Zinnia (Sow now)24 October 2019 Linda Ross
Zinnias are the happiest of summer’s flowering annuals...
...and come in vibrant colours of cerise, terracotta, gold, and lipstick-pink.
They originate in Central and South America so thrive in dry climates.
Bouquet of pinwheel zinnia flowers. Photo - Agnes Kantaruk/Shutterstock.com
The favourite flower of Hans Heysen, zinnias are back in fashion! With large double blooms in red, pink, orange, rose, yellow, scarlet, coral and ivory, this new compact variety is bright beyond Heysen's wildest dreams. Originally discovered by the Spanish in Mexico, zinnias were popular late 19th century. Breeding began in earnest in the 1920's but it was not until 1970 that new exciting strains were developed. Since then the trend has been toward compact varieties.
When the weather warms up in spring, plant Zinnia seedlings from punnets 20cm apart to create borders of strong bold colour. Dwarf forms will get 30-40cm while tall hybrids can reach the dizzying heights of 2m. Remove dead flowers to make way for a new flush.
Text: Linda Ross