Zinnia

Native To Mexico

Generations ago, zinnias, named for German medical professor and eye specialist Johann Gottfried Zinn, were once thought "ugly to the eye" by the Spaniards. No longer! Today's Zinnia is a mere shadow of its former self. In the language of flowers, the zinnia is for one whose heart is full of "thoughts of absent friends!" In hues of white, pink, red, purple and yellow, zinnias gentle beauty will last up to 10 days.

Native to Mexico, the Zinnias can also be found stretching from the American Southwest to South America. Butterflies seem to favor Zinnias which is why they are a popular flower amongst gardeners. There are about twenty species of Zinnia with the most common being the Zinnia elegans. It’s large and colorful blossoms come in a variety of colors ranging from red, yellow, orange and white to more exotic colors such as apricot, crimson and lilac. The Zinnia reaches a height of about thirty inches once it’s fully grown and the flower attached to the stem tends to be around two inches in diameter. However, the sizes can vary depending on the cultivar. Some flowers can be as big as six inches across while the dwarf Zinnia only reaches six inches in height.

Growing Recommendations - Zinnias

In spring the flower will bloom and continue to do so until the first frost. When first planting the Zinnia be sure to wait one week after the last frost with a temperature of at least fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Initially, you will need to choose an area for the plant where it will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The soil beneath should be fertile and well drained. The seeds or plants should be spaced four to twenty-four inches apart depending on variety. Water them thoroughly to initiate growth which should occur in about a week or so (the seedlings will appear). It is recommended that every three to four weeks the plants should be fed using a balanced liquidized fertilizer (check the rate that the manufacture recommends). Most varieties of Zinnia require little pruning and are resistant to pests. These plants are very versatile but it should be noted that overhead watering should be avoided and should be done early in the day at soil level if possible. These flowers can last for up to twenty-one days after being cut so they make excellent cut-flower bouquets!

Photos of Zinnias

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