Zinnia is a flower of the Astrov family. It is a perennial herb and shrub plant widely grown in the CIS countries. With the help of it, they decorate gardens, parks, alleys. Growing is not difficult even for inexperienced gardeners. Previously, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the planting and competent care of perennial zinnia.
Description and features
Zinnia is a native of southern Mexico, bred by the botanist G. Zinn. The Aztecs have been cultivating a perennial crop since 1500, but it has been cultivated in Europe since the first half of the 18th century. Majors are not picky about growing conditions, they grow in a wide variety of areas. Bushes reach 0.2-1 meters in height. On the surface of the leaves, there are hard hairs that serve as pubescence. Inflorescences are apical baskets, reaching a diameter of 3-14 cm.
The colors include violet, yellow, white, blue, orange or red. The middle of the flowers is brown-scarlet or yellow, the seeds are stored in the fruit. Pollen falls in the second half of June and ends with the arrival of the initial cold weather. Zinnia is resistant to dry periods and heat. Zinnia is widely grown at home, in the garden.
It takes root well in latitudes with moderate winters. In moderately climatic regions, flowers are bred according to the principle of annual plants. Plants are popularly called "majors". Bushes tend to stretch upwards, due to which the shadow disappears.
Growing from seeds
The soil in pots should be nutritious, loose, drained. Gardeners recommend using a combination of garden soil taken from a flower bed with peat, river sand at a rate of 1: 1. The capacity should be low, but voluminous, then the planting of flowers will be common. You can sow seeds for seedlings in separate containers or peat tablets.
Zinnia seeds are laid out in 2-3 pieces in one hole. The embedment should be 1 cm deep, no more, the distance is 5 cm. The seeds spread over the soil are sprinkled a little with dry soil or peat, and the plantings are sprayed with a spray bottle. The containers are covered with cling film or transparent glass. The optimum temperature for germination of majors is 24 degrees Celsius. Then the first shoots are formed in 2-3 days.
Preparation of planting material
Seeds should be rolled into a cotton pad, soaked with Epin solution. Last year's specimens will hatch in 5-7 days, older ones - after 7-10 days. The culture does not survive transplants well, it is not dived. Seedlings are hardened since May, exposing them to the balcony.
It is better to plant seeds for seedlings from the beginning of April. In the South, some gardeners plant majors in the fall, in October, but this is a risky step. The seedlings can freeze if the room temperature is less than 22 degrees Celsius.
It is easy to take care of the seed, it is only important to moisten the soil with a spray bottle, to ensure the optimum temperature in the room. The hardening of the seedlings is an important step in ensuring a successful engraftment in the garden.
What time to plant in the garden
Experienced gardeners recommend planting zinnia seedlings in the garden around June 6-10. Most importantly, there are no prerequisites for the return of cold weather. Sometimes, planting work is carried out in the spring, at the end of May.
Preparing the land for planting in open soil
The area should be well lit and protected from drafts. The optimum soil is fertile, drained with a neutral alkaline reaction. The site is prepared in the fall, digging to a depth of 0.45 m. Weeds are removed, compost, deciduous humus or rotted manure are added to the soil per 1 square meter 8-10 kg. Among the mineral feeds, superphosphate, potassium sulfate, nitrophosphate, 1 tbsp each are used. l, digging to a depth of 10 cm.
Features of planting by seedling method
Seedling material should be 1-1.5 months old. Zinnia should be planted keeping a distance of 0.3-0.5 meters between the bushes. The flower is transferred with an earthen clod into the holes. The planted flowers will bloom in early July.
Zinnia is easy to care for, it is only important to water it on time, cut it off, treat it from harmful beetles and insects. You also need to periodically loosen the soil, fertilize, to stimulate pollen. During budding, check the integrity of inflorescences, stems. If they are dry, damaged, remove.
Watering and loosening
The bushes should be irrigated 2-3 times a month, paying attention to precipitation and the ground. When the soil is dry, watering is necessary. Use settled water. Frequent irrigation should be avoided, otherwise the rhizome may start to rot. After the rain, the faded inflorescences are excised so that the pollen is more abundant and long lasting.
The soil around the plant must be loosened regularly, removing weeds. The procedure should be carried out carefully so that the stems are not injured. Usually, weeding is done after watering. The exercise contributes to the saturation of the soil with oxygen, it becomes lighter. To reduce the amount of loosening, the soil around the zinnia is mulched with dry peat.
Top dressing of majors
During the growing season, 3 feedings are made with zinnia nutrients. They must contain a low dose of nitrogen. Bushes are fed with liquid manure, mineral compositions at least 2 times per summer. For the first time, the procedure is carried out a month after planting the seedlings, the manipulation is repeated during the formation of buds.
Correct pinching of zinnia is carried out in order to improve the splendor of the bush. This is done at the stage of growing seedlings and after engraftment in the garden. Pinch them on a 3 or 4 leaf plate. If the manipulation is not done, flowers will grow on long peduncles, which are good at cutting.
Pests, diseases and their treatment
Zinnia is sometimes attacked by harmful insects and diseases.
- Slugs, snails. It is better to collect them by hand. To facilitate the process, decompose the pieces of roofing material under which they crawl.
- May bugs. They are also collected by hand.
- Aphid. They fight insects with tar soap or Fufanon.
Among the diseases, there are the following variations.
- Spotting. The disease is serious and cannot be treated. The areas affected by it are removed, and with extensive infection, the plant is subject to burning.
- Gray rot. To cure zinnia, they resort to special drugs - fungcidia, for example - Fundazol.
- Powdery mildew. Pathology is one of the most common. It appears as whitish spots on the plant. It is treated with fungicides, like Topaz.
With proper care, zinnia rarely suffers from these diseases and beetles.
Seeds appear 2 months after the onset of pollen. First, the first blossoming flowers are collected, their heads are torn off, the seeds are taken out from there.
When zinnia bushes are grown in a container or pot, they are moved indoors in the fall. Further, there is the same care as for flowers in the garden. Only with proper wintering indoors, zinnia will live for more than one season.
There are about 20 varieties of zinnia, but only the following are cultivated in the CIS countries. They differ in color of flowers, sizes.
This is the most unpretentious zinnia variety to care for. The flowers are simple, narrow, yellow or bright orange. Bushes are spherical, small and up to 0.5 m high. The representative of the Astrovye family is similar to marigolds.
The stem is strong, the leaves are large, luxurious, semi-double. Their diameter is about 12 cm.
The variety is famous for its height of 0.6-0.9 meters, it is usually grown for cutting. In flower beds, the plant looks too massive.
The stems reach 0.35 or 0.5 meters in height. The variety is grown mainly in flower beds.
Shrub, dwarf zinnia reaches 0.15-0.3 meters in height, branching stems. The variety is grown in flower beds, pots or gardens.
A variety of zinnia native to Mexico, it is an erect-stemmed annual. It forms bushes 30-40 cm tall. Leaves are sessile, elongated, pointed, rich green color. The flowers are small, 4 cm in diameter, monochromatic, bright orange. Pollen falls in June, lasts until the first frost. The variety bears fruit, the seeds retain germination for 2-4 years. Zinnia has been cultivated since 1862.
Zinnia has thin, sharp leaves. This variety is the smallest among its brethren. Branching bushes, spherical, reaching 35 cm in height. Inflorescences are small, with yellowish ligulate flowers. The culture is widely grown in containers, pots, it looks harmoniously on alpine slides and small flower beds.
Sprawling bush, 65-80 cm in height. In the course of pollen, dense buds with a diameter of 11-13 cm are formed. The inflorescences are double, purple in color. The bush blooms from July until the arrival of the initial cold weather.
Bushes grow up to 0.6-0.7 meters. Flowers with a diameter of 14 cm, orange-red tone.
The plant is compact in size, up to 65 cm tall. The buds are white with a greenish undertone.
Red Riding Hood
Zinnia grows up to 0.55 m tall, inflorescences are dense, double, rounded. Their shade is deep red.
Bushes are small in size, grow up to 0.45 meters. Inflorescences are dense, double, red. The shape of the flowers is a flattened ball.
The plant reaches 0.45 meters. Inflorescences of different tones, 40-60 mm in diameter.
Bushes are compact, spherical, up to 0.65 meters high. The leaves are large, rich green tone. Inflorescences are loose, curly, rolled into tubes. The color of the flowers is red, purple or yellow.
The growth of shrubs is about 0.65 meters, the stems are bright green. The buds are similar to the Fantasy variety, but in bright red shades.
The plant grows up to 0.75-0.90 meters. Terry inflorescences, 11 cm in diameter. The flowers are rolled into tubes, the tips are wavy, of different shades: pinkish, red, yellow.
Inflorescences 80 mm in diameter, tubular flowers, of various tones: pinkish, yellow, scarlet. The height of the shrubs is 60-80 cm.
The height of the bushes is about 0.25 meters. The flowers are double, dark orange, and brown-red at the ends.
Persian Carpet Mixed
Semi-double, two-colored flowers of a red tone with a white, yellow, orange tint. The bushes look massive, like an oriental carpet. The shades of the buds are different: orange, yellow, dark red, with yellow edging.
Classic and Starbright
Bushes grow up to 0.4 meters. Stems are creeping, strongly branching, thin and weak. Inflorescences are yellow, white or orange. The variety is grown as a ground cover crop.
The variety is used to decorate flower beds. The flowers are brownish red with orange edging.
The buds are tubular, white, like a chamomile. Plant height is about 69 cm.
The flowers are golden yellow with a dark center. Bushes of short stature, up to 35 cm.
The buds are deep yellow, the petals are small, multiple. The plant is undersized, up to 35 cm tall.
Low-growing bushes 20-25 cm tall, look great in flowerpots and gardens. The buds are lush, orange-scarlet with a cream edging with a diameter of 8-10 mm.
Zinnia with double, large, two-tone flowers of a delicate scarlet hue. The variety is widely planted in flower beds, flowerpots. The height of the bushes is 25-35 cm.
Bushes grow up to 50-60 cm, with large, double inflorescences. The color of the buds is coral, pale pinkish.
The inflorescences resemble chrysanthemums, double, 10 cm in diameter. The color of the flowers is different: pinkish, scarlet, yellow, white. The bush grows up to 90 cm tall.
Bushes are strong, spreading, 50-80 cm. Flowers are large, 10-15 cm in diameter, double, orange-coral.
A hybrid variety of small size, up to 45 cm. The diameter of the bushes is 50 cm, the leaves are lush, rich green. The color of the flowers is apricot or light orange.
Low-growing bushes of zinnia 35 cm tall, erect. The flowers are white, deep crimson in the middle, oblong petals.
Flower bed decoration
Low-growing bushes can be planted on balconies, loggias, flower beds. Tall varieties are ideal for decorating a bed, they are placed in vegetable gardens. You can combine several types of flower, creating a summer cottage design at your discretion.
Procurement and storage of zinnia seeds
Sowing material is usually harvested in the middle of summer. Place the collected or purchased seeds in a paper bag for saving. They are able to emerge for 2-3 years. You can label each envelope with the name of the variety for convenience.