Zinnias! The Color of Summer
Holy smokes! It has been ages since I’ve gotten to the blog. Needless to say, I’ve been busy, busy, busy, and the flowers are blooming like crazy in spite of (or because of) this freakishly hot and dry weather!
I’m in zinnia heaven right now. What’s not to love about a flower that likes it hot, blooms like crazy, and comes in a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes??? Oh I hear the naysayers (there’s a kill joy in every crowd)…”They’re soooo common.” “The colors are soooo garish.” Blah. Blah.
Zinnias are summer! Zinnias are happy! I don’t know about you, but I love happy colors in my garden and house. So take your blush-colored flowers and waltz up that soft, dreamy wedding aisle while I go dance out loud in my garden!
My dad was the zinnia growing master. My love affair with zinnias probably started as a child with his incredible flowers. I was pretty crazy about my wonderful daddy, so maybe surrounding myself with these colorful flowers is like surrounding myself with my dad.
You can have a ton of zinnias in your garden, too, and it’s not too late! So grab some seed and head out to a sunny place in your garden and get to sowing!
Zinnias come is a wide variety of colors and shapes. The one that is right for you is the one (or two or three) that you love. Can’t decide? Choose a mix to get a rainbow of colors.
Zinnias love hot weather and can be sown anytime during the summer regardless of what the garden calendar says. Don’t believe me? Then give it a whirl. Seeds are a cheap way of experimenting in your garden.
Scatter seeds in a prepared bed and lightly cover. The tricky part about sowing seeds this time of year is keeping the area moist while the seeds germinate. This just means you need to hand water a couple of times a day just like you would when you start your vegetable seeds. Once you see little seedlings started, don’t let them dry out. They will need a drink daily until they’ve really gotten started.
Cutting the Flowers
Once you start getting flowers, get your clippers out! The more you cut on zinnias, the more they produce flowers! When you cut the flowers, cut deep into the plant above a set of leaves so it will be encouraged to branch out and produce even more flowers. You’ll know a flower is ready to cut when it is fully open and the stem is sturdy when you wiggle it several inches below the flower. Don’t cut a flower with a wobbly stem or one that is not yet fully open. Zinnias do not open any further once they have been cut.
You’ll have lots of flowers, probably more than you want to cut, and the butterflies and bees will love it that you’ve planted zinnias. Once you see a flower fading, be sure to deadhead. A plant is programmed to produce seeds. It will keep trying and trying by sending up flower after flower if you keep the dead flowers cut. And don’t be shy about vigorously cutting flowers that look like they’ve seen their best day.
Place newly cut flowers into fresh, clean, tepid water as quickly as possible. They should last for several days if you change the water daily. Remember, if you can’t drink the water your flowers are sitting in, why should they?
Enjoy your zinnias!