By Mary Ann Steele, Somervell County Master Gardener
Zinnias fill your summer garden with bright colors of yellow, pink, red, white and orange. These easy to grow annuals are a favorite of many gardeners because of their prolific blooms which make excellent additions to summer bouquets.
Zinnias thrive in hot weather and grow best in a bright, sunny spot. Sow zinnia seeds directly in the ground once the danger of frost has passed. Plant the seeds about 1/2” deep and keep the soil moist during germination. Once your zinnias are established, you will find that these heat loving flowers like their soil on the dry side. Seeds can be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost, but handle seeds delicately when transplanting.
Zinnia species grow easily nearly anywhere in the USDA zones 3 thru 8. Try the petite flowering “Persian Carpet”, which blooms in autumnal colors of golden yellow, burnt orange and crimson. If you are looking for large, luscious flowers, you can’t go wrong with classic favorites like “Cut and Come Again” and “State Fair” varieties. Each produce bouquets full of big blooms in colors of bubble gum pink, sunny yellow, deep scarlet, and sunset orange. Zinnias produce blooms through summer and into the fall. Be sure to cut them often to encourage more flowers.
resource: Organic Farm and Garden magazine