Updated: Jan 2
Folks ask a lot what flowers should they grow in their own cutting gardens.
I can easily say that zinnias are one that will make you feel like a flower grower ALLSTAR.
*please sing Smash Mouth's song to yourself*
**if you don't know what song I'm referencing... you clearly didn't grow up in the late 90's*
Zinnias come in a vast array of colors and sizes. For 2022 our three favorites were:
Lilliput Orange (button sized and a pop of color)
Eldorado (salmon orange color with large double bloom)
Benary's Giant Wine (I'm typically not a purple fan, but this lady reminded me of a peony and we loved her)
When selecting your zinnia seed packets be sure to select a cut flower variety, or else you'll wind up with shorties best used for bedding plants.
HOW TO GROW ZINNIAS
Zinnias are annuals and will need to be seeded every year. We start in plug trays in the seedling room to get a jump start on our season, but they can be easily started directly in your garden bed. Just make sure it's a sunny spot with at least 6-8 hours of sunshine a day.
Speaking of sunshine, these ladies hate the cold. So be sure to seed after your last frost date, they really like 60 degrees and above.
We plant our seedlings 9 inches apart, but take a look at your seed packet for their recommendations. If you are growing for cutting, place them closer together to encourage tall stems.
Place the seed 1/4-inch deep in your soil. Seeds are speedy and you can typically see sprouts in only 4-7 days.
Now the part that Mom hates... To get more blooms, when seedlings have 2 or 3 true leaves you'll want to pinch out the center. Yup, you are giving the seedling a haircut. Where you pinch the plant, it will branch out creating so many more blooms!
Blooms usually take 60-70 days from seed to flower. Be sure to keep them hydrated through the growing season and remove spent blooms by deadheading to keep the plant producing.
Want to take your zinnia game up a notch? You can even save seed for next years harvest easily... but that's for another post!