Tips for Successfully Growing Zinnias
Installing zinnias in your garden and landscape area is a creative way to create that color pop while encouraging wildlife ( butterflies and bees). Creating a garden paradise should be the desire of every homeowner, including zinnias can help to meet that goal, there are many varieties of zinnias. These garden beauties are native to North America and are a favorite of gardeners producing flower bloom in such abundance that it is eye-popping.
Zinnias are drought-tolerant plants that produce daisy-like flowers which sit atop a single stem, while the leaves are simply arranged opposite each other being oblong, lanceolate, or ovate in shape hairy dark green with veins that are prominent the flowers come in an array of colors ranging from white, red, pinks, green, purple, yellow, etc…
Zinnias are a must for the home garden so continue reading and see why zinnias have such a high score when it comes to making them a part of garden and landscape designs.
Zinnias perform well in the full sun which will promote flower bloom so ensure to install your zinnias under these conditions. When planning zinnias should be spaced 4-24 inches apart.
Zinnias can be installed in most soil types provided there is good drainage.
The soil should be moist, not waterlogged which will keep your zinnias blooming nicely.
During the growing season fertilize your zinnias with triple ten or 10-10-10. Before applying fertilizers read and follow the manufacturers’ label for best results.
Garden insect pests of zinnias
Keep an eye out for these garden insect pests.
- Spider Mites
Aphids are tiny pared shape insects that cause damage by sucking the plant’s fluids turning the leaves yellow followed by leaf drop. Aphids are among the easiest garden insect pests to kill. A strong spray of water from a garden hose will knock them off your zinnias eliminating them however this strong spray of water can also break the leaves of zinnias.
The use of insecticidal soap will give good results or a homemade remedy that has proven to be effective is soap liquid and water. Add a tablespoon of soap liquid to a gallon of water shake well and apply to a 32 oz spray bottle. When applying this mixture get both the top and the underside of the leaves. Adjust the head or the spray nozzle so that this solution can come out fine and misty getting full coverage.
Coarse droppings will be ineffective. Allow this solution to remain on your plant for about an hour and a half and then rinse your zinnias with fresh clean water. Wait for seven days and if there are still signs of aphids then repeat the application and follow as was directed.
Spider mites are very tiny but can cause huge damage to our garden plants, to know if your plants have spider mites look for spider web along with plants taking on a dusty appearance. What you can also do to further test your finding is to place a sheet of white paper under the plant’s leaves and gently shake or tap.
If it is spider mites you will see tiny specks or spots moving around on that sheet of paper and if the infestation is very server you will feel them crawling around on your hands. Spider mites also cause yellowing of the leaves followed by leaf drop apply insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to bring these garden insect pests under control.
Scales are tiny insects that affect garden plants, there are more than 6,000 species of scales that make this army so vast. These menaces can cause so much damage to plant life. The body of scales resembles armor and they remain in a fixed position on garden plants.
They cause injury by sucking the fluids or the sap from garden plants which can lead to yellowing of the leaves and leaf drop. To bring scale insects under control apply insecticidal soap or horticultural oil, before applying chemicals read and follow the manufacturer’s label.
Diseases of zinnias
These diseases can do a number on your zinnias so keep an eye out and treat them immediately.
- Alternaria Blight
- Powdery Mildew
- Stem and Root Rot
- Bacterial Leaf Blight
Alternaria blight appears as spots with grayish-white along with reddish-brown on the upper leaf surface as this disease persists the leaves will become dry and then turn brown. The blossom may also develop brown spots. This disease is encouraged by prolonged wet conditions. Avoid overhead irrigation and plant-resistant varieties.
Powdery Mildew shows up as a white powdery coating on the plant leaves. Remove the infected leaves and spray the plant with neem oil to bring this problem under control.
Stem and Root Rot
These diseases appear as spots on the stem that is of various size near the soil level and on plant roots. Stem and root rot are encouraged by fungi, the color of the infected parts appears bright red, black-gray, and brown.
The roots will decay, there will also be wilting and dieback. Constant moisture, poor drainage encourage this disease, control measures may be difficult. The use of a fungicide as a soil drenched may offer some help, before applying fungicide read and follow the manufacturer’s label for best results.
Bacterial Leaf Blight
This disease is encouraged by overcast and rainy weather, bacterial leaf blight shows up as large irregular spots that show up on the leaf margin, the spots turn watery and then brown. The spots then develop a white to gray center, there is no known cure for this disease except to use proper cultural practices. The removal of foliage and debris from the plant bed during the fall months and disposing of, sanitize tools before pruning operations so that disease doesn’t spread and also avoiding water from splashing on to plants. Your zinnias should be watered from the soil or ground level.
Ideas on where to install zinnias
Here are just a few ideas on where to install zinnias.
1. Zinnias can be placed throughout a garden area in color masses.
2. Install them around the trunk of a tree.
3. Place them alongside a garden walking pathway.
4. Installing them in a pond area is really great.
5. Grouping and growing them in color masses is a real show stopper.
Deadheading zinnias is a great way to encourage flower production with an abundance of flower blooms. Flowers that are spent or faded should be removed by pinching or with a hand pruner. A word of caution, however, when removing or pruning back zinnias be careful not to remove too much of the plant’s leaves because your zinnias will fall back and die.
The final word
Zinnias are a must, these garden beauties can bring that much-needed color to your garden and landscape. Give your garden that color pop by installing these garden beauties. Zinnias are a garden plant that will work wonders for you as you create a garden paradise.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.