Coreopsis VS Cosmos: A Side-by-Side Comparison

coreopsis vs cosmos

Beginners often get confused between Coreopsis and Cosmos. Coreopsis vs Cosmos, these two flowers may seem similar at first glance, but they have distinct features that set them apart. 

Coreopsis, often called “Tickseed,” is a perennial known for its daisy-like flowers and feathery foliage. Cosmos, on the other hand, are annual flowers that offer a wide array of colorful blooms and fern-like leaves.

So, today I’ll walk you through the similarities and differences in detail. You should keep reading till the end. 

What is Coreopsis?

Coreopsis, commonly known as “Tickseed,” is a charming perennial flower cherished in gardens for its vivid daisy-like blooms. With a range of hues including yellow, pink, and red, Coreopsis adds a burst of color to landscapes. 

Its feathery foliage complements the flowers and gives the plant an airy appearance. Thriving in full sun and well-draining soil, Coreopsis is versatile and suitable for borders, containers, or ground cover. 

A pollinator favorite, it attracts butterflies and bees with its nectar-rich blossoms. Its drought resistance and resistance to deer make it a low-maintenance choice. Coreopsis is known for its longevity, returning to grace gardens year after year. 

Whether in cottage-style or formal gardens, Coreopsis brings a cheerful and enduring charm.

What is Cosmos?

Cosmos, an annual flowering plant, boasts delicate fern-like leaves and a profusion of captivating blossoms in shades spanning pink, white, orange, and more. Flourishing in full sun and various soil types, Cosmos offers a casual and naturalistic allure to gardens. 

With easy-to-sow seeds, they’re a favorite among beginners. Regular deadheading prolongs their flowering. Also, it encourages their self-sowing behavior, leading to new blooms in subsequent years. 

Pollinators like bees and butterflies are drawn to Cosmos, making it a beneficial addition to pollinator-friendly landscapes. 

While not as long-lived as perennials, Cosmos compensates with its ability to readily self-sow, ensuring a continuous cycle of vivid blooms. Whether in cottage gardens, wildflower meadows, or informal settings, Cosmos imparts a touch of wild beauty to outdoor spaces.

coreopsis vs cosmos

Similarities Between Coreopsis and Cosmos

The similarities between Coreopsis and Cosmos go beyond their attractive blooms. Coreopsis vs cosmos is not so common in the gardeners’ talk. 

From their pollinator-friendly nature to their adaptability and relatively easy maintenance, these flowers offer gardeners a chance to cultivate a lively and welcoming outdoor space.

Also, it supports local wildlife and brings joy through bursts of vivid color. And the difference between cosmos and coreopsis is quite low. 

Colorful Blooms

Both Coreopsis and Cosmos are renowned for their colorful blooms that add vibrancy to gardens. Coreopsis flowers come in shades of yellow, pink, red, and even bicolor variations. 

On the other hand, Cosmos showcases an array of colors including pink, white, orange, and chocolate.

Pollinator Magnet

Both flowers are highly attractive to pollinators like bees and butterflies. Their open, nectar-rich blooms provide easy access for these beneficial insects. 

Thus it  makes them valuable additions to pollinator-friendly landscapes that support biodiversity.

Sun-Loving Plants

Coreopsis and Cosmos share a preference for full sun. They thrive when exposed to ample sunlight. Also, it ensures healthy growth and prolific flowering throughout the growing season.

Low Maintenance

Both plants are relatively low-maintenance choices for gardens. Once established, they require minimal care. So, they are suitable for busy gardeners or those new to gardening.

Deadheading for Extended Blooming

A common practice for both Coreopsis and Cosmos is deadheading, removing spent flowers. 

This not only encourages more blooms to emerge but also helps redirect the plant’s energy towards flower production. Also, it results in a longer-lasting display of beauty.

Versatility in Landscaping

Coreopsis and Cosmos can both be used in various landscaping settings. Coreopsis’ neat growth habit makes it ideal for borders, container gardening, and even as a ground cover. 

Cosmos’ wilder growth adds a touch of informality. So, it can be a great fit for cottage-style gardens, wildflower meadows, and more naturalistic landscapes.

Self-Sowing Potential

While Coreopsis is a perennial that returns each year, Cosmos compensates for its annual lifespan with its self-sowing ability. 

Both plants have the potential to provide ongoing beauty in your garden. Coreopsis through its perennial nature and Cosmos by reseeding itself.

Drought Tolerance

Both Coreopsis and Cosmos exhibit a certain level of drought tolerance. It’s important to provide adequate water during their establishment period. Once they are well-rooted, they can handle drier conditions without much fuss.

Coreopsis VS Cosmos: At a Glance

Here’s a quick Coreopsis vs Cosmos comparison table:

Aspect Coreopsis Cosmos
Type Perennial Annual
Bloom Colors Yellow, Pink, Red, Bicolor Pink, White, Orange, etc.
Growth Habit Clumps with tall stems Upright, open and airy
Foliage Fern-like Feathery, finely divided
Longevity Multi-year (perennial) Single year (annual)
Propagation Division, Plants Seeds, Self-sowing
Formality Formal, structured Informal, naturalistic
Pollinators Attracts pollinators Attracts pollinators
Self-Sowing Limited Prolific
Suitable For Borders, Containers Cottage gardens, Meadows
Lifespan Long-term presence One-season blooms
Deadheading Encourages more blooms Encourages reseeding
Sunlight Preference Full sun Full sun
Deer Resistance Generally resistant Varies

Before we jump into the details, you can visit another topic on whether the cosmos can grow in shade or not.

differences between Coreopsis and Cosmos

Differences between Coreopsis and Cosmos

The difference between cosmos and coreopsis encompass their growth habits, lifespans, appearances, and much more. So, let’s go through the elaborate difference between Coreopsis and Cosmos:

Growth Habit

Coreopsis: Coreopsis is a perennial plant, meaning it comes back year after year. It forms clumps of foliage and produces blooms on tall stems. Coreopsis seeds are not required. 

Cosmos: Cosmos is an annual plant, completing its lifecycle within a single growing season. It grows from seed, blooms, produces Cosmos seeds, and then dies off. So, it is necessary to replant each year.

Blooms and Foliage

Coreopsis: Coreopsis flowers are typically daisy-like with distinct petal shapes. They have a more compact and organized appearance. The foliage is often fern-like, contributing to the plant’s airy texture.

Cosmos: Cosmos flowers are also daisy-like but tend to have a more open and delicate appearance. The foliage is feathery and finely divided, giving the plant a light and airy feel.


Coreopsis: Because of its perennial nature, Coreopsis can live for multiple years, returning each spring with new growth and blooms.

Cosmos: Being an annual, Cosmos completes its lifecycle in one season and does not come back the following year. However, it often self-seeds, leading to new plants in subsequent years if allowed to drop seeds.

Color Range

Coreopsis: Colors of coreopsis come in a variety including shades of yellow, pink, red, and bicolor combinations.

Cosmos: Cosmos offers a broad color palette including shades of pink, white, orange, and even dark maroon.

Planting and Regeneration

Coreopsis: Propagation of Coreopsis is usually done through division or planting nursery-grown plants. It doesn’t regenerate itself from seeds as vigorously as Cosmos.

Cosmos: Cosmos readily reseeds itself, dropping seeds that germinate in the following growing season. This natural self-sowing behavior can lead to new plants emerging in unexpected areas.

Formal vs. Informal Appearance

Coreopsis: Coreopsis generally has a more formal and organized appearance because of its compact growth habit, making it suitable for borders and structured garden designs.

Cosmos: Cosmos has a more casual and naturalistic look, often used in cottage gardens or wildflower meadows to create a more relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Self-Sowing Behavior

Coreopsis: While Coreopsis can self-sow to some extent, it’s not as prolific as Cosmos in terms of generating new plants from dropped seeds.

Cosmos: Cosmos is known for its abundant self-sowing. If allowed to go to seed, it can create a natural, evolving display in subsequent years.

Lifespan and Replacement

Coreopsis: Coreopsis provides a consistent presence in the garden over the years, saving gardeners from having to replant each season.

Cosmos: Because of its annual nature, Cosmos requires replanting every year to maintain its presence in the garden.


Can I grow Coreopsis and Cosmos together in the same garden?

Combining Coreopsis and Cosmos can create a dynamic garden with the best of both worlds. Coreopsis’ perennial presence pairs well with Cosmos’ annual bursts of color. Also, it allows for a changing yet consistent landscape.

Which flower is more suitable for a structured garden design between Coreopsis and Cosmos?

Coreopsis is ideal for a structured design because of its compact growth and organized appearance. 

Its clumping habit makes it perfect for borders and container gardening. In contrast, Cosmos’ informal and airy growth suits more naturalistic landscapes like cottage gardens and wildflower meadows.

Can I expect Coreopsis and Cosmos flowers to self-sow in my garden?

Yes, but to varying degrees. Coreopsis can self-sow, but not as vigorously as Cosmos. Cosmos is known for its prolific self-sowing behavior, often leading to new plants in subsequent years without additional planting.

Finally, you can read a comparison between Black Kow and Miracle Grow before you say goodbye. Thank you for supporting us and appreciating the colors of coreopsis.

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About Author


Hello, I’m Khandaker Mursalin, a writer and researcher in the field of English Literature and blog writing. In 2014, I met my wife for the first time in my class. We found out that we two have a great passion for plants and gardening. Our hopes, aims, and interests were quite similar. So, we decided to marry. Finally, we married in 2015. Back then we were younger and had no money to make a huge garden as both were students.

But our passion for plants never decreased. We believed that making a garden at home requires your passion rather than money. So, we kept collecting plants by any means. And now, we have a huge balcony garden with more than a few hundred specifies. Most of them are indoor plants and good for balconies. So, we decided to help and encourage people to keep plants in their homes. And Gardenmysteries is a part of our work.