Best Zinnias for Cutting
Elevate your cut flower game with zinnias!
Some types of zinnias can be worked into a perennial border and others look great in containers. But the full-size version of Zinnia elegans belongs in a cutting garden, where the plants can focus on what they do best: cranking out big, bold, beautiful flowers.
Best Zinnia Varieties for Cut Flowers
Bred in Holland specifically for the cut-flower trade, Benary's Giants have long, extra-sturdy stems and extremely long-lasting blooms (7 to 10 days in a vase). The plants are hefty — 3 to 4 ft tall and 2 to 3 feet wide — and heavily branched, with dense foliage. The flower heads vary in size from 3-5 inches; across, which yields a nice variety for arrangements. They come in bold, vibrant shades including Giant Wine, Giant Coral, Giant Lime, Giant Lilac, and Giant Carmine.
The hardy Oklahoma series stands 2.5-3.5 feet tall and gets covered in double and semi-double flowers. The blooms on this zinnia variety are slightly smaller than those of the Benary's Giants, however these plants pump out TONS of them. This series comes in cheery primary shades such as Oklahoma Golden Yellow, Oklahoma Salmon, and Oklahoma Ivory
Unlike most single-tone zinnias, the Queeny series (formally just "Queen Series") comes in mind-blowing combinations of lime green, brilliant violet, and neon peach. They are a favorite among florists and floral designers looking to achieve a unique, almost metallic vintage vibe. Varieties include Queeny Red Lime, Queeny Lime Orange, and Queeny Lime Blush.
Do's and Dont's For Growing Vase-Worthy Zinnias
DO start your zinnias from seed, either right in the ground or under lights. If you grow them under lights, don’t start too early. They should be in pots for no more than three or four weeks.
DON'T let them get too wet. Zinnias are native to Mexico. They want sun, sandy, well-drained soil, and dry air. If the weather is cloudy, the soil is soggy and the air is humid, they’re prone to black spot, rust and powdery mildew. Plants stay much healthier if you search out and remove every bloom that begins to go by. If you don’t, those spent flower heads act like sponges, holding moisture and spreading disease.
DO keep cutting! Every zinnia flower that blooms needs to be cut or the plant will slow down and eventually stop blooming. Bring the flowers in the house, give them away or toss them in the compost pile. Just keep them cut.
DON'T cut too soon. Perfom the "wiggle test" before harvesting your zinnia blooms: gently hold the stem and wave it back and forth. If the stem is extremely stiff, it is ready to harvest. If the stem wiggles and the flower head flops around, it needs a few more days before harvesting.
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