut the stem back to the first leaf beneath the flowerhead.

Collect the seeds from spent flowerheads, which you can then sow the following season.

Sow the seeds in early spring directly into the soil/container where you want your cosmos to grow, or into small pots. If growing in pots, pot on the seedlings when they are large enough to handle.

Plant out in late April/May after the danger of frost has passed.

Once your seedlings have formed 2-3 pairs of leaves, pinch out the growing tips which will help to produce bushier plants with more flowers.

Slugs and snails are a threat when the seedlings are young and tender.

Garden Felix