Cosmos, Kenikir (Organic)
Bright yellow, 2-3″ wide flowers are like little stars in the garden. Bushy plants grow to 4’ wide and tall, and bloom all season long in the Pacific Northwest. In other latitudes, or when planted mid summer, Kenikir cosmos can grow to greater heights and flower later due to their day length sensitivity. Highly pungent, edible leaves are used in several cuisines as a salad green, including in Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and Thailand. To avoid the flavor becoming too pungent, make sure to pick the young leaves and shoots before the plants begin to flower. Leaves are used in Southeast Asian traditional plant based medicine for liver and bone health and have been shown to be anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Drought tolerant species native to Mexico and South America. Half-hardy annual that may survive light frosts. Cosmos sulphureus has naturalized in the southeastern US and some consider it to be invasive there, this has not been a problem in Oregon.
Direct sow ½” deep after danger of frost, or sow indoors for transplant starting 6 weeks before last frost. Thin or transplant to 12.” Prefers 60-70°F soil temp. Germination in 10-14 days.
Collect seeds from seedheads that are fully dry. Shell by hand or by dancing, and winnow to clean. Finish air-drying if necessary before sealing in airtight container. Some cross-pollination may occur, isolate from other varieties of the same species by ¼ mile.