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The Plant Guide

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Chocolate cosmos

Cosmos atrosanguineus

KOZ-mose at-tro-san-GWIN-ee-us

A chocolate scented flower! Dark red-brown, sometimes almost black, velvety flowers on long, slender, reddish brown stems bloom from early summer to autumn. Chocolate cosmos is a tuberous-rooted, tender perennial native to Mexico that can be overwintered indoors where not hardy. Grow in a border or in containers where the flowers can be appreciated up close. They also make good cut flowers.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsChocolate fragrance; dark, almost black flowers over a long period; good cut flower.

CareGrow in moist but well-drained, fertile soil in full sun. Deadhead and provide support. Mulch in autumn where hardy, or lift the tubers and keep frost-free during winter, storing them in barely moist peat.

PropagationRoot basal cuttings with bottom heat in early spring.

ProblemsStem canker, powdery mildew, Rhizoctonia stem rot, gray mold, and aphids sometimes cause problems.

  • Genus : Cosmos
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 10, 11, 7, 8, 9
  • Uses : Containers
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Bloom Time : Fall, Summer
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Flower Color : Red
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
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