Introduced from Mexico in 1800, zinnias have become an all-American favorite. They come in many heights and colors and are unequaled as cut flowers. The zinnia's march to glory began around 1875, when double "dahlia" flowered types were developed. The plant quickly became popular even though 2/3 of the flowers in a packet would not produce the expected color. By 1900, there were giant doubles, dwarf doubles and miniatures, but colors were still were undependable. By the '20s and '30s, Burpee breeders solved that problem, and the resulting plants were even more beautiful, beginning with the introduction of large cactus-flowered types, which were Burpee's "breakthrough" zinnia. This mix offers flowers in scarlet, rose, orange and yellow.
Sow in average soil in full sun after danger of frost. Sow seeds about 12" apart and cover
with 1/4" of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
How to Grow Zinnias
Seedlings emerge in 7-10 days. Thin to stand 18-24" apart when seedlings are 1-2" tall. Zinnias
need good air circulation to help prevent powdery mildew. Water seedlings regularly until they
are established. After that, zinnias do not need watering except during extended droughts.
Pinch plants to encourage branching, unless you are growing them exclusively for cut flowers
and want long stems. Deadhead regularly to keep plants flowering until fall.
Plant zinnias in mixed plantings with other summer-blooming annuals, or place small groups of
zinnias among perennials. They are at home in cottage gardens and children's gardens, and they
are often grown in cutting gardens. Cut the stems before the flower is completely open. Zinnia
flowers also attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.