Zinnias are the most cheerful flowers you can plant — plus they’re fast-growing, easy-care and add lots of color to the garden.
How to grow zinnia flowers
It used to be that most of us grew zinnias in rows. You still can, but why not toss a few seeds around in your border, like the gardener did in the photo above? Since zinnias are so easy to grow from seed, that’s a colorful, and economical, way to fill out a flower bed. Butterflies like the vivid, easy-to-spot colors and will be drawn to your garden. Plus, just imagine how many bouquets you could pick from this border!
Get your zinnias off to a good start, whether you plant seed or starter plants, by giving them the right growing conditions with these growing tips.
Choose the right spot
Choose a location with good air circulation and full sun — zinnias will be floppy and sickly in shade. And while these annuals tolerate a wide range of soil types, they’ll bloom best in a moist, well-drained soil that has lots of compost worked into it.
Plant when it is warm
Sow the seeds directly on tilled soil and lightly cover them, or set out seedlings you buy in cell packs when the soil is thoroughly warm (about the same time you’d put out tomato plants). Zinnias will languish in cold weather — they really do like the heat.
Dry conditions translate to healthier zinnias. If you have to water, apply it only at the base of the plant or use a soaker hose so the foliage stays dry — keep moisture off their leaves to prevent powdery mildew from developing. Add a couple of inches of organic mulch, such as compost, around the plants to keep the soil moist and you won’t have to do as much watering.
In good soil there’s really no need for extra fertilizer, but if you want, a light sprinkling of a low-nitrogen, slow-release food will keep them blooming all summer.
Article by JIM CHILDS for Garden Gate Magazine©
Source: Zinnia Flower Growing Guide | Garden Gate (gardengatemagazine.com)