They are annuals for almost every location and come in a fabulous array of colors. Zinnia plants are flowering annuals that make a perfect addition to a garden or patio with bright, colorful flowers for summer. Prune the Zinnia plants… I was so hesitant to prune back my little Zinnia plants. In case if you miss this: Growing Microgreens in Aquaponics. Zinnias are very easy to germinate indoors and should sprout within a week after sowing. Read this blog post to learn more about how to save seeds. Short Stuff Zinnias grow to about 10 inches tall while Small World Zinnias top out at 6 inches. Cut the flower at the end of the stem when harvesting. You want your Zinnia plants to spend their energy making more flowers, not producing seed. Zinnias are good cut flowers. But staking zinnia plants is limited to the really tall zinnias – those that grow to 3 feet (1 m.) or more. If you are growing seedlings indoors under lights, adjust the fluorescent lights to remain only 3 or 4 inches above the seedlings as they grow … Zinnia blooms don’t continue to open once cut; harvest flowers when all the petals are open. Damping-off fungi are more of a problem in cold soils with poor drainage and conjunction with overwatering. Cut the flower at the end of the stem when harvesting. Others grow to several feet tall. They are susceptible to a few diseases and pest problems but are otherwise low-maintenance plants. In most cases, no cure exists for infected Zinnia plants. It helps to have a soil pH in the neutral range, but it's not mandatory. The most common cause of early seedling death is “damping-off,” a fungal disease that affects the new plant stem just at soil level. Zinnia flowers are colorful additions to any flower garden, they’re great for cutting, they are easy to grow and start from seed, so they make a great choice for container gardening. Hi! I'm in zone 5a and the weather here has been cool, rainy and not a lot of sun for quite awhile. Step 5) Set the tray, pots, and flat in a bright area, but not directly in sunlight. Zinnias are typically long-lasting in a vase—strip the stems of all but the most visible leaves before setting them in water. Blooms produced by Zinnias need a great deal of energy from the plant. Zinnias love sun and heat as do many other flowers. Start seeds f… And I think that's EXACTLY the problem. To prevent these problems, grow Zinnias in full sun with plenty of air circulation. Select varieties that are shorter, as the tall Zinnias won’t do as well in containers. There are several possibilities I can think of right away: one is that they are still too young to bloom, another is that they are not receiving enough sunlight, and the third is that they have been provided with too much nitrogen. This must usually happen after the weather starts to warm up and after having the seeds in a smaller pot for about 4 to 6 weeks. Zinnias are great flowers to add to your spring or summer garden. I have zinnia seedlings that aren't doing very much either. In warm climates, zinnias should be seeded directly into the soil after any frost has passed, says Mbofung-Curtis; in cooler climates, seeds can be started indoors in germination trays. Water the seeds well, adding a label to the area so you know what you’re growing. If Zinnias didn’t develop correctly, it is most likely a result of their specific care requirements. Also cut them back when they are a few inches tall to encourage branching stems. I’ve had the most success starting zinnias indoors in seed trays just a few, . Good options for pots include the hybrid bedding Zinnias and these have a short, spreading growth habit. When you fill the pots, the soil level must sit 1 to 1 1/2 inches below the top to allow room for watering. Allow the peat moss to soak in the water for 1 to 2 hours. See my disclosure policy for more information. Introduction to growing Zinnia flowers indoors. Keep the soil moist until the Zinnias have new growth in about 2 to 4 weeks. Step 6) Dig a 2-inch-deep hole in the growing medium with a pencil and then pour 2 tablespoons of rooting hormone powder on wax paper. Keep soil moist, but not soggy until germination and maintain temperatures between 23 and 26 °C. Let the flower head dry completely on the plant. Select compact, well-branched plants with flower buds and healthy, bright green leaves that aren’t discolored. You can also plant seeds directly in the garden when the soil has warmed to around 75℉. The petals will dry and fall away. They are drought tolerant and don't need coddling. Zinnias roots do not like to sit in damp soil and excess moisture improves their chances of getting powdery mildew. Harvest the seeds to plant in your garden next season and to share with friends. Teach your friends how to grow zinnias too. A sterile and fast-draining potting soil containing vermiculite or perlite is best for Zinnia seedlings. I had done a lot of … Step 5) Select five healthy side shoots from the Zinnias that have at least one leaf node on each. Then, we can use paper bags (so that they absorb moisture) to collect the seeds. Zinnias bloom best in full sun and you also can encourage more blooms by pinching back young spindly seedlings to make them bushier and by removing spent blossoms. There are many reasons to grow Zinnia plants. I use these trays from Amazon. The seeds are large and have a high germination rate. Step 2) Moisten the soil evenly with water before planting the Zinnia seeds. Zinnias are easy to grow from seed. To be honest, all my seedlings are slow growing this year. Dwarf common Zinnias like Short Stuff series and Small World series are grown in containers. Minimize wetting of foliage and space... Caterpillars, mealybugs, and spider mites also cause problems. They are erect-growing, profusely blooming flowers which can grow to varying heights of 3 to 36 inches, depending on the variety. Zinnias do not require a lot of trimming early on. Planting: Zinnia is extremely easy to start from seed. Cut about 3- or 4-inch-long sections of each of the side shoots that have the healthy nodes with the scissors, and pinch off all the leaves save for two. So stunning and the sizes ranger from 2″ to nearly 4″ wide. This tip for how to grow zinnias will make the biggest difference in the number of blooms. Zinnia plants don’t need supplemental fertilizer throughout the season. Disinfect a previously used container to kill disease organisms or pests before use by soaking it in a solution that’s one part bleach to 9 parts water for 10 minutes, clean with water that have a little dish detergent, and rinse well. Creeping Zinnia plants do well in containers. This early pruning encourages multiple stems rather than one. Too little sunlight for too long will prevent new Zinnia plants from germinating and seedlings from developing. The bottom leaves keep turning brown and falling off. The primary troublemaker for zinnias is mildew. Step 1) Moisten 4 gallons of sphagnum peat moss by placing it in a container and then covering it with cold water. The colors of zinnias range from white, orange, various shades of pink, yellows and reds. To start zinnias from seed (indoors or outside), poke the pointy end of the seed into the soil and then cover it lightly with soil. Starting Zinnia seeds indoors in the spring, 4 to 5 weeks before the last average spring frost date, will produce starts mature enough for transplanting outdoors. Some zinnas, like Zinnia angustifolia, are creepers, perfect for the front of the garden. The right care for Zinnia plants such as proper lighting, temperature, and water-needs can greatly vary depending on the type of seeds being sown. Zinnias are low maintenance. Then, this makes sure that they’re in top shape when they go into the ground. depending on the variety to maximize air circulation and reduce powdery mildew. Growing Zinnias. Zinnias need many hours of bright, direct sun to flourish. If you wish to start growing zinnia plants from seeds indoors, plant the seeds in peat pots, poo pots (pots made from cow dung) or other biodegradable containers that can be planted directly into the garden later. Zinnia blooms don’t continue to open once cut; harvest flowers when all the petals are open. The zinnia is considered a tender annual and is indigenous to Mexico. Step 4) Lay a piece of plastic wrap loosely over the top of the soil or slide the tray, pots, or flat into a plastic bag, not tight or sealed. Zinnias are an excellent cut flower and last up to 10 days in a vase. Cut zinnia stems at an angle just above a bud joint. It’s best to water in the morning so the plant leaves dry out quickly in the sun. Keep the soil most, but not saturated, as seedlings begin to grow, and cover with a cloche. And, with pots, you can grow these pretty flowers inside in the winter, adding cheer to the colder months. We’ve know folks who just sprinkle the seeds—and voila! Staking: These flowers have sturdy stems, so do not need staking. If leaves appear to be pale green, you can add some organic fertilizer with a little nitrogen. Growing zinnia plants can be inexpensive, particularly when growing them from seed. Pick the sunniest spot you have, enrich the soil with a little compost, and sow the seeds about 1/2 inch deep. Seeds are ready when the flower head is dry and brittle. It’s best to group multiple pots into a plastic flat and cover the flat with a clear plastic lid to trap in humidity. Zinnia seeds need a sowing depth of 1/4 inch. Alternatively, you can grow zinnias in a heated greenhouse. At the end of the season, leave the blooms on the largest, prettiest flowers. When the young zinnia plant is 6-8 inches tall, cut the central stem just above 2-3 side shoots. Treat leaf miners, aphids, and spider mites by spraying the undersides of the plant leaves with a strong stream of water. Your email address will not be published. Watering the drill Do zinnias need to be staked? Some zinnias plants won’t produce many flowers or buds. Then I transplant them into the garden when they are a few inches tall. Zinnias suffer from a different variety of fungal diseases, including powdery mildew and alternaria leaf spot. Zinnias can grow in any type of container, including plastic or clay pots, wooden half-barrels, a window box, or a hanging basket, but select a container that has at least one drainage hole to help prevent fungal growth in the soil. This is because of either lack of water, too much shade, or improper nutrition. Where spring warms up early, wait until the last frost has … Sowing 2 seeds in each pot are not required, but it will help ensure that each container produces a plant. Thin out the seedlings, so you end up with one plant every 12in (30cm) or so. Growing Garden Zinnias. Leaf miners, aphids, spider mites, and beetles are among the insects that attack Zinnia plants. In case if you are interested in How to Make Money from Dried Flower Business. Since they're fast-growing, they shade out weeds. Alternatively, horticultural oil and soap is an effective treatment. Zinnia plants can be grown from nursery plants but grow easily from seeds. Soil: The only real soil requirement is that it be well-draining. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. If you have purchased zinnias from a local nursery and been disappointed with the results, try planting them from seed instead. Start seeds indoors about 6 weeks before the last spring frost, sowing them in a moistened, soilless mixture in flats or small pots. Place the garden scissors and the razor blade in a solution of 1 part household bleach to about 9 parts water for 10 minutes, and then remove. They are in the direct sun for a few hours in the morning but not for a long time. Zinnia Growing Tips. Zinnia flowers are one of the easiest flowers to grow, as they grow quickly and bloom heavily. The Cascade Beauties series and Crystal series grow to 10 inches tall. Step 2) Combine two quarts each of fine, sterile agricultural sand and agricultural perlite. Growing zinnias from seed might be one of the easiest gardening tasks of the year. If you can’t plant immediately, water the Zinnia seedlings and keep them in a shady spot until you’re ready. Keep the soil moist at 70-75 degrees F. Seedlings emerge in 7-10 days. Water deeply a few times a week so the soil stays moist 6 to 8 inches deep. and last up to 10 days in a vase. It helps to have a soil pH in the neutral range, but it’s not mandatory. Mist the soil daily to keep it moist until the seeds germinate. Seeds that contain an embryo will be kind of fat. They can be grown in regular containers or hanging baskets. As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Mine are in full sun with about 15 inches of good soil. When choosing Zinnia plants for potting, add some Zinnias for blossoms that keep coming all season long. Growing zinnias in mixed colors gives you plenty of flexibility, and you can save seeds from varieties you especially like. Watering: Zinnias need moist soil to grow their best.This is especially true of young plants. You have entered an incorrect email address! A. Step 4) Clean the blades of garden scissors with soapy water and allow them to air dry. Composting diseased Zinnia plants spread disease. If the water in the evening, the plant leaves will stay wet all night and be more prone to fungal problems. Your email address will not be published. Step 1) First, fill a seed tray, peat pots, or flat with a starter potting mix. If you’re growing dwarf Zinnia plants in patio pots, however, you can simply direct-sow the seeds in the containers that you’ll move outside when the weather warms in spring. Zinnias can get insect problems like aphids and spider mites and fungal diseases (powdery mildew and black spot). Because of this, Zinnias thrive best in full sunlight, requiring 6 or more hours per day. I have been growing State Fair Zinnias for a few years, and they are stunning, multiple pinks, deep rose, yellow and a few white. Zinnias famously hate root disturbance, so it is best to sow directly into freely drained soil with a fine tilth.Sow two or three seeds 2in (5cm) apart at 12in (30cm) spacing. Flowers are 4-5 inches across and are semi-double to double. I am growing zinnias and their color seems very faded. Step 3) Sow 2 or 3 seeds per seed compartment, planting them one-half inch deep. Then, cover them with the mix to a depth of about 1/4 inch and keep them lightly moist until seedlings sprout; keep in a sunny spot at room temperature until you are ready to transplant them into larger containers. Zinnias make excellent cut flowers, and come in varied sizes, colors, and textures. An easy way to do this is to set the flat, pots, and tray in a container of water so the water seeps up into the soil. As they all spread to 1 or 1 1/2 feet, a good rule of thumb for spacing is to set one Zinnia in a 6-inch pot, three plants in a 10-inch pot, and up to 5 Zinnias in a 14-inch pot. Provide a way to raise the lights as the plants grow, keeping them about 3 to 4 inches above the tops of the plants. Zinnia plants are best started by direct-seeding in the garden; therefore, it is best to sow the Zinnia seeds indoors into 2 1/2- to 4-inch biodegradable peat pots that will break down when planted outside in the soil. Slice halfway through the leaf nodes using the razor blade and dip the bottom about 3/8 inch of each cutting in the hormone powder. Zinnias are annuals, so they will grow for one season and produce seeds, but the original plant will not come back in subsequent years. Then, the stem becomes brown, rots and the little plant topples over and dies. Love the information on zinnias, Erin. What is your soil like? To keep them blooming plant them in the full sun, water when the soil gets dry and fed them with fertilizer regularly. I’ve had the most success starting zinnias indoors in seed trays just a few weeks before the last frost date. Zinnia elegans ‘Benary’s Giant Golden Yellow'. That is frustrating. How long does it take for a Zinnia seed to sprout? I’m watering daily at sunrise and I have them mulched with a shade cloth, but is the AZ sun still too hot for them? Seeds of zinnia flowers should usually be sown directly into the sunny flower bed, as developing roots do not like to be disturbed. For a cheaper alternative, use paper egg cartons as seed trays that can be planted directly in the garden along with the Zinnia seedlings. Even though Zinnias are fast-growing plants, starting Zinnia seeds indoors could help you get an even faster jump on the growing season, a plus if you’re growing Zinnias for cut flowers. . Step 7) Shake off the excess powder and put the cuttings in the holes without touching the sides. Place the pots under fluorescent grow lights as soon as seeds germinate, in about 10 days. Support for zinnias is sometimes required depending on the variety. 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