Mandarin, also known as Cosmos sulphureus, is an annual flowering plant native to Mexico and Central America. This variety offers a superior, more uniform habit to others. It produces vibrant, deep orange flowers from mid-spring until frost on dark green upright foliage 10-12" tall and 6-8" wide. The cheerful pinnate flowers attract pollinators and excel in containers, borders, and cut bouquets. Mandarin requires minimal care during the growing season, flourishing in full sun to partial shade with moderate water. Create a dynamic, colorful front border or large mixed container by growing this plant with Coreopsis, Argyranthemum, and Echinacea.
Mandarin Selling Tips
Sell Mandarin to customers looking for an attractive flower for a border, container, or cutting garden. Customers with sunny landscapes or patios will enjoy this plant's bright blooms. It needs only moderate water to excel in full or partial sun, bringing pollinators and color contrast to the landscape. Cutting flowers creates beautiful bouquets and encourages plants to continue producing. This compact variety enables customers to grow Cosmos anywhere! For more bright blooms, try pairing this variety with Limara Lemon.
Coach Your Customer
1. Space plants 8-10" apart in well-drained soil in a sunny or partly shady location.
2. Water once per week or more often in drought.
3. Deadhead blooms to encourage continuous blooming right up to the first frost.
4. This variety is an annual. Remove all plant debris after the first frost to prevent disease the following year.
General Growing Tips For Your Seedling Tray
For best results with Mandarin, plant one rooted plug per gallon container. Use well-drained soil in full or partial sun with light feed (100-175 ppm N), a pH of 5.8-6.2, and an EC (via 2:1 extraction) of 1.2-1.5 mS/cm. Provide temperatures of 60-64 daytime and 57-60 nighttime. Don't pinch, but use daminozide or chlormequat as needed. Watch for aphids, thrips, fusarium wilt, and leaf spot.
Pinnate orange flowers bloom from mid-spring until frost.
This plant doesn't require pinching.
Space containers for adequate airflow and sunlight penetration around the base and foliage of each plant. We recommend spacing 4-inch, gallon, or 10-inch containers 12-18" on center for good ventilation and disease prevention. Adjust spacing in your commercial greenhouse as needed for your plants.
Once the plant establishes roots, you may apply daminozide or chlormequat chloride as needed to control height. Drought stress and negative DIF are also effective height control methods.
Watch for aphids and thrips as part of your Integrated Pest Management plan.
Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that cause damage by sucking sap from plant tissue. They reproduce quickly and are particularly attracted to young growth. Curling and yellowed leaves, stunted growth, and stickiness on leaves are signs of an infestation. These insects also spread diseases and reproduce rapidly. Use biological controls or horticultural oils to discourage and kill aphids.
Thrips are tiny insects that eat plant tissue and can transmit viruses. Watch for silvery-white streaks or black spots on foliage and distorted growth. Use natural predators (like predatory mites), insecticidal soap, neem oil, and sticky traps to control infestations and prevent spread.
Watch for signs of fusarium wilt and leaf spot. Take basic preventative measures in your greenhouse as part of Integrated Pest Management, including watering at the base of each plant, allowing the soil to dry between waterings, using proper fertilizer and light, maintaining a clean and debris-free environment, and sanitizing equipment. Provide adequate spacing and good airflow for seedling plugs.
Fusarium Wilt is a fungal disease that causes leaves to wilt and turn yellow. Use clean growing media and sterilize pots, trays, and tools before transplanting seedling plugs. Inspect plants regularly for signs of disease, checking roots and stems for discoloration and wilting. Remove and destroy infected plants to prevent the spread of fusarium fungus.
Bacterial Leaf Spot results from a bacterial pathogen and causes water-soaked yellow or brown lesions on foliage. These may merge and cause leaves to turn yellow and drop. Prevent bacterial leaf spot by practicing sanitation and hygiene, watering at the base of each plant, and space plants for adequate circulation and light penetration. At the first signs of infection, remove the affected leaves and treat the remaining plants with a copper-based fungicide like hydroxide, sulfate, oxychloride, or octanoate. Use fungicides carefully according to the label's instructions, and be aware that applying copper-based fungicides at high rates or during hot, dry weather can lead to phytotoxicity.
Planting Mandarin Liners
We recommend planting one seedling plug per 4-inch or 6-inch container. Use well-drained soil and completely bury the ellepot in the center of the container.
Rooted Cuttings Cuttings vary in size between different plant families. These rooted starter plants will arrive ready to be transplanted in to your final container. If they are to be used in a landscape application, you will need to establish them in a 4 inch pot or an 1801 before planting outside.
Cosmos Mandarin Quick Reference Guide
|4 Inch crop time||5-7 Weeks|
|Bloom Period||Fall, Spring, Summer|
|Light||Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun|