Zinnias is one of the easiest flowers to grow. They grow quickly and bloom heavily.
The bloom has a massive burst of color and size. Growing them indoors or outdoors will definitely be worth it.
In this post, I have described how to grow zinnias in pots or outdoors in detail.
They do not like to be transplanted. You might face problems if you do not know about them.
If you follow the steps and important points in this post. I guarantee you will be able to grow bright and beautiful zinnias.
So, let’s get started.
How do zinnias look like
They are old fashioned garden staples which are very popular in flower gardens. You can find them in many shapes, sizes, and colors.
This flower species belong to the daisy family of flowers and are native to Mexico.
Photo source: Peter Miller
They are fast-growing plants that bloom from midsummer and continue till the last hard frost. The height of the flower grows in the range of 6 to 36 inches.
The bloom not only looks gorgeous but also attracts beautiful butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
Adding them definitely makes your garden wonderful and more appealing.
- Zinnias are annual plants meaning they complete their life cycle in one growing season.
- This plant is not perennial in any zone.
- They love hot climates and are not tolerant of frost.
- In fact, if they come in contact with freezing temperatures. They will die.
- They grow quickly and the bloom lasts for several months. So, it doesn’t matter where you live, you can enjoy the bloom.
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How to grow
Although zinnias are easy to grow the plant. Before learning how to grow them successfully.
First know when and where you should plant them for excellent results.
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Where to grow
- These plants have bright and vibrant flowers so many gardeners use them to cover vacant spots in the garden.
- The dwarf species of zinnias also thrive well in pots and containers.
- You can dedicate a medium-size pot or container for them. Or you can also devote a flower bed.
- These flowers also look good as a border. These plants perform well in slightly tough conditions.
- For the best result, I recommend you to plant them in a spot where they get full sun.
- This plant prefers tough conditions to thrive. If you plant them in shade they might grow leggy and less vibrant.
Photo source: Serres Fortier
When to grow them
- As I mentioned, these flowers don’t like the cold season or climate.
- It’s wise to start planting them after frost or cold.
- You can start growing them somewhere in the march.
- Planting them earlier is beneficial because:
- This gives enough time to bloom in the growing season and also you can enjoy their beauty for longer.
How to propagate zinnias in pots
You can plant them in the pot if you want to limit their spread.
Growing them in the pot is simple. This flowering plant doesn’t like to be transplanted. So, it is essential to decide first what size of plant you want to grow.
Follow these steps to grow them in pots from seeds.
- Choose a medium-sized pot that has potting mix soil and an adequate drainage hole.
- Take 2-3 fresh seeds of them. You can choose any variety you want.
- Sow the seeds 2-3 inches deep in the soil. Don’t show them too deep otherwise, it will take time to pop from the soil.
- Place the container on a windowsill or a spot where it gets enough light.
- Water the soil to keep it moist. Don’t overwater them.
- After 7-8 day the sprout will germinate from the soil
You can also propagate from stem cutting. The procedure is similar but instead of seeds take medium size stem cutting.
How to care for zinnias
This plant is extremely easy to care for. This tough plant is heat and drought tolerant and well endure cooler temperature later in the fall as well.
Follow these detailed care tips for best outcomes:
Though they are drought tolerant you have to water them once or twice in the hot season.
- Lack of water stunts the growth which results in producing dull and fewer flowers.
- Don’t add much water to the plant. These plants don’t like lots of water. Overwatering might kill them.
- Overwatering is not a case in the garden. In the garden, the water goes deep down.
- But in the pot, you have to take care. Use a container to pour water.
- The best way is to test the soil before watering. If you see the soil is dry, add water.
- If you have difficulty in figuring this I recommend buying an inexpensive soil moisture meter to make it super easy.
- This plant is heat tolerant and likes full sun.
- Try to plant them in a spot where they get at least 6-8 hours. They flourish in hot and sunny conditions.
- They can also grow in partial shade but you have to provide at least 4 hours of direct sunlight.
- Lack of sunlight causes improper growth.
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The good thing about this plant is they thrive easily in almost any type of soil. But they do prefer fertile soil with good organic matter and also fast draining.
- For healthy and abundant growth use high-quality soil which is rich in humus and organic matter.
- You can add the garden bed with worm casting or compost to improve the quality.
- For slow-draining soil, you can add perlite or coarse sand to increase the drainage.
- In the container. Use potting mix soil and make sure the container or pot has an adequate drainage hole.
Pruning and deadhead
Pruning encourages the growth of the plant. When the sprouts are growing cut the single stem. This will produce many stems branches quickly.
- Cutting flowers from time to time results in the production of more flowers.
- You can cut the flowers and put them in a vase to decorate your home. This way you will get double benefits.
- When you see any dull or dry flowers or leaves. Pluck or deadhead them in no time.
- These dry parts look dead but they consume energy from the plant.
- Plunking or cutting them off will redirect plant energy to produce fresh flowers and leaves.
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This plant grows incredibly in one season. It is important to feed them with fertilizer.
- They perform best with the fertilizer that is high in phosphorus.
- While planting them amend the soil with slow-release granules.
- Then also add them 2-3 more times in the summer.
- You can also use water-soluble fertilizer or organic fertilizer like tea bags to provide nutrient plants that need to thrive.
Suppose you did all things right but then also your beautiful zinnias dealing with disease and mildew issues.
- Powdery mildew issue forms in moist, humid, and warm conditions.
- They are also attached to bacterial leaf spots. This occurs due to the collection of water in the foliage.
- The symptoms are the leaves first turn brown and then black. To avoid leaf spots always plant water in the base of the plant.
Well the good news is:
These leaf spots don’t affect bloom. You can avoid them. But to cure it I recommend treating leaves with organic fungicide at the first sign of the disease.
You can prevent the plant with major disease attacked by:
- Providing more space to improve the air circulation of the plant.
- Always water in the base of the plant to keep the leaves dry.
The foliage damage is also caused by spider mites. But, you have to only treat them only then they damage whole plant health.
When you bring flowers inside the house check the sign of spider mites. This will prevent infesting your interior plants.
This plant is also resistant to deers and rabbits. So, if you are frustrated with these animals invading your garden. Zinnias is a good choice.
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Here I have answered frequently asked questions. Read this section to know the answers to some queries. If you have different questions ask me in the comment box.
Why are zinnias not blooming?
Some zinnias plants won’t produce many flowers or buds. This is because of either lack of water, too much shade, or improper nutrition.
To keep them blooming plant them in the full sun, water when the soil gets dry and fed them with fertilizer regularly.
Do zinnias come back every year?
No, they are true annual plants that will only live for one season. However, this plant reseeds itself in a mild climate which seems they are growing back.
They live until hard frost doesn’t kill them. Or die when they complete their life span that is about one year.
What month do you plant zinnias?
Start planting them 2-3 weeks after frost. This plant doesn’t like cold weather.
They thrive quickly and bloom from spring till frost arrives
How do I get my zinnias to bloom more?
To get more bloom you have to:
- Regularly feed them organic fertilizer like teabags. Use fertilizers that are high in phosphorus.
- Keep the soil moist. Always water the plant when the soil looks dry.
- This plant likes full sun. plant them in an area where they get at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
- Deadhead them from time to time. Plucking or cutting flowers encourages the production of more flowers.
How to dry zinnias
You don’t need to dry them. as we know they are annual plants. You have to regrow them every year.
The best way to do this by saving the seeds from their bloom. In the frost, the plant starts dying. Just wait till all flowers and leaves get dried or killed.
Then collect the center of the dry flowers. This part has seeds of the plant. Use them to regrow them in the growing season.
I hope all you doubts regarding zinnias is solved. If not ask in the comment box.
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