Sunday, August 23, 2009

Zinnias for late summers

Zinnia elegans are popular summer flowers, usually grown from seed, and preferably in fertile, rich, and well-drained soil, in an area with full sun. Zinnias come in many sizes and are often available in mixed colors. They’re great for brightening up your late summer garden when most annuals are on their way out. In containers, small to medium-sized zinnias make bright companions for other annuals such as petunias, cosmos, sunflowers and moss rose. Taller versions look good with perennials or foliage in containers.

The propagation is through seeds that can be sown directly in the ground and it will germinate in one to two weeks. Sprinkle seeds over soil mix and lightly cover. Thoroughly moisten soil and keep it moist and not soggy. They grow quickly and may bloom in just six weeks. Successive sowing every few weeks beginning from April through early July will ensure continuous flowering through summer and monsoon. The plants may also self-seed in the garden and some varieties are available from nurseries.

To encourage quick growth and best performance, enrich the soil with compost. Add a general purpose fertilizer once a month. Pinch young plants when they are 5-6 inches high to promote bushy growth and deadhead spent flowers regularly to promote more bloom.
Photos courtesy: Web

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