Zinnia - Giants of California
Large fully double dahlia type flowers bloom on sturdy branching plants. Excellent for borders and unequaled as cut flowers. Blooms all summer.
Days to Germinate: 6-10
Depth to sow: 1/4"
Seed Spacing: 4" - 5"
Plant Spacing: 12" apart
Growing Height: 3'
The color and beauty of a flower garden can lift the spirit and renew the soul, and a bouquet of fresh cut flowers will bring sunshine into your home. Over the past few years, we have conducted extensive flower trials, concentrating on varieties that are easy to grow-many from direct-sowing-have superior color and fragrance, and make a good cut flower.
CULTURE: As a general rule, flowers can be sown in the garden when the soil has warmed to at least 55°F. Flower seeds sown outdoors germinate best in well-worked, loose-textured soil. Flowers respond to fertilizer and good watering practices. Add 1-2 cups of our complete fertilizer per ten row feet to provide adequate nutrition. Seeds should be buried two times their narrowest dimension and covered with finely raked soil or vermiculite unless otherwise noted. Some varieties can take over a month to germinate so mark your rows, keep them moist, and for larger seeds like sunflowers, use bird netting to deter your feathered friends. To encourage earlier blooms, many varieties can be started indoors or in a greenhouse. Always start with a sterile seedling mix and clean pots. Sow 5-6 weeks prior to your last frost. Most seeds germinate better if kept warm, 70-80°F, and covered with a sheet of plastic or a Propagation Dome to retain moisture. If seeds need darkness, cover with two sheets of newspaper. Remove the plastic or newspaper upon the first signs of germination. The most common mistake is over watering. Keep the soil moist, not soggy, and provide adequate drainage. A slight airflow helps reduce fungus problems such as damping off. We recommend feeding your seedlings a balanced grow formula, diluted to 1/4 strength. This will provide the right amount of nutrition for your young plants. Up-pot if necessary and transplant out after the danger of frost has passed.
For more information, please refer to the germination codes given for each variety, as well as the additional culture blocks throughout this section. Then enjoy a gorgeous display of blooms all summer long!
SOAKING: If you prefer to soak your seeds, follow these simple guidelines: soak in 85°F water for 1-3 hours and plant immediately. Longer soaking times are often detrimental; seeds need air to live.
PESTS AND DISEASES: Flowers are prone to some of the same diseases that we find in the vegetable garden. Proper sanitation, watering, and good weed control will generally alleviate most of the problems. Rotenone or Rotenone-Pyrethrin will control most insects.
HARVEST: For the best fresh-cut flowers, harvest in the morning when the flowers are their freshest and the petals are just opening. For optimum results, cut with a clean knife that has been dipped in a solution of 10% household bleach. A few drops of bleach in the vase along with our Floralife Cut Flower Food will prolong their beauty for days.
GERMINATION CODE: Given at the end of each description to give you specific information.
(1) Germination occurs between 70-85°F and within 6-15 days. Sow indoors and cover lightly.
(4) Direct sow in the garden as soon as the soil warms to at least 55°F.
PURCHASED: 375mg from American Seed via The Dollar Store for $1.00
STARTED SEED: Good Friday 04/10/09. Sprouted 4/13/09. Three days!
TRANSPLANTED IN GARDEN:
HARVEST YEILD & DURATION: