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How to Grow Zinnia Flowers
Zinnias are a one of the gardening world's most popular and versatile flowers. Native to Mexico, there are many varieties, big and small. Zinnia are members of the Daisy family, and are easy to grow. Profusely blooming plants, come in a wide range of colors.
There are miniature and giant varieties ranging in size, from about a foot for miniatures, to giant varieties that can grow over three to four feet tall. Flowers will bloom from mid-summer all the way until frost. There is a profusion of colors, multi-colors, and hues. Colors include, white, yellow, orange, red, rose, pink and multi-colored blooms.
Larger varieties look good at the back of the flower garden. Dwarf varieties fit well as borders, edging, or planted in mass. Try the smaller varieties in a windowsill planter, or in containers on your patio or deck.
Zinnia make good cut flowers.
Zinnias are grown from seed. Zinnia seeds can be directly seeded into your flower garden, or started indoors, for transplanting later. Start seedling indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in your area.
How to Grow Zinnia Plants:
Grow Zinnia plants in full sun. Zinnias like rich, well drained soil, but are somewhat tolerant of average to slightly poor soils. Mix in plenty of compost prior to planting. Add a general purpose fertilizer at planting time, and once a month during the growing season.
Sow Zinnia seeds early in the season and cover lightly with soil. Water thoroughly once. They germinate easily, and will grow quickly, producing their first of a continual display of blooms by mid-summer.
Transplant Zinnias into your garden after the last frost date for your area. Spacing depends upon size with miniature varieties spaced four to six inches apart, and Giant varieties one to two feet apart.
Once your Zinnia plants are established, they should grow well. Soil should be moist, but not wet. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week.
Add mulch around the plants for appearance and to keep weeds down.
Remove dead flower blooms to encourage new growth and new blooms. Improve appearance of Giant Zinnias by trimming back stems that have grown long or gangly, but do not over trim them.
Cuttings for Indoors:
Giant Zinnias have long stalks for flower vases and other arrangements. Cut the stem low, check for insects hiding in the flower, on the stem and under the leaves. Bring them indoors and place in water immediately.
For miniatures, use a small container or vase and cut stem a couple inches long. Bunch up a variety of colors for an eye-appealing arrangement. Add a small sprig or two of Baby's Breath.
Insect and Disease:
Aphids can infest your Zinnia. Powdery mildew and molds can be a problem, especially in warm, humid weather. Apply insecticides or fungicides early and often.
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