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Zinnias in pots can look just as lovely, if not more so,than those planted in beds. Especially if you have limited space, why not putthese vibrant, cheerful flowers in containers? Zinniasare colorful additions to any flower garden, they’re great for cutting, theyare easy to grow and start from seed, so they make a great choice for containergardening.
There are many reasons to grow zinnias. These pretty flowerscome in a range of colors and sizes, they are great cutting flowers and looknice in arrangements, they are easy to grow, and they keep producing blooms allsummer, even when it’s very hot.
There are also great reasons to consider growing pottedzinnia plants. If your garden space is limited, for instance, containers on apatio can add color and greenery. If you have limited sun in your yard, acontainer will allow you to move your zinnias to catch the rays. And, with pots,you can even grow these pretty flowers inside in the winter, adding cheer tothe colder months.
Choose varieties that are shorter, as the tall zinnias won’tdo as well in containers. Good options for pots include the hybrid beddingzinnias. These have a short, spreading growth habit. Look for Zahara, StarOrange, Raspberry Lemonade Mix, and Solcito cultivars.
You can either start your zinnias by getting transplantsfrom the nursery or by starting them from seed. The seeds are large and easy tohandle, and these flowers germinate quickly, so this is a cost-effective andsimple way to get container-grown zinnias.
If you plan to have your zinnia containers outdoors for thesummer, start seeds inside about six weeks before the last frost of spring. Youcan start them right in the pots you intend to use. Cover seeds with about aquarter inch (0.6 cm) of soil.
Keep the soil moist and warm, and once the seeds havesprouted, put them in a sunny spot. You can take them outside after five or sixweeks.
Once you have zinnias growing in pots, care for them iseasy. Make sure they get a lot of sun throughout the day, as this will resultin more flowers. Water the pots whenever the first inch (2.5 cm) or so of soilhas dried out. Make sure the container has drainage holes, though, so you don’tget standing water or soggy roots.
Deadheadyour zinnias as the blooms fade to promote more flower production. Trim eachdead flower off at the stem, which will also stimulate more growth to keep theplant bushy and full. Make sure the foliage stays dry and has good aircirculation to prevent fungal infections like powderymildew.
Photo by: Unverdorben Jr / Shutterstock.
One of the easiest annuals to grow, zinnia flowers bring an explosion of color wherever they go. The show lasts from late spring until the first frost in fall. Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the cheery flowers that bloom in nearly every bright color imaginable. They grow quickly and reliably, making them a great choice for first-time flower growers. Add in their low maintenance requirements and the variety of sizes and shapes, and you can’t lose.
One of the most colorful clusters of flowers in your garden could be your zinnias. Not only are they bright and beautiful, they're an easy flower for beginning gardeners to cultivate. Once they begin blooming, they don't stop till first frost.
"They remind many people of their grandmother's gardens. They have that nostalgia to them," said Barn Nursery manager Sara Melton.
Zinnias come in short and tall variations. Within each, there are many varieties, Ms. Melton said. The dwarf varieties are best for bedding plants, while the tall ones, best grown from seed, are ideal for cutting and making into colorful arrangements.
Here are five tips Ms. Melton offers for bringing brilliant color to your garden.
1 Zinnias can get insect problems (aphids and spider mites) and fungal diseases (powdery mildew and black spot). To prevent problems, grow zinnias in full sun with plenty of air circulation. They don't like to be crowded.
2 It's best to water in the morning so the leaves dry out quickly in the sun. If watered in the evening, the leaves will stay wet all night and be more prone to fungal problems. If you notice any disease, spray with Sevin or Bayer 3-in-1. Leaves that are spotted or discolored can mean you have spider mites or leaf hoppers.
3 Zinnias bloom best in full sun. You also can encourage more blooms by pinching back young spindly seedlings to make them bushier and by removing spent blossoms. You want your plants to spend their energy making more flowers, not producing seed.
4 Zinnias are fast-growing plants and will bloom six to eight weeks after they are seeded. You can plant them all the way through July for blooms until frost.
5 Zinnias will grow in large containers but not well in small pots. Choose a pot at least 12 inches across for best results. Taller growing varieties, such as State Fair, need the largest pots.