Zinnia (lat.Zinnia) belongs to the genus of herbaceous and shrubby perennials of the Astrovian family, originally from Southern Mexico, named after the pharmacologist and botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn of Göttingen, who, as the director of the Botanical Garden, supplied Karl Linnaeus with herbarium material for research. The Aztecs cultivated zinnia since 1500, and in Europe it appeared in the XVIII century, immediately becoming a favorite decoration of gardens and aristocratic receptions. By the twentieth century, zinnia was already cultivated on all continents, and from 1931 to 1957, the zinnia flower was even a symbol of Indiana, USA. Today, about twenty species are known, many varieties and hybrids of this beautiful flower, distinguished by its beauty and undemanding to growing conditions.
Planting and caring for zinnia
- Planting: sowing seeds for seedlings - in late March or early April, transplanting seedlings into the ground - from mid to late May.
- Flowering: from mid-June to frost.
- Lighting: bright sunlight.
- Soil: light, nutritious, well-drained, neutral reaction.
- Watering: infrequent, but plentiful, under the root.
- Top dressing: for the seedling period - thrice with mineral fertilizers with a low nitrogen content, after transplanting into the ground - at least twice: a month after planting and during budding.
- Reproduction: seed.
- Pests: May beetles and grubs, aphids, slugs and snails.
- Diseases: powdery mildew, fusarium, bacterial spotting, gray rot.
Read more about growing zinnia below.
Zinnia flowers - description
Depending on the type and variety, the height of the zinnia can be from 20 to 100 cm and above. Leaves of zinnia, whole, sessile, ovoid, pointed to the apex, pubescent with hard hairs, are located whorled or opposite. Inflorescences are single apical baskets with a diameter of three to fourteen centimeters, located on long peduncles. Reed flowers of zinnia, located imbricated in one or several rows, white, purple, orange, yellow, red - of all possible colors, except shades of blue; middle, tubular flowers - small, yellow or red-brown. The fruit is an achene with a crest. Zinnia blooms from mid-June to frost, being resistant to heat and drought.
The zinnia plant is cultivated as a bright and unpretentious garden plant, which perfectly stands in the cut. Perennial zinnia grows only in the regions with warm winters. In our climate, zinnia in the garden is an exclusively annual plant, since it is not able to survive even short and insignificant frosts. Summer residents call this flower a major. Annual zinnias and marigolds , daisies and marigolds are the main flowers for the landscape in a rustic style, which is becoming more and more fashionable in Europe. Zinnia is appropriate in the flowerbed with the so-called noble flowers, and it is grown in the garden among vegetables, using its remarkable ability to stretch upward, almost without creating a shadow.
Growing Zinnia from Seeds
Perennial cinnamon, like annual, reproduces generatively. In places with a warm climate where frosts do not occur in May, zinnia can be planted directly in the ground, but if night frost is common in your area, be aware that seeds of zinnia sown in the ground will die at a temperature of -1 ºC. That is why experienced gardeners believe that this plant is better to grow and harden as seedlings, and then the planting of zinnia in the ground with subsequent rooting will be successful.
Before sowing, wrap the zinnia seeds in a rag or gauze soaked in epin to identify which are germinating and which are not. Fresh seeds hatch in a couple of days, and the old will take a week for the sprout to appear.
In late March or early April, germinating seeds of two or three pieces are spaciously sown to a depth of one centimeter in peat pots with a moist substrate, which will subsequently avoid picking, which this culture does not like. The crops are moistened and placed in a bright place. The optimum temperature for germination of zinnia is 22-24 ºC. If you do everything right, sprouts will appear in a few days.
In the photo: How zinnia blooms
Seedlings of Zinnia
Young plants quickly form subordinate roots, and if the zinnia seedlings are extended, just add a little soil to the pots. My zinnias did not stretch very much, but my friend complained that she had planted the crops at partial shade, and the seedlings turned into painful translucent sprouts, so remember that zinnia seedlings require bright diffused light. With sparse sowing of seeds, you do not have to dive seedlings, especially since zinnia does not tolerate picking. At the end of May, in order for the planting of zinnia to be successful, the seedlings begin to harden, taking it out in the afternoon for a while to fresh air.
Planting zinnia in the open ground
When to plant zinnias in the ground
When to plant zinnia in open ground , or rather, when it is possible to plant zinnia seedlings? Landing of zinnia in the ground is carried out in the second half of May, closer to the end of the month, when the danger of return frosts passes. The plant prefers light areas protected from the wind with a neutral, well-drained nutrient soil. Before planting zinnia, the intended area is cleared of weeds by digging the soil to a depth of 45 centimeters and adding leaf humus, compost or rotted manure at the rate of 8-10 kg per m² during digging, and it is best to do this in the fall.
How to plant zinnias
Planting of zinnia flowers is carried out at a distance of 30-35 cm from one specimen from another by means of transshipment or together with a peat pot. Zinnia bloom you will see in early July.
How to grow zinnia
If the planting of zinnia was successful, you can talk about caring for it, which consists in regular loosening of the soil, weeding weeds and infrequent, but plentiful watering under the root so that water does not fall on the flowers. When the flowering of zinnia begins, remove the wilted flowers in time. Powerful stems of zinnia do not need to be tied and braced.
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From the moment seedlings appear and until the time when zinnia is planted in the soil, seedlings are fed with mineral fertilizers with a low nitrogen content three times . A planted plant in the ground is fertilized with mineral fertilizers or liquid manure at least twice during the summer: the first time a month after planting, and the second during the budding period. That's all the trouble. As you can see, landing and caring for the cinnamon is not at all burdensome.
How to pinch zinnia
Readers often ask whether they pinch zinnia and, if so, how and when to do it. If you want zinnia to grow, you need to pinch it over the third or fourth pair of leaves in seedlings, although you can do this when the zinnias are already rooted and take root in the open ground. But if you want to grow elegant flowers on long peduncles for cutting, a pinch of zinnia is not needed.
In the photo: Variegated zinnia
Pests of Zinnia
Of the pests of zinnia, aphids , May bugs , snails and slugs most often bother.
Gastropods are usually attracted to beer dishes placed here and there in the area, or pieces of slate or roofing material scattered between plants, under which mollusks like to crawl. You will have to collect them manually.
May bugs also have to be collected by hand and dumped in a bucket of soapy water. Aphids are destroyed by spraying zinnias with a solution of tar soap at the rate of 10 g per liter of water, and in case of severe infection - with a solution of Fufanon or Actellik , prepared in accordance with the instructions.
Diseases of Zinnia
Of the diseases, zinnia can be infected with gray rot , fusarium , bacterial spotting , but most often with powdery mildew . If at least one leaf of zinnia is disfigured by gray-brown round spots left on the plant with bacterial spotting, immediately take measures: tear off the leaves on which there are traces of the disease, and if the infection is severe, destroy the whole plant - there is no cure for this disease.
Gray rot and fusarium are treated with fungicides (Topsin-M, Fundazol ), as well as powdery mildew, manifested by white bloom on the ground parts of zinnia - Topaz, Skor, Topsin are more suitable for getting rid of this scourge from fungicides.
I must say that diseases arise primarily due to violations of the rules for growing a plant, for example, due to too thick planting or excessive watering, so first diagnose the problem of zinnia, eliminate it, if possible, and then do the work on the errors - re-read rules for plant care, find and analyze the discrepancy between them and how things really are. Only in this way can you avoid trouble in the future.
In the photo: Thick bushes of zinnia
Tsiniya after flowering
How and when to harvest zinnia seeds
Zinnia seeds ripen about two months after the beginning of flowering, so outline a few inflorescences from those that opened first. The seeds of the first order shoots have the best qualities, therefore, in the specimens you have chosen for seed ripening, remove all side shoots. When the ripened baskets turn brown, they are cut, dried, seeds are dried, cleaned from the dry remains of the flowers and stored in a dry place with a constant temperature. Zinnia seeds retain their germination for 3-4 years.
On the picture:
Perennial Zinnia in winter
As has been mentioned more than once, zinnia in the garden is grown as an annual plant. But if your zinnia does not grow in open ground, but in a container or pot, then with the onset of autumn, bring the flower into the room and take care of it, like a houseplant, turning it from an annual zinnia to a perennial.
Types and varieties of zinnia
Of the more than twenty species of zinnia in the culture, only four are grown: elegant zinnia, narrow-leaved zinnia, it is also Hage zinnia, fine-flowered zinnia and zinnia linearis. The first two species served as the basis for fruitful breeding work, and, thanks to its results, today we cultivate not only the main types of zinnia in the gardens, but also many beautiful varieties and hybrids of this plant.
Graceful Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
A grassy annual with a height of up to 1 meter and above with simple white, orange and pink inflorescences. The stalk is straight, for the most part not branched, rounded in cross section, densely pubescent with hard hairs, all shoots end with apical inflorescences-baskets. Leaves are sessile, whole, ovate, with a pointed apex, 5-7 cm long and 3-4.5 cm wide, the surface of the leaf is pubescent, like the stem. Inflorescences from 5 to 16 cm in diameter, simple, semi-double and double, consist of reed flowers up to 4 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, painted in all kinds of colors, except for shades of blue, and middle, tubular flowers of yellow or reddish-brown color .
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Graceful zinnia blooms in June and can bloom to the coldest. In nature, it is most common in southern Mexico. In culture since 1796. Varieties and hybrids of elegant zinnia are classified according to several characteristics: by the structure of inflorescences, by their shape, by the height of the stem and by the timing of flowering.
Pictured: Graceful Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
According to the timing of flowering, early flowering, medium flowering and late flowering zinnias are distinguished.
According to the structure of inflorescences, varieties are divided into simple, semi-double and double.
Depending on the height of the stem is:
- high zinnia (60-90 cm), grown for cutting, as it looks somewhat bulky in a flowerbed;
- medium zinnia (35-50 cm) - suitable for both cutting and decorating flower beds;
- dwarf zinnia, or undersized zinnia (15-30 cm) - usually these are well-branched bushes grown both on flower beds and in balcony containers and just in pots.
Pictured: Graceful Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
According to the shape of inflorescences, zinnias are divided into seven categories. In our climate, most of them are grown:
- zinnia dahlia - powerful shrubs, sprawling or compact, 60 to 90 cm high with first-order shoots. The leaves are large - up to 12 cm long, inflorescences are hemispherical, double, up to 14 cm in diameter. Varieties: Violet - terry zinnia 60-75 cm tall with dense inflorescences of different shades of purple, Koenig orange - on stems 60 to 70 cm high bright red-orange terry inflorescences up to 14 cm in diameter, Polar bear - compact plant up to 65 tall cm with thick double-white inflorescences with a greenish glow;
- zinnia lilliput, or zinnia pomponium is a compact branchy bushes no higher than 55 cm with a large number of shoots of the second, third and fourth order, small leaves and small, up to 5 cm in diameter, inflorescences resembling the shape of a pompom on a hat. Varieties: Little Red Riding Hood - a densely terry cultivar up to 55 cm high with truncated cone-shaped or round inflorescences of a bright red hue; Tom Tumb - a compact bush up to 45 cm in height with dense terry red inflorescences in the form of a slightly flattened ball; Tambelin - a variety mix of different shades with a bush height of up to 45 cm and an inflorescence diameter of 4 to 6 cm;
- zinnia fantasy - almost spherical compact bushes 50-65 cm tall with large leaves and loose curly inflorescences, in which narrow reed flowers are folded into tubules and curved in different directions, and some of them are bifurcated at the ends. Varieties: Fantasy - bush up to 60 cm high with double loose inflorescences up to 10 cm in diameter of different shades - purple, red, bright yellow, purple, red-orange, pink, white, salmon, etc .; Gift - zinnia bright red.
Pictured: Graceful Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
In the culture of other countries are also popular:
- Californian giant zinnia - varieties of terry zinnias with a diameter of up to 16 cm with skull-shaped reed flowers and a stem height of up to 1 meter or more. Differ in relatively late flowering;
- giant cactus flowering - varieties from 75 to 90 cm high with double inflorescences up to 11 cm in diameter with tube folded into the tube, sometimes wavy with raised tips of reed flowers;
- super-cactus - flowering zinnia - varieties with the same inflorescences as giant cacti, but not more than 60 cm high;
- zinnia scabiozoa (it is also anemoneca) - varieties with inflorescences up to 8 cm in diameter, in which the reed flowers are arranged in a row around the middle, consisting of tubular flowers sprouted by corollas, from which the middle looks like a hemisphere, painted to match the reed flowers.
Pictured: Graceful Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
Zinnia angustifolia (Zinnia angustifolia)
Or Zinnia haageana, also from Mexico. This is an annual upright plant forming branched bushes. Leaves are sessile, lanceolate or elongated, pointed. Inflorescences are small, simple or double, bright orange. Varieties:
- Glorinshayn - a highly branched bush up to 25 cm tall with double inflorescences, in which the reed flowers at the base are dark orange in color, and at the ends red-brown;
- a series of Persian Carpet Mixed with semi-double bicolor inflorescences of a red hue with lemon, white, orange and yellow - a large array of this zinnia really looks like an oriental carpet.
- The English varieties Starbright and Classic have also become famous - plants with inflorescences of white, yellow and orange tones up to 30 cm tall with a thin and weak, but highly branched, creeping stalk. These zinnias are mostly used as ground cover plants.
- Look good on the flowerbed of the zinnia of the Sombrero variety - inflorescences of a red-brown hue with an orange border.
In the photo: Zinnia angustifolia (Zinnia angustifolia)
Fine flowered zinnia (Zinnia tenuiflora)
It is usually used to create landscape flower beds and is a bush about 60 cm high with articulated thin stems of a reddish hue. Inflorescences are small, up to 3 cm in diameter, reed flowers are narrow, bent, with twisted tips, purple hue. Varieties: Red Spider.
Zinnia linearis (Zinnia linearis)
Sometimes she is confused with narrow-leaved zinnia, because she has thin and sharp leaves, like the ends of manicure scissors. This is the smallest cultivated species - branching, almost spherical bushes grow no higher than 35 cm. Linearis inflorescences are small, reed yellow flowers with an orange edge. Zinnia linearis is suitable for growing in pots, in balcony containers, on alpine slides and in small flower gardens. Varieties:
- Golden ai - white middle of tubular flowers, reed flowers of white color - the variety is similar to an ordinary chamomile;
- Caramel - the color of the reed flowers is caramel yellow, the middle is black;
- Yellow Star - a variety with yellow inflorescences.
In the photo: Zinnia linearis (Zinnia linearis)
Many hybrids were bred from crossing the Haage zinnia and elegant zinnia, in particular, the Profusion series, very popular among flower growers - low bushes up to 35 cm, studded with small multi-colored daisies. The Magellan series is also gaining fame - bushes up to 35 cm tall with densely spread dahlia inflorescences with a diameter of up to 10 cm in coral, cream, orange, pink, red, cherry, salmon and yellow color. The Swizzle series has recently appeared in the gardens, so far consisting of two varieties - Cherry Ivory with cherry baskets with creamy tips of reed flowers and Scarlett Yellow with red inflorescences and bright yellow tips.