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'Zinnia' is a genus of 20 species of annual and perennial plants of family Asteraceae.
Zinnias are popular annual flower plants. These were favorites as old garden flowers too. These are Native of
Mexico and Central America. Mainly, there are two major types of zinnia: Garden
zinnia (also called species zinnia) and Hybrid zinnia (crossed between two or more).
This annual plant will grow between 6 and 40 inches high with single and double
colorful blossoms. Garden zinnia has solitary daisy like (single) flower heads with
eye in between of petals on long stems with oval shaped leaves and hybrid zinnia has
marigold like (double) flower heads. Zinnia is genus of Asteraceae family, under this
genus there are twenty species and lots of cultivar varieties with different bright
colors like lavender, orange, pink, purple, red, rose, salmon, white, yellow, even
green etc. these come in different sizes and shapes.
Scientific Name: Zinnia Elegans (z. elegans)
Common name: Zinnia
Flowering Period: May-August or dependence on climate of growing zone.
Color: Red, yellow, orange, pink, rose, lavender, white or multicolored
Native: Mexico and Central America
Zinnias are tender and easy growing plants. They can tolerate heat and bright sun but can not tolerate cold. Because of their heat tolerance capacity they can be used on rock garden, as borders, as container plants, flower bedding, as background plants of the garden, any sunniest place etc. And they also can be used as fresh cut flowers for interior decoration in vase or basket. They may lont-last a week or more.
Zinnias like evenly moist, well-drained, well fertilized soils, full sun (six hours or more a day) but in very hot climate, better to provide light shade in afternoon. Zinnias generally grow well in warm climates. If growth is slow or leaves look pale green, fertilize with a soluble or controlled release fertilizer. Pinch young plants when they are 4-6inches high to promote compact, bushy growth. Good air circulation helps prevent fungal diseases. Mildew is a common problem for zinnias in rainy or humid climates which causes powdery white spores on the leaves drawing out moisture. It can be controlled by spraying a solution of ½ table spoon baking soda in 2 quarts of water and a few drops of liquid soap.
Deadhead spent flowers weekly if possible which promote to have more new buds and bloom large flowers and maintain plant appearance (clean and good looking).
Zinnias are very easy to grow, these are propagated by seeds. Seeds can be sown directly
in the ground. It will take one to two weeks to germinate, which largely depend upon
weather and more other factors. To encourage quick growth and best performance, enrich
the soil with well decomposed compost and transplant 30cm apart in ground or in single
containers according to variety or cultivar of zinnias. Zinnias are sensitive to root
disturbance, so be careful while transplanting them. If the taproot is disturbed, the
double flowers may revert to single forms. The plants may also self-seed year to year
in average climate zones. Some special varieties can be bought in local nurseries.
Successive sowing every couple of weeks will ensure continuous flowering till winter.
Most zinnias will bloom around three months to bloom from seed. Due to diversity of
climate, starting time of zinnias can be different in place to place. In cold climate
zone, zinnias can be begun from April (or after days begin to warm) through early July
and in average climate (mild winter) can be begun any month or season but most zinnias
grow well in spring and autumn. In hot climate they need little taking care on watering,
providing shade etc.
Some Popular Species of Zinnias
Other Species of Zinnias
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