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Gardener’s Corner – How to Care for Zinnia

Jul

30

ZinniaZinnias are annual plants that come in shades of white, orange, yellow, and red. These plants produce some of the showiest and most colorful blossoms, and provide a blanket of color in borders or as background plants. In the Gardens, Zinnias can be seen in lemon yellow, pink, and coral colors. These plants can grow anywhere from 4 feet to 4 inches in height depending on the variety. Zinnia plants are one of the easiest to grow and care for and require little maintenance, making them a favorite among gardeners. The plants may be started indoors from seeds or purchased as transplants. However, Zinnias do not always take well to transplanting. Therefore, it is best to sow the seeds directly into the garden or the desired permanent location.

Zinnias grow best in full sun so it best to plant the seeds or seedlings in mid-to-late spring after all indication of frost has past. When planting indoors for transplants, sow the seeds in containers six to eight weeks before the last frost.  Zinnia plants prefer rich, well-drained and fertile soil. Ensure the soil is loose and well moistened and sow the seeds 1/4 of an inch deep and 6 to 12 inches apart. Seedlings, which will produce earlier blooms, should also be spaced 6 to 12 inches apart. Add compost and organic matter to the soil to maintain moisture and provide added nutrients. While the plants are young, water them regularly during the week and fertilize the soil about every four weeks. Once established, Zinnias will fare well with light fertilization and moderate soil moisture, requiring watering only during extremely dry conditions. Deadhead spent and dead blooms to prolong flowering and encourage growth.

 

 

 

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