What Is Chocolate Cosmos
Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) is a specie of Cosmos, native to Mexico, where it is extinct in the wild. The specie was introduced into cultivation in 1902, where it survived as a single clone reproduced by vegetative propagation.
Chocolate Cosmos is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 40-60 cm tall, with a fleshy tuberous root. The leaves are 7-15 cm long, pinnate, with leaflets 2-5 cm long.
The flowers are produced in a capitulum 3-4.5 cm diameter, dark red to maroon-dark brown, with a ring of six to ten broad ray florets and a center of disc florets; they have a light vanillin fragrance, which becomes more noticeable as the summer day wears on.
This beautiful plant can be grown in containers and borders to be used as decorative objects. It can also be grown outside as an annual or overwintered inside in colder climates.
Growing Chocolate Cosmos by Tuberous Roots
You can propagate chocolate cosmos by their tuberous roots, unlike other types of cosmos. You should choose the roots which have an eye or new growth before put them into ground. Grow chocolate by roots will allow you to have beautiful cosmos flowers as wanted, because their seeds are sterile.
You should dig chocolate cosmos up when fall comes if you wish to make them an annual plant. However, if you plant chocolate cosmos as a perennial, you should dig them up and divide them in early spring every couple of years.
How to Take Care of Chocolate Cosmos
In warmer climates, where they are grown as perennials, you should mulch the area around chocolate cosmos heavily when winter comes. In colder climates, where chocolate cosmos plants are grown as an annual, you should dig them up when fall comes and let them be in slightly moist peat in a place without frost during winter. Bring chocolate cosmos containers inside during winter, if you grow them in containers.
Remember to remove every dead flower regularly to protect the plants.
Chocolate cosmos prefers fertile, well-drained and at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.
Don’t water them too much to avoid rotting chocolate cosmos roots. Water deeply only one per week to keep them healthy and strong. You should let the soil dry out before the next watering, because chocolate cosmos flowers originate in Mexico, which is a dry country.