Well appreciated for its colours, Zinnia is an annual plant which blooms in summer. It is widely cultivated as bedding plants, in a garden box or flower pot.

Zinnia comes from Mexico and is of a variety of colours, namely red, yellow, orange and rose. Being a bushy plant, Zinnia will fit in flowerbeds as well as in your hedgerows, bins or pots. There is a wide variety of Zinnia namely the tall and the dwarf species but the most current ones are the Zinnia elegans. They are between 30 and 70 cm tall. The hybrid species are of different forms and colours, and can be mixed in a flowerbed for a guaranteed decorative effect. It is important to note that Zinnia particularly attracts butterflies.

Growing Zinnia
Zinnia loves much sunshine and the hottest location in a garden. Mix garden soil with special potting soil for flowering plants. Space the Zinnia plants at intervals ranging from 20 to 40 cm according to the chosen species. Water the plants thoroughly. Zinnia requires little maintenance but there are certain rules to obtain great flowering. Perform regular watering in case of high temperatures or prolonged drought. Water at night without wetting the leaves to avoid powdery mildew for instance.

Add fertilizer (for flowering plants) during growth allows flowering to last and to have beautiful flowers. You may gradually remove faded flowers to stimulate new flowers.

Tips
● You may also collect Zinnia seeds from faded flowers, store them in an envelope away from humidity and sow them the following year.

● Gradually cut the faded flowers to keep the best facet of this bushy plant

On sale at Vaneron Garden Centre.

Source: Magazine Lacase No 39