Zinnias are a beautiful, daisy-like flowers will add colour and cheer to any garden, especially those living in hot climates. These sun-loving flowers come in a wide range of bright colours, shapes, and sizes. They will bloom from early summer until early fall. They are also known to attract butterflies! Besides beautifying your outdoor space, zinnias also make wonderful, long lasting cut flowers.
These showy annuals can be planted in masses or used in a mixed border. Smaller varieties are ideal for windowboxes and other containers. Zinnias are one of the easiest flowers to start from seed, which make them perfect for beginners. Seeds can be sown directly into the soil or transplanted from seedlings.
Here are some gardening tips on how to grow zinnias:
- Seeds can be sown in the spring, once it is warm enough. Space seeds 2-3 inches apart. Plant in well drained soil, preferably sandy. If soil is poor, incorporate compost to amend.
- As a native of Mexico, zinnias love the heat. Plant in full sun. In fact, they will wait for the temperature to warm up before starting to grow.
- Plants that produce tall stems with few buds can be pinched back to encourage branching.
- Cutting flowers and regular deadheading (removing spent flowers) will encourage more blooms and keep the plants attractive. In fact, zinnias are known as cut-and-come-again flowers. The more you cut the more they bloom!
- When harvesting flowers, cut stems just above a leaf node or flower bud to encourage new blooms to grow.
- Zinnias can be prone to powdery mildew. Check and remove infected plants immediately. Keep foliage dry by avoiding overhead watering. Planting in full sun in well-drained soil can help prevent the disease. Shady conditions and wet soils can encourage the mildew (a fungus) to develop.