Zinnia is a classic summer flower favored by gardeners and homeowners around the world. Zinnia flower has unique petal formation that forms a bulbous head. The bright colors decorate many gardens and planters, attracting butterflies.
Zinnias are known as aesthetic flowers with easy growth and maintenance. Here is everything you must know about zinnias, including their facts, symbols, and planting guide.
Types of Zinnia Flower
There are several popular zinnia varieties you can consider for your garden. Some of them include:
Queeny Lime Orange
This zinnia has such compact petals they almost look like a ball. Typical colors include yellow, orange, and peach. This zinnia starts blooming in summer.
Zahara Starlight Rose
Zahara Starlight Rose is a single-petal zinnia, with beautiful bicolor shades. Typical color is white with pink marking in the middle.
Dreamland series consists of dwarf varieties with a wide range of colors. They are double-petal zinnias that grow in compact clusters.
Another single-petal variety, this orange zinnia has a long blooming period. You can enjoy the blooms from spring to the first frost. Star Orange is hardy and drought-tolerant.
Benary’s Giant Golden Yellow
This zinnia is one of the largest varieties. The colors range from pink to scarlet, but the most common one is golden yellow.
Queen Lime is the most unique achievement in zinnia hybridization. It is a rare green zinnia with compact petal formation, which creates an amazing display in the garden.
Large zinnia varieties are ideal for walkways or flowerbeds. However, the dwarf varieties are more suitable for containers, such as planter boxes.
Zinnia Flower Facts and Requirements
Before you plant zinnias, make sure to understand several zinnia flower facts, such as:
Zinnias love the warm temperature
Zinnias originated from Central and South America, so they love warmth and light. When planting zinnias, make sure you provide enough natural light (with partial shade in hotter regions).
Zinnias are annual
Zinnias decay after they bloom, and they die when exposed to frost. Make sure you plant zinnias at the right time to enjoy full blooms or get good cut flowers.
Zinnias are great to reduce whiteflies
You can plant zinnias as companion plants, especially the ones with bulbs like hyacinths. This is because zinnias attract hummingbirds, which are natural predators of whiteflies.
Zinnias need moist, fertile soil
Zinnias need moist but not flooded soil to grow healthily. You must also work the soil up with compost before planting the flowers. The ideal pH for zinnia is between 5.5 and 7.5.
Zinnias are perfect plants for people with kids or pets. They are non-toxic and easy to maintain so that you can grow them as a kid-friendly project.
Steps to Plant Zinnias from Seeds
You can plant zinnia seeds anytime after the last frost disappears and the temperature gets warmer. Ideally, it would be best if you planted zinnias before the beginning of June to enjoy continuous blooms until fall. Here are the planting steps to follow:
Choose the right spot
If you plant zinnias in the garden, choose a spot that will give the flowers at least six hours of light. Partial shade is great for hotter regions since scorching heat can damage the plants.
Plant the seeds
After working up the soil with compost, plant zinnia seeds in ¼ inch of depth. Give at least 6 inches of space between seeds (some large species need 24 inches). Plant seeds in two to three weeks interval for continuous flower display.
Water the seeds
Water the seeds until the soil is moist, but not waterlogged.
If everything goes well, you can see zinnia seedlings in around seven days. Healthy zinnias will show their full blooms in around 60 days.
Tips to Maintain Zinnia Plants
Zinnia flower care is as easy as its planting. The plants can tolerate a little drought, but ideally, you should water them for 1 inch every week. When the zinnias grow tall, water them from the bottom instead of the top. This is to prevent a fungal problem that may develop from dampness.
Zinnias need nutrients, but you must go easy on the fertilizer. Add weak fertilizer every month to feed the plants and encourage healthy blooms. When the first blooms start to decay, cut them for repeated blooming before the first frost.
Common Problems of Zinnia
Zinnias are relatively hardy, but they are still prone to common plant diseases. They include:
Alternaria blight is a fungal disease that causes brown spots on the leaves and can spread quickly. You cannot use a fungicide to stop the spread. The best way to stop it from spreading is by destroying infected plants and sterilizing the soil.
Bacterial leaf spots
This bacterial disease causes yellowish brown spots on the leaves. Over time, it will cause the leaves to wilt and decay. You must remove all the infected plants and sterilize the soil to stop its spreading.
Root rot is caused by excessive moisture. It can happen when you overwater zinnias, resulting in waterlogged soil.
Aphids are other common problems, but if they are not many, you can hose them with strong water spray. Horticultural soap or oil is also useful to reduce aphids.
Zinnia Flower Meanings
Zinnias may be annual, but they are brilliant in colors and quite hardy. These qualities contribute to zinnia flower meaning, which revolves around remembrance, happiness, and endurance. Zinnia is also a symbol of lasting friendship and affection, which are not eroded by “heat” or tribulations.
Different zinnia colors represent slightly different meanings. Red zinnia is often associated with “heart and blood”, which refer to familial ties. It is also connected to steadfastness, which resembles steady heartbeats. Meanwhile, the more common yellow zinnia means remembrance and daily joy.
Purple zinnia has deeper sentimentalism in meaning. It symbolizes more lasting affection, perfect as a gift for parents, siblings, best friends, or long-term partners. White zinnia symbolizes purity or innocence, but can also mean good intention. Pink zinnia has more playful meaning, which leans toward bashful romance.
Zinnias are beautiful, hardy, and fast-growing annual flowers suitable for every home. Zinnia flower has bright colors that create an amazing display in the garden until the frost comes. Plant zinnias to enjoy annual beauty and get fresh cut flowers.