Zinnia Zahara Double Fire Landscape
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Cut flowers for bouquets. Harvest flowers frequently from summer annuals like zinnia and cosmos to encourage plants to continue producing blooms. It’s best to pick flowers in the early morning, before daytime temperatures rise, and place cut stems immediately in a bucket of water. Kill two birds with one stone by deadheading plants while you’re snipping for a bouquet. Deadheading, or clipping spent blooms, discourages plants to form seeds and promotes new flowers to form.How to Grow a Flower Garden for Bouquets
Zinnia(Zinnia elegans)AnnualZinnias thrive in the heat of summer, producing flowers in a variety of shapes and in colors ranging from white to pinks and reds to yellow, orange, lavender and purple. There is even a type with green flowers. Plant after the weather heats up, starting in late spring, and provide good soil and plenty of fertilizer. Plants can range in height from 1 foot to 4 feet.Use them in bouquets and arrangements throughout the summer.Bloom period: Summer to early fallCold tolerance: Grown as an annual in all zonesOrigin: MexicoWater requirement: RegularLight requirement: Full sunWhen to plant: Sow seeds or set out container-grown plants in late spring and early summer.More:6 Steps to Creating Your Butterfly GardenAttract Hummingbirds and Bees With These Beautiful Summer Flowers
Then we have rust and green. But the rust in these zinnias modulates from tangerine to apricot — even yellow — teaching us to use varying shades of the same color if we want to achieve a natural feel.
What Else to Do in May in Your California GardenThe best planting move is to set out heat-loving vegetables and flowers, such as the zinnias shown. The main chore is to get your watering systems and schedules in order for the dry season ahead.Set out heat-living annual flowers. These are pretty quick to bloom and easy to transplant from nursery packs: ageratum, bedding begonias, celosia, lobelias, marigolds, petunias, portulaca. Sow seeds of summer flowers. Marigolds and zinnias are especially easy to grow from seeds sown directly in the ground in sunny spots. Plant summer vegetables. Not too late. In fact, tomatoes and peppers set out as seedlings usually start stronger now than if planted earlier. You can start these as seeds in the ground: beans, corn, pumpkins, radishes and squash. Complete major landscape planning. This includes shrubs, trees, ground covers and lawns. It's OK to plant later, but take special care in hot climates. Plant tropicals. Now is ideal timing for bougainvillea, avocados, citrus and other heat lovers. Watch for pests. Major threats include snails and slugs, plus aphids on new spring growth. Inspect vegetable plantings for earwigs (unmistakable creatures); control with bait. Clean up. Cut off spent flowers of spring bulbs such as tulips and daffodils. Let the stems dry naturally before removing them. Feed. Fertilize newly planted flowers and vegetables within a few weeks after planting, or according to the label's directions. Use an acid-type fertilizer on camellias and azaleas after they bloom. Continue feeding roses regularly. Water. In case you need a reminder after the dry winter, make sure you give a regular deep soaking to shrubs and trees, except for the more drought-resistant ones.More regional gardening guides
ZinniaZinnias are perfect for container gardens, as they bloom nonstop until frost. They are also very sun and drought tolerant. Their mounding growth habit makes them a perfect filler for containers. With a variety of colors to choose from, they will be useful in many of your designs.Zinnias are simple to start from seeds. Put the seedlings out after the last frost date or when overnight temperatures stay above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.Botanical name: Zinnia angustifoliaUSDA zones: N/A; treat as an annualWater requirement: Dry to medium moisture; well-drained soilLight requirement: Full sunMature size: 9 to 12 inches tall and wide
Shop catalogs. Every year I grow zinnias, and I love looking at all the varieties available in plant catalogs. Shown here is one I'm going to start in the greenhouse next month, Zinnia 'Zahara Double Fire', available from Burpee. It is resistant to diseases and droughts, grows about 18 inches tall and blooms all summer until the frost, and it looks gorgeous in the vegetable garden border with Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty' (zones 4 to 8) and some chartreuse coleus.