The Meaning of the Cosmos Flower

By Holly Schoch , last updated March 26, 2011

Many gardeners, when asked why they garden, will normally say something along the lines of, "the flowers relax me;" if these flowers are cosmos flowers, then this particular statement is quite understandable.

The word cosmos is derived from Greek and means orderly, beautiful, and balanced. Their blooms reach sizes of up to 2 inches in diameter and have vivid colors and a sweet aroma which emanates from the flower. Cosmos flowers are gorgeous accents to any garden, and quite often are used as background flowers to draw the garden together. In a way, it does instill order in the chaos of different blooms which range all different shapes, sizes, and colors. The cosmos makes a garden seem whole and full.

The plants originated in areas of Latin America. In Mexico, they were grown in mission gardens by Spanish priests. Impressed by their bloom and their balanced petals, the priests christened the flower with the name cosmos, claiming that the cosmos exuded 'cosmic beauty'. Perhaps it makes sense, after all, the cosmos can grow and thrive in practically any conditions, which at least to a gardener, could be the very best form of order and balance. Nothing seems more unfair than when a flower or other plant withers and dies due to improper conditions. Cosmos, luckily for the avid gardener, removes this element from the planting equation.

Cosmos are also considered to be the flower of October. With its sweet fragrance and generously sized blooms, it is no wonder that this species of flower works exceptionally well with attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. For a flower that is named after the idea of beauty, there is no sight more gorgeous than either of these two creatures gathered around a garden of cosmos.

Cosmos are always found in variations of the same three shades. They are either yellow, orange, or red. Their genus also consists of at least 20 different varieties, some with different leaf structures and others with blooms that range in sizes and color patterns. The average plant success with this type of flower is around 80%, though they should not be grown in rich-fertile soil because it produces lanky flowers, depending on the variety you are attempting to grow. However, as long as the soil drains well, cosmos flowers will normally appear regardless of its soil conditions.

If looking for the perfect species of plant to add a little extra 'something' to your garden, cosmos could be just your garden needs. Perhaps you cannot own or create your own galaxy or universe, but by planting the cosmos flower in your garden, you are creating a plant that, although not of the same cosmic size, mimics the same cosmic beauty.

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