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Orange cosmos reaches heights of up to 7 feet at maturity, but "Bright Light" and "Klondike" are shorter varieties that grow to mature heights of 3 to 4 feet. Smaller varieties such as "Ladybird," and "Sunny" reach heights of 1 to 1 1/2 feet, respectively. Like its cousins, the lavender, pink and white cosmos, orange cosmos is a low-maintenance plant that is often damaged by too much attention.
Water the orange cosmos sparingly; it is drought tolerate and doesn't like muddy soil. During long periods of dry weather or when the plant begins to show signs of wilting, water generously to saturate the entire root system, then don't water again until the soil is dry.
Avoid fertilizer, as cosmos thrive in poor, infertile soil. Rich soil and excessive fertilization often results in lush, green foliage but very few flowers. Eventually, fertilized plants become long and leggy.
Stake tall varieties to keep them upright during wind and rain. Drive a bamboo or wooden stake into the ground 3 to 4 inches from the plant and secure the plant to the stake with soft string or garden twine. Stake plants while they are small, as attempting to stake larger plants may damage the roots.
Check the plants at least once every week to remove cosmos flowers as soon as they fade, preventing the plants from setting seed prematurely, decreasing blooming. Alternatively, wait until most of the plants develop seed pods in place of blooms, then cut the plants back to a height of about 12 to 18 inches; trimming revitalizes a tired-looking plant and the cosmos blooms again in about a month.
Things You Will Need