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Are cosmos flowers annual or perennial?

Updated February 21, 2017

Cosmos flowers, which are members of the sunflower family, are native to Mexico. Although cosmos flowers, which are annuals, are tolerant of dry conditions, they grow well in most parts of the UK.

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Time frame

An annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in a single season. Cosmos flowers germinate, grow leaves, blossom, produce seeds and die off in one summer. The average lifespan of cosmos flowers is from spring or planting time until the first hard frost in the autumn.


Annual flowers are versatile and work well in an ever-changing flower garden. To switch varieties of cosmos flowers, do not let the cosmos flowers go to seed in the autumn. Plant a new variety of cosmos the next spring.


Cosmos sulphureus is available in varieties that produce yellow or orange flowers. Cosmos bipinnatus yields pink, lavender, maroon and white flowers. Both of these annuals are popular with gardeners in the UK.

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About the Author

Since 1981 Janet Bayers has written on travel, real estate trends and gardening for "The Oregonian" newspaper in Portland. Her work also has appeared in “Better Homes & Gardens,” “Traditional Home,” “Outdoor Living” and other shelter magazines. She holds a Master of Arts in linguistics from Michigan State University.

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