Thursday, July 31, 2008

Growing Zinnia From Seed

2008_0727image0046 This is my second generation Zinnia.  I grew them last year from seed, then saved some seeds from them. 

Zinnias are really easy to grow from seed but they are a little temperamental when transplanted.  I wintersowed some in March and although they grew really well in the milk jugs, the ones I transplanted from there look like crap compared to these that I direct sowed. 

 2008_0727image0045 To plant them I dug 1/4 inch trenches, put the seeds in and covered them back up with dirt.  I thinned them once they got about an inch tall.  I didn't do that last year and as a result they were entirely too crowded which the foliage didn't appreciate.  Aren't the the just-about-to-open ones cool looking?

I think I'll keep saving these and see just how many years I can grow Zinnia from the same seed line.  I'm also very interested to see how different the color is.  These seem more pink this year where I remembered them being more purple last year.

Have you had good luck transplanting your Zinnia?  What's your secret?

13 comments:

  1. I've never transplanted Zinias but I do know that some plants do much better direct seeded than started in containers. And Zinias grow so fast I wonder if its even necesary to try to start them early. What if you direct seeded them into a bed but then covered the bed with some frost fabric, that way you culd start them as early as possible but not actually have to move them. I dunno what their soil temp for germination requirements are though. My Zinias are about the bloom and I plan to save the seeds. I also have some killer (freaking huge) Marigolds that I hope to save some seeds from for next year.

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  2. You've tipped the scales for me - I'm growing Zinnias next year! I'm hopeless at indoor seed starting, so direct sowing is the way for me.

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  3. My zinnias are second generation this year too....last year, there were more colors, yellow, maybe rust, as well as pink. This year...almost all variations of pink....it must be the dominant color.

    As far as transplanting, I stuck the entire wintersown clump in the ground and they have done alright for themselves even though I've neglected them.

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  4. i cut some of the zinnia blooms and now mother-in-law is upset she wanted to get the seeds from them. I cut them so they will grow more blooms faster but she said it will not work. Which one of us is wrong?

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  5. Check out the Zinnia cultivar I grew this year 'Magellan Coral' it is great! It is under the annuals link on my blog. Short and great for pots and can even be direct sowed into pots. I find that the zinnias I start indoors from seed do great when transplanted into pots but not so great when transplanted into the garden?

    Cheers gardening friends!

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  6. Livefree you are right and your mother-in-law is wrong. I know from experience as this is the second year I planted zinnias and the first year I didn't cut the blooms when they died so nothing grow back, however this year I have been busy doing it which has lead to lots of blooms.

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  7. Hey, I have this same zinnia in my garden! I even have very similar pictures! Too funny. Is your plant over four feet tall like mine is?

    I love this one and am also trying to save the seed. I have done both cutting flowers and letting them go to seed and it hasn't seemed to affect the amount of flowers - they are profuse no matter what I do. I found this blog doing a Google search on how to grow zinnias since I had such good luck with this ONE plant.

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  8. I am fortunate enough to have zinnia seeds that have been saved each year for the past 60 plus years! my wife's grandmother gave me some of her seeds for my birthday the last few years and i planted, and saved, the seeds to hand them down to my own children. grandma's not with us anymore, but her flowers will bloom eternally in my heart and my garden

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  9. I have planted Zinnia for first time to. Any comments and tips would be appreciated.
    My blog is
    http://zinnia2009.blogspot.com/

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  10. I like to give zinnias all the sunlight possible and plant the seed of pure white zinnias far away from colored ones and in full sunlight. Otherwise they may contract a greenish tinge. In gathering the seed of some specially fine flower bend the stem over without breaking it and when faded hang its head downward in the shade. In using the seed use the two outer rows only as these will be stronger.

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  11. I'm planting Zinnias for the first time this year and I found your blog helpful, and all the comments as well, although it's dated a couple of years ago! Thanks.
    That is remarkable to have generations of seeds for 60 years!

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  12. I spread zinnia seeds in two flower beds. I am concerned that they are two thick. I have spots where ten or so sprouts have started very close to each other. They are only an inch tall as of now but the leaves are touching. Does any one know if I should pull some out to insure an even mix.

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  13. I am a teacher of 5 years and a gardener by hobby. Every year for Mother's Day I do a Zinnia project with my children. The project is a science project and a recycle/Earth Day project. We start in March by making little pots from newspaper and masking tape and fill them with seed starting mix. We then plant the seeds. I use a Thumbelina Zinnia mix because they only grow to about 6 or so inches. We baby the seeds a little by keeping them in a seed starting green house. Once they germinate we remove the cover and keep them in a sunny window. I take them home on the weekend to keep them watered and well lit. By the beginning of May they are a couple of inches tall. Most of them start blooming when they are three to four inches tall. The week before Mother's Day I cut empty soda bottles down for a planter. I put drainage holes in the bottom. The kids use a watered down glue to cover their planter with torn pieces of tissue paper. We then fill the planters with potting soil and put the zinnias in their newspaper pots right in the soil. The newspaper will breakdown over time. We pull the tape off the bottom before planting so the roots don't have any problem growing out. The kids love seeing the flowers grow from seeds. I said all this to suggest a way to transplant zinnias. The seeds can be started in the newspaper and then put into the ground when they are ready. I have used toilet paper/paper towel tubes before but the newspaper works better for me. You can also buy the pots from the store that are made to put in the ground.

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