This late in the summer when the perennial gardens start to look tired, the annuals are going strong. One of my favorite annuals that I grow in my garden every year are zinnias. In my opinion, zinnias are a must have for every garden!
One of the best things about zinnias is that they are extremely easy to grow from seed, the seeds will usually sprout within days of being sown. The seedlings are tough and they transplant easily into the garden, I always have close to a 100% survival rate of transplanted seedlings.
The seedlings grow quickly to maturity, allowing the plant to bloom most of the summer. It’s always one of the first plants in my annual garden to bloom… and one of the last to be killed by frost in the fall.
Zinnias require little or no care. They are heat and drought-tolerant, and tolerate cooler temperatures later in the fall too.
They are not picky and will grow in almost any type of soil. They are great in containers as well as in the garden.
Another great thing about zinnias is that they make excellent cut flowers. They stay fresh looking in a vase longer than most other flowers I cut!
Zinnias come in several beautiful varieties and a wide variety of colors, which adds a ton of color to the gardens and cut flower arrangements. Butterflies especially love them, as well as other beneficial pollinators.
Here are some other tips to get the most from your zinnias:
- Collect your own seeds to keep them going in your gardens from year to year!!
- They can reseed themselves, but are not aggressive reseeders.
- Deadhead to encourage new blooms (but make sure to leave a few heads on to collect seeds for next year!)
- The more you cut the flowers (to put in vases), the bushier the plant will grow and the more flowers you will get. It’s a win/win!
- Great for a rock garden or an area that hardly gets watered. If you have an area in your yard that only gets watered when it rains, try planting zinnias there.
- Zinnias are ideal for the first time gardener. If you have never grown from seed before and are nervous about what to start with, make sure to try zinnias!