Thursday, August 04, 2016

Zinnias: You Can Grow That!

Zinnias are colorful summer annuals that are practically care-free and a great choice for beginner gardeners. The zinnia is a rewarding choice especially for those of you who have never started flowers from seeds before.

Rewarding is an understatement actually! So far this summer, I have picked 10 bouquets of flowers from my small zinnia patch and it is just getting started. The bees and butterflies love them too. I am often cutting my blooms right out from under the insects with a quick "sorry" as I run off to put them in a vase.

To start zinnias from seed, clear off a patch of soil in a sunny area of your garden. Here in the humid Mid-Atlantic US, good wind circulation is a must as zinnias are vulnerable to powdery mildew so make sure this out in the open and not next to a brick wall of tall shrubs. Scratch a few lines in the ground and then sow your seeds according to the package instructions. Water them in well. If it doesn't rain consistently, you may have to give them supplemental water, but usually they are fine without it.

The only other care note is to have your floral snips handy as once they start blooming, you will want to pick them practically daily. The more you cut, the more flowers they produce.

And it is not too late for this growing season! Last year I did not start zinnia seeds until early August and I was picking flowers by the end of September and they kept on producing through October.

All who are involved with You Can Grow That! (YCGT!) believe that plants and gardening enhance our quality of life. We want people to be successful with what they grow and to become more aware of the many gifts that horticulture brings. Find out more at

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