Sowing Seed Indoors: Sow indoors 5-7 weeks before outdoor planting date in spring using a seed starting kit; Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed starting formula; Keep the soil moist at 70-75 degrees F We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Thin to 12 inches (30 cm) apart in all directions for dwarf varieties. How to Plant Zinnias. Is this true? If planting indoors, set the pots in a bright warm location. So thin out any seedlings that have started to grow tall and leggy. Seeds of zinnia flowers have to be directly sown. Seedlings will grow weak and leggy when they don’t get enough light. Leave the brown flowers on the plants so the seeds can ripen. I … See your local frost dates. When the seedlings are 6 inches tall, remove the two weakest plants from each group of three. Well-drained soil is important because zinnia seedlings can be prone to rotting in cool, wet soils. I wrote a post on where to get seeds from that you can read too. Weather is unpredictable and there's always a chance the forecast could be wrong. For a longer flowering display, sow the seeds in succession. Along with being beautiful and easy to grow, zinnias are also heat- and drought-tolerant. The best way to judge if a plant is large enough to plant out in the garden is to look at the number of true leaves. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. The plants emerge quickly and will flower no later than 60 days after the seeds hit soil. Sow Zinnias seeds 1/4 inch deep. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Since it’s so easy to collect seeds from zinnia plants, try sticking with heirloom varieties that will produce reliable replicas year after year. Last Updated: April 8, 2019 True Leaves on a Seedling. If you're interested in gardening as a hobby, zinnias are a fun addition to any garden. Zinnias are tough plants when it comes to drought and soil tolerance, but they don't take well to transplanting. This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. If sowing in trays or modules, make sure you use free-draining compost, so seedlings don’t suffer from dampness. Still, there are lots of options when deciding which zinnias to plant. So far, I am really happy with the results of pinching them off while the plants are young. I am really enjoying growing plants from seeds. For example, if you planned to plant and there was an unexpected rainfall, some sand can be used to improve conditions. Mix up height and color–have fun playing with the many options zinnias provide without having to cater to pickier plants. The easiest way to start zinnias is to plant them directly in their final beds outdoors. Stop deadheading zinnias at the end of the summer to allow the flowers to develop seeds. Fill up your peat pots or planting cells with the potting mix. Also, practice deadheading by removing faded flowers that encourage more blooms. In this video we will compare Zinnias that have been pinched to zinnias that were allowed to grow normally. The illustration makes more attractive and easy to. Thin the seedlings when they are 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) tall. I've been told by a well-meaning neighbor to snip off the first bud on my zinnias so they will branch out. Zinnias require a lot of sun to thrive. Seeds from open-pollinated plants, though, will grow true to the parent plant, so it makes sense to harvest those seeds. Keep water to about an inch a week, from all sources. Poke seeds into the soil about one-half inch (1 cm) deep and 3 inches (8 cm) apart. Zinnias are sensitive to frost, so do not seed until the last frost has passed. If you want full, bushy zinnia plants, pinch the top of the stems off of young plants. Give enough space so that air can flow around the mature flowers, preventing disease.Â. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, ‘Envy’--bright, chartreuse green blooms, Burpee ‘Rose Giant Cactus’--with a vintage feel and full, pointed petals, ‘Will Rogers’--with shocking red, large blooms. It takes weeks to a few months to see flowers, but its really rewarding to grow a plant from seeds. With broad blossoms, bright colors, and next to nothing to worry about ruining your tending efforts, zinnias are some of the easiest and most rewarding flowers to grow. The general rule of thumb is that when a seedling has three to four true leaves, it’s large enough to plant out in the garden (after it has been hardened off). Direct seed: After last frost when the soil is warm, sow thinly, 6 seeds per foot, 1/4" deep. Zinnias are fast growing plants. Limestone is your best option to raise pH levels. It is recommended to plant Zinnias at least 4 to 6 inches apart and then to thin them out once they reach 3 inches tall to a space of 4 to 24 inches apart. That doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the growing season, though. Check your local frost dates. Zinnias do best in dryer soil and benefit from occasional watering and trimming. If you want a jump on the growing season for some early spring color, you can get around zinnia’s aversion to transplanting. I have direct sowed them with moderate success. You still have a choice between starting zinnia seeds indoors or sowing seeds directly outdoors. Zinnia varieties that grow more than 24 inches (60) cm) tall require 18 inches (45 cm) between plants. Zinnias are some of the longest-lasting annual plants in the flower garden, so as the seedlings emerge (approximately 10 days later) sprinkle a very light layer of mulch between the plants to help them survive extreme weather during their extended season. For heirloom varieties, let one or two go-to seed and be sure to collect them for next year. I may want to winter/spring sow zinnias. Plant them about 1/4” right in the ground, spaced as much as your chosen variety needs, anywhere from a couple of inches to a couple of feet. Thin the seedlings to spacing of 6 to 18 inches (depending on variety) by snipping at the soil line with scissors. Tests vary in terms of use. When seedlings have true leaves, transplant into cell packs. You can grow zinnias in your own backyard after the last frost date. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Then thin out the others. They can be sown in a container where it will grow or out in the ground. And, as with most plants, avoid spraying the foliage and flowers as much as possible and not at all during the heat of the day. However, seed saving requires a little planning if you want to make sure that your open-pollinated seeds remain pure, since zinnias can be … Thin out the seedlings, so you end up with one plant every 12in (30cm) or so. Cut flower off of plant. “Harvesting” zinnias as cut flowers will also encourage full growth, telling the zinnia to keep producing blooms until some can go to seed. How to maintain Zinnias. This article has been viewed 16,118 times. I've read in a couple places that zinnias don't do well transplanted. Zinnia plants are started from seeds. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 16,118 times. Start seeds indoors in individual containers, set out purchased plants, or direct-sow into warm soil. If you don't want to alter your soil's pH, plant your zinnias in a pot or raised gardening bed with potting soil that has the right pH level. Start seeds in potting soil and peat pots about a month before the last frost. Resistant to pests, happy in most soils, and prolific bloomers, zinnias are very nearly “set it and forget it” plants. Unfortunately, they also dislike being transplanted. To encourage fuller plants and longer stems pinch the tops out of plants when they are four to six inches high. Yes, new branches will appears to replace the bud. Subscribe for more gardening videos! Water thoroughly with a water hose or a watering can. This is done to maximize air circulation. Turn over the soil in the area you want to plant your zinnias and work in 2 or 3 inches of compost or peat moss to help improve soil fertility and drainage. You will see the Zinnia seedlings begin to come up in about 5-7 days. You can look local frost dates up online. Your best bet is to grow zinnias from seeds sown directly in the garden beds. Zinnia may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or sown directly in the garden after frost, or from potted plants. Zinnia seedlings grow in about 4 to 7 days after seeding. It’s hard to pinpoint a real challenge to growing zinnias. Growing zinnias from seed might be one of the easiest gardening tasks of the year. The process of saving zinnia seeds to use next year is quite easy. She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014. Water and sunlight will keep your zinnias blooming full and frequently. Once the soil is warmed enough for zinnias, you can plant the entire pot in the ground for an easy transition. Zinnias will grow in a Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. Zinnias famously hate root disturbance, so it is best to sow directly into freely drained soil with a fine tilth. Growing zinnia plants can be inexpensive, particularly when growing them from seed. Allow flowers to dry out on the plant until they are brown and petals are crunchy. The package should indicate how much fertilizer should be used depending on the size of your garden. The soil will be very wet and adding sand may not be enough to dry it out. Usually, you insert the test in the soil for a set period of time, sort of like using a thermometer, and then check the test to see the pH. Moisture is important in early weeks, but make sure it doesn’t get soggy. But maybe little seedlings are different. These leaves … Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Soil: Zinnias grow best on fertile, well-drained soils high in organic matter. % of people told us that this article helped them. Try to save seeds from zinnia plants that are tucked behind others to avoid having dying zinnias as a focal point. Considering the height, color, and shape combinations, there are dozens and dozens of zinnia varieties to choose from. [1] X Research source It's easiest to wait until the seedlings are tall enough to grasp. 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