Have you ever fallen in love with a flower?
I fell in love with zinnias about 6 years ago when I first realized this stunning flower could grow quite well in Florida. The blossoms beckon butterflies and the colors make for perfect cut flower collections that are not otherwise widely available in the floral markets.The flowers can brighten a room for a week!
Zinnias are native to the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Their origins explain two things: zinnias can handle some heat, and they prefer things a little less muggy than Florida. Here in humid Florida, zinnias are more prone to fungal issues like powdery mildew and leaf spots.That is why you do not see more zinnias used frequently in annual flower beds or for sale in retail nurseries. That could also be why you have never personally experienced this glorious flower.
Zinnias are very easy to grow and germinate well from seed. They thrive in well-drained soil that is watered regularly. Give the plants some space so there is ample air flow to minimize fungal issues.
If you are considering the incorporation of zinnias in commercial landscapes, you need to explore fungal resistant cultivars. Zinnias are also great for local cut flower markets, but you will need to do some business and crop planning in addition to careful cultivar selection. Fear not, plant breeding efforts since the 1850s have been improving zinnias and that research continues today, resulting in bigger buds, adorable dwarfs, colorful crosses, and improved disease resistance.
To be 100% honest with you, this blog is not about your customers. I think you should totally try zinnias in your own landscape! Just have fun and enjoy the colorful display of flowers. Pick up a seed packet at a big box, or visit your favorite seed supplier for your selection. Get the kids involved, or just do it for yourself. This year has been a doozey, so you deserve to grab a koozie and remember how much you enjoy the flowers just because they are beautiful.