Zinnia is a cute annual flower that blooms abundantly all summer long.
Zoom in on Zinnia facts
Name – Zinnia elegans
Family – Asteraceae
Type – annual
Height – 12-28 inches (30-70 cm)
Exposure: full sun – Soil: rich, well drained – Flowering: summer → early fall
Favored for its many colors, it is great for flower beds, garden boxes and pots.
- Note: some varieties of zinnia look just like dahlia flowers
Planting, sowing zinnia
Whether in a flower bed in your garden or to decorate a pot or garden box, zinnia is to be sown in spring, actually starting indoors if the climate is too cold to start it.
The zinnia flower fears the cold and must be sown in a sheltered place if temperatures don’t yet exceed 65°F (18°C).
- Sowing is performed in March in a greenhouse where the temperature is at least 60°F (15°C).
- It’s possible to plant the seed directly in the ground starting from the month of May.
- Transfer your seedlings to the ground starting in May, ensuring about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) space between specimens.
It’s perfectly possible for you to collect Zinnia seeds from wilted flowers and store them over the winter in a paper envelope kept away from moisture. That way you can sow them in the following year.
After having prepared your seedlings in nursery pots, or if ever you’ve purchased ready-grown zinnia plants in a horticulture store, wait for mid-May before transplanting them to the ground.
- Zinnia loves full sun and deserves the warmest spot of your garden.
- Mix garden soil with special flower plant soil mix.
- Add mature compost, manure, or seaweed fertilizer in the hole.
- Space each zinnia 8 to 12 inches (20 to 40 cm) from the next, depending on the variety.
- Water abundantly.
Caring for zinnia
Zinnia is very easy to care for, but a few rules are applicable to maximize its beautiful blooming.
Zinnia will die if it freezes and must be pulled out and thrown to the compost after the first frost spells.
Before that, though, shake the seeds off the plants to let them fall to the ground, and cover them with a layer of dead leaves. It’s more than probable that they’ll self-sow every year.
- Regular watering in case of high temperatures or prolonged dry spells.
- Water in the evening, without sprinkling the foliage to avoid powdery mildew for instance.
- Adding flower plant fertilizer as the plant grows will help extend the blooming and produce amazing flowers.
- It’s possible to remove wilted flowers regularly (deadheading) in order to boost flower-bearing.
Learn more about zinnia
Native to Mexico, Zinnia is an annual flower that comes in a host of colors ranging from red to yellow and orange and pink.
It grows quite bushy and is perfect for flower beds. It will decorate your edges and beds just as well as it will enhance your garden boxes, pot arrangements and containers.
There are a great many varieties, some tall, some dwarfish, and the most common one is Zinnia elegans.
Hybrids will also come in many colors and sizes, you can mix them all together in a flower bed and the result will look astounding. The first few flowers look shy, but it quickly grows lush and bushy with many blooms.
- Note also that the Zinnia is particularly appealing to butterflies (shown with a large white above).
Smart tip about Zinnia
Cut wilting flowers off as they die off, and you’ll always have the zinnia on its best for show!
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