Zinnia: Easy to care flowering plant and good for companion gardening with vegetables

Zinnia: Easy to care flowering plant and good for companion gardening with vegetables
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Photo by PPD on Pixnio

These are ornamental flowering plants that are the easiest to grow. They are quick to grow and have low maintenance. The flowers are colorful and long-lasting. Zinnia is a good companion plant for vegetables as these plants attract predators that prey on pests, hence are grown alongside vegetable gardens.

Quick Details of Zinnia

Other Common Nameszinnia
TypeFlowering ornamental outdoor plant.Zinnia
MaintenanceLow/ moderate
FloweringLate spring/early summer
LightBright direct light
WaterRegular watering
TemperatureCan survive the harsh climate up to an extent
SoilAny well-drained potting soil
FertilizerAny house plant fertilizer
HabitatMexico
ToxicityNo
Common DiseasesBacterial and fungal spots, caterpillars, spider mites.
Scientific namezinna.spp

Zinnia Buying Instructions

  • Flowers come in multiple colors so buy plant of your choice
  • Buy plants with lots of flower buds if possible
  • Buy healthy plant. It should not have pest attack

Overview of Zinnia

They belong to the Asteraceae family. They are annual shrubs native to Mexico. It is also seen in other parts of Northern America. Most of the plants are upright and grow to a height of 100 cm tall. The leaves are devoid of a stalk(sessile) and are oval. The flowers are either single layered with five petals or multi-layered. The flowers can be of different colors mainly pink, red, orange, purple, yellow, and white.

Usage and Advantage of Zinnia

  • Grown as an ornamental plant.
  • They are grown as companion plants as they can attract insect pests.
  • They are also grown as a commercial crop.

General Care for Zinnia

Soil: They require well-drained humus-rich and fertile soil with a ph ranging between 5.5 to 7.5

Watering: They are drought resistant and can withstand a shortage of water. However, regular watering and maintaining moisture in the soil helps in the growth of the plant. Excess watering can be harmful.

Light: They require direct sunlight exposure at least for 6 hours.

Pruning: The apical shoot/ the flower can be pinched off to encourage branching of the plant. Pinching off the wilted flowers prevents the formation of seeds thus increasing the blooming period.

Fertilizer: The fertilizers can be added to the soil bed that was prepared for sowing the seeds. Any house plant fertilizer can be used for this purpose. Since the plant requires fertile rich soil, regularly adding fertilizer can be helpful for its growth.

Pests and other problems for Zinnia

They are commonly attacked by caterpillars, spider mites, and mealybugs. This can be treated by spraying soap solutions or using pesticides.

The zinnia can also get infected with powdery mildew, bacterial and fungal spots. Reducing the amount of moisture present in plants is the best way to avoid it.

Propagation of Zinnia

Zinnia is propagated through seeds. The seeds can be sown on the soil anytime after June. They are easy to grow and grow faster. The seeds can be obtained from the dry flowers by crushing the flowers.

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