Adorable cosmos blossoms are always a good choice for flower beds. But did you know that these plants also make an excellent addition to edible gardens?
If you have a completely organic garden and know about the importance of companion planting, then this flower is all you need.
Let’s see the main benefits of planting cosmos in your edible garden!
It Attracts Pollinators
There’s one thing every grower dreams of; a garden full of pollinators! Well, the cosmos is definitely a plant that can help you achieve this.
Veggies can’t thrive without bees, butterflies, and ladybugs but the cosmos saves the day. This flower is rich in nectar and a true magnet for pollinators.
It attracts Monarch butterflies, which is an amazing feature because these insects are classified as endangered. (1)
Pumpkins, corn, and tomatoes are some of the vegetables that get along well with cosmos. As usual, companion planting will lead to a higher yield and that’s what we all wish for.
Cosmos also makes an excellent companion to zucchini, cucumbers, and fruit such as strawberries.
All these plants will produce more crops and grow healthily with the help of cosmos plants. Additionally, this flower will make your edible garden display even prettier!
It Attracts Predators (The Good Ones)
The words “predator” and “good” aren’t really expected to be seen next to each other. Well, gardening is full of surprises!
Some insect species, such as lacewings and parasitic wasps, are characterized as predators or natural enemies. (2) Their main role in our gardens is to help us get rid of the pests that harm our crops.
Tomato hornworms are one of the most dangerous pests for tomato plants and can completely destroy the yield. If you plant cosmos near tomatoes, it will attract lacewings and parasitic wasps that will destroy the hornworms.
There’s a similar situation with corn earworms (3), which can be detrimental not only to corn growth but also to the growth of other vegetables, such as peppers and tomatoes.
Cosmos attract predatory insects, and they’re the ones that will take care of corn earworms.
The Bottom Line
We’ve seen the benefits of cosmos plants when planted in veggie gardens. These flowers aren’t fussy over growing conditions, making them perfect for gardeners who are just starting out.
They can grow perfectly in humid and wet areas as well as in dry and hot conditions. Poor soil types are also suitable for this type of plant and it won’t mind if you plant it in full sun! It’s truly an amazing plant!
When selecting a cosmos plant as a companion, you should pay attention to two things – the transplants should be from organic and open-pollinated cosmos seeds. Hybrid varieties may be sterile, so you won’t unlock the true potential of these plants.
Surprisingly, some cosmos varieties are edible and taste heavenly in salads but if you want to grow them for this purpose, go with the fully organic garden.
Finally, if you’re into floriography, you should explore the meaning of the cosmos flower! It’s just another amazing feature!
1. Migratory monarch butterfly now Endangered – IUCN Red List. (n.d.). IUCN.