Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Planting time--Zinnias

Lindy wrote recently about her 10 favorite flowers. Wasn't that inspiring?! I love flowers. I love them in my yard, and I love having enough in my yard that I can cut some for my home each week.

Last week I planted my zinnias. I was grateful that my mother took the time to help me select and plant them last year, because I was a complete novice. For any of you out there who are interested in growing flowers, but don't quite know where to start, this is the post for you.

Zinnias are perfect to start with, and they are fool proof. You plant them in the dirt (now's the time--mid to late May), do a few basic things for maintenance (see below), and enjoy them all summer long and well into the fall.

As you can see above (and as you saw in Lindy's post), Zinnias come in all sorts of sizes and colors. My personal favorite are State Fair Zinnias--pictured at the very top of this post.

Here's what you need to know about maintaining Zinnias:

Pest protection:
My main nemeses are earwigs. I buy the Lilly Miller brand 'Go-West Meal,' and follow the instructions on the box (apply it right after planting!).

Zinnias love full sun. They need to be watered daily, whether from your hose or a drip system.

Once a flower dies, cut it off. That way, the plant can spend its energy on a new flower, instead of sending nutrients to the old, dead one. If you dead-head regularly, your zinnias will continue to produce an amazing amount of flowers! If you're dealing with a small flower, you can just pinch off the flower. If it's a large flower on a long stem (like the State Fair Zinnias), dead-head by cutting the stem at the base of the plant.

And that's all you need to know.
Head down to your local nursery and get started. Enjoy!


Joan said...

I'm jealous of all your bright flowered loveliness. Thanks to living in the most arid, anti-flower friendly climate possible I pretty much get cactus flowers, hibiscus, and a few others...but nothing quite as attractive as the flora in your garden :) Enjoy it for the both of us, K?

Danielle said...

They are so pretty! I would love to have enough flowers that I could cut some blossoms for the house. Thank you for the information :)