Tall zinnias with large blooms attract hundreds of butterflies to our garden every year and planting them from seed guarantees that a lot of nectar will be available for butterfly-viewing season.
They are members of the aster plant family - most are natives of the Americas.
The seeds frankly, look like plant trash - thin, brown scraps, half the size of a dime. Taking them out of the packet can make a gardener wonder if someone sold them a joke pack - these things can't grow into big fat nectar plants!
They rooted really well.
To protect the seedlings during the process, use a plastic knife or something similar to loosen all four edges.
To separate seedlings' roots, wet the soil and carefully tease them apart.
Zinnias give a lot of color for the investment. The only problem I've had with them is that if there is a wet period or if they are watered from overhead, the leaves will get powdery mildew - splotchy grey spots. Planting them far enough apart will allow air circulation and reduce the likelihood of mildew.
|These are the zinnias from that pack of seeds - 7.22.12|
Also, the varieties of Zinnia augustifolia and the pinwheel zinnias are resistant to powdery mildew.
Planted in masses of a dozen plants, they will bloom, drop seed, make new plants and bloom until a killing frost.
Zinnia Seed dot com has lots of cool looking varieties -
Apricot Zinnia Art Deco Zinnia Benary's Giant Zinnia Seed Cactus Flowered Zinnia Seed California Giants Zinnia Seed Canary Bird Zinnia Seed Cherry Queen Zinnia Seed Cherry Time Zinnia Seed Coral Beauty Zinnia Seed Creeping Zinnia Seed Dahlia Flowered Zinnia Seed Dwarf Zinnia Seed Enchantress Pink Zinnia Seed Envy Zinnia Seed (Green Zinnia) Floradale Zinnia Seed Lavender Gem Zinnia Seed Lilac Time Zinnia Seed Lilliput Dwarf Zinnia Seed Linearis Zinnia Seed Luminosa Pink Zinnia Seed Pastel Dreams Zinnia Pastel Sunset Zinnia Seed Peppermint Stick Zinnia Seed Persian Carpet Zinnia Seed Polar Bear Zinnia Seed Pumila "Cut and Come Again" Zinnia Purity White Zinnia Seed Purple Dahlia Zinnia Purple Prince Zinnia Seed Red Spider Zinnia Seeds Scarlet Flame Zinnia Seed Shades of Pink Zinnia Sombrero Zinnia Seed State Fair Zinnia Seed Summer Solstice Zinnia Seed Sunny Boy Zinnia Seed Swirls Zinnia Seed Thumbelina Zinnia Seed Violet Queen Zinnia Seed Bulk Zinnia Seed Mixed Zinnia Seeds Zinnia "Gift" Seed Orange King Zinnia
Have fun with this easy garden project. It's not too late to start seeds.