Recently, I received 8 packets of zinnia seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Winslow, ME.
Photo Credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds–Benarys Giant Mix
Since my house faces south I would really like to plant the 400 zinnia seeds in rows in the front yard.
As some of you know, I grew zinnias last summer. They’re among my favorite easy-care and easy-to-grow flowers in a cutting garden; they have long bloom times (from early summer thru fall) and a long vase life.
When you cut, they return all summer long!
Photo Credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds–Giant Purple Zinnia
I asked Peggy, a product technician, at Johnny’s Selected Seeds for a few tips on growing zinnias.
Sue: When should I start seeds to get early blooms?
Peggy: To get the earliest blooms it would be best to start them indoors about 28 days before the last frost date. Zinnias like high temperatures to germinate so placing on a heat mat at 80-85F will germinate in a few days. Lower temperatures will slow the germination down and could take up to a week. If starting in a greenhouse you should have adequate natural lighting so they should not get leggy. If not, supplement lighting of 12 hours per day should be used.
Photo Credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds–Golden Yellow Giant Dahlia Zinnia
Sue:What will happen if I start seeds indoors too early?
Peggy: Zinnias are fast growing so do not plant them too early or they will get root bound causing stress on the plants. Stressed plants will produce flowering on short plants and in some cases cause double flowering zinnias to revert to singles.
Photo Credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds–White Giant Dahlia Zinnia
Sue: For people who can’t start seeds indoors, when is the best time to plant seeds in the ground?
Peggy: Zinnias will also grow well from direct seeding but you would need to wait for the soil temperature to warm to 75-80F and this could delay having the earliest blooms.
Photo Credit: Johnny’s Selected Seeds–“New” Queen Lime with Blush
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