Zinnias are annuals that are available in many shapes, sizes and colors. From minis to giants, there is sure to be a zinnia that will add just the right thing to your garden. Planting zinnia seeds is not difficult, and the maintenance on these plants is quite simple. That makes them a great choice even for a beginning gardener.
Where you begin planting zinnia seeds depends on where you live. Because you want them to bloom as early as possible, if you live in a climate that is still cold into the spring months then you probably want to start your zinnias indoors. If you live in a warmer climate you can start them outside.
Even some who do live in a warm climate choose to start the plants indoors because it gives them more control when replanting and often eliminates the need to trim the plants when they are young.
Use a well-draining, high quality soil. While planting zinnia seeds in inferior soil can still yield decent results, you will have better luck with a quality soil. The amount of space required between plants will depend on the type of zinnia. Some require about 6 inches of space. Some of the larger varieties may need up to a foot.
You want to plant your seeds between ¼ and a ½ inch deep. Again, this depends on the type of zinnia.
Whether you plant indoors or outdoors, you should see growth within about a week. Flowers will come in the middle of summer and may last until the first frost.
Care and Maintenance
Once planted, you will find that it requires minimal maintenance to care for your zinnias. If you experience a dry spell you will want to water the plants. They should be moist, but not wet.
Adding fertilizer at least a couple of times – but not more than once a month – can enhance your chances for success. As the flowers bloom and then die, be sure to cut off the dead blooms. Doing this will usually encourage new blooms. Zinnias are not terribly prone to disease or pests, but if needed you should choose an organic treatment.
As mentioned above, planting zinnias is a wonderful way to add some color to your garden. These flowers, especially the larger varieties, also look fabulous in cut flower arrangements. As a bonus, when you cut flowers you will likely get some new growth as long as it is not too late into the season.
If you want to create a butterfly garden then zinnias are a perfect choice. Butterflies seem naturally drawn to many types of zinnias.
Whether you are planting zinnia seeds to add color, to attract butterflies or to use in arrangements, these easy to care for annuals are a wonderful choice. No matter if you are a seasoned gardener or if this is your first attempt at using your green thumb, you will be pleased with the ease of care and with the vibrant blooms of these plants.
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