Perennials & Ornamental Grasses

Chocolate cosmee - plant, care and hibernate

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The chocolate cosmos impresses with its strong, chocolate-scented flowers. Find out how to properly care for the summer perennial in the garden here.

© E. Schittenhelm - Fotolia.com

Colors, shapes and scents of different types of flowers in the ornamental garden are extremely flattering to our senses. Garden lovers are captivated by the sight of the flowers when they buy young flowers. The nose quickly takes action to examine the scent of flowers. If everything is consistent, nothing stands in the way of new purchases.

The Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) also passes this test. This summer perennial impresses not only in the flower discounts, but also in the tub on the terrace or balcony.

Portrait of the chocolate cosmos

The perennial daisy grows upright and can reach heights of 40 to 60 centimeters. In late autumn, however, the bulbs of the attractive perennial must be stored frost-free. From July to October, burgundy to violet-colored dahlia flowers develop on the perennial. As the name of the perennial already suggests, the pile of flowers smells of dark chocolate.

Location and soil for the chocolate cosmos

❍ Location:

The summer shrub needs sufficient sunlight to develop its aroma in the best possible way. Therefore, a sunny location is optimal. The chocolate cosmos can also tolerate partial shade, provided it is left in sunlight for at least 4 hours a day.

❍ floor:

The soil for the unusual perennial does not make high demands. However, it should be humus-rich, well-drained, nutritious and moist, just not loamy. Cosmos atrosanguineus also grows best if the soil does not dry out and no waterlogging occurs.

How to properly care for the chocolate cosmos

To water:

You only pour your chocolate cosmé so much that the earth always remains moist. You should absolutely avoid waterlogging, because otherwise the roots are rotting. It is best to use rainwater from the bin for watering. It is also advisable to cover the soil around the perennial with mulch.

The flowering perennial will not be harmed if you give it water in the morning or early evening. Make sure that you do not wet the plant with water. Therefore always pour from below.

Fertilize:

Before putting the bulbs in the ground in the spring, fertilize the soil liberally with compost. But you can also use an organic slow release fertilizer for this. Nitrogenous and mineral fertilizers are not suitable.

Rear section:

Separate wilted flowers regularly, as this stimulates the chocolate cosmos to produce abundant new flowers. For the vase decorations, cut the inflorescences in the morning, as this will keep them fresh longer.

In late autumn, when you dig out the perennial for wintering, shorten the herb to about 3 centimeters above the ground.

Wintering:

This summer perennial is overwintered in a cool but frost-free, dark room. Only after the ice saints the following spring is the chocolate cosmee put back in the freshly prepared garden bed.

Detect and combat diseases and pests

© petrabarz - Fotolia.com

Cosmos atrosanguineus can be affected by diseases that are caused by nursing mistakes. These include:

❍ Root rot:
Arises from waterlogging. Therefore, always water your flowering plant carefully.

❍ Powdery mildew:
Usually occurs when the plants are too close together and the air circulation is poor.

❍ aphids:
Like to keep friendly on fresh stems and buds of the perennial. It is advisable to create an ecological balance in the garden, where, for example, an insect hotel is set up and the best possible conditions are created for beneficial organisms.

❍ snails:
Feel particularly attracted by the sprouts of the chocolate cosmos and can quickly eat away the fresh green. Therefore, put a snail fence around your perennials after inserting the bulbs. Nevertheless, check this snail barrier every day to make sure that one of the voracious pests has not yet overcome the hurdle.

Summary:

The chocolate cosmos is a perennial that develops burgundy to violet-colored dahlia flowers in summer. The blossom then smells of dark chocolate. A sunny place in the garden is ideal for this plant. The soil should be humus rich, well drained, nutritious and moist. Only pour so much that the soil is always a little damp. You fertilize the perennial with compost or an organic fertilizer. The root bulb is stored frost-free in winter.

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