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Zinnia

image of bright red zinniaZinnia is a genus of the annual and perennial plants of the family Asteraceae. Zinnias come in 20 species of composite flowers. The flowers are ideal for indoor arrangements. Zinnias bloom in a wide variety of colors with large, mixed blooms.

Kingdom
Plantae
Division
Magnoliophyta
Class
Magnoliopsida
Order
Asterales
Family
Asteraceae
Genus
Zinnia

One of the easy to grow annual flower, Zinnias bloom from mid-summer all the way until frost. About 10 species of Zinnia are garden flowers but only the Zinnia elegans is most popular. Zinnia elegans originated in Mexico and therefore, likes a arm-hot climate. The Zinnia plant's leaves are lance-shaped and sandpaper like in texture. The Zinnia plant's height ranges from 15 cm to 1 meter.

Zinnias come in an array of colors, multi-colors and hues. Zinnias come as yellow, orange, white, red, rose, pink, purple, lilac and multi-colored blooms. Zinnia varieties include both miniatures and giants that range from about a foot to over three feet tall.

Zinnia flowers come in a reage of appearances, from a single row of petals, to the dome shaped variety. Hardy plants,Zinnias have erect stems that bear opposite leaves and terminal flower heads. The Zinnia species with small, orange flowers is Zinnia augustifolia, while the species with red, purple, or yellow petals is Zinnia peruviana.

Did you know? Butterflies are particularly attracted to Zinnias. So, plant lots of Zinnias if you want many butterflies visting your garden!!

Facts About Zinnias

  • The name of the genus derives from the German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn's name
  • There are two species of zinnia that occasionally obtain attention as ornamental plants, the Zinnia grandiflora and Zinnia tenuifolia.
  • The common Zinnia of gardens, Zinnia elegans, is also called youth-and-old-age.
  • The most popular bedding plants, Zinnias originally grew as wildflowers native to the southwest United States, Mexico and Central America.
Did you know? Zinnia was the state flower of Indiana during 1931 - 1957.

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Growing Zinnias

  • Generally, Zinnias are grown from seed.
  • Zinnias need fertile, humus-rich, and well-drained soil. They reseed themselves each year.
  • Zinnias need full Sun.
  • Zinnias like rich, well drained soil. Good soil quality will produce much healthier plants and flowers.
  • Sow the zinnia seeds by putting one seed in approximately every square foot.
  • Lightly rake the seed bed, and plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep.
  • Apply fertilizer as needed.
  • Water the seed bed.
  • Add a general purpose fertilizer once a month.
  • Water Zinnias during dry periods, once or twice per week. Soil should be moist, but not wet.
  • Add mulch around the plants for appearance and to keep weeds down.

Zinnia Plant Care

  • Remove dead flower blooms to encourage new growth and new blooms.
  • Improve appearance of Giant Zinnias by trimming back stems that have grown long, but do not over trim them.
  • Zinnias are annuals and are susceptible to frost. They may survive the first light frost with only a little damage.
  • Zinnias will not survive a hard frost or freeze.
  • Zinnias are a little resistant to insects and disease.
  • If insect or disease problems occur, treat Zinnias early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.

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