Zinnia Benary's Giant

mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)July 23, 2012

Made an observation -- the Benary's Giant zinnia are nowhere near as floriferous as the Uproar Rose at this point in the season. It's like they're just sitting there, stalling - a few flowers here and there but nothing like the Uproar that have been knocking my socks off since June. Both were seed-grown BUT at least 1/2 of the Benary's Giant popped out on me soon after planting, and I'm not sure why, so I had to replace with nursery-bought plants, which are healthy but, like I said, seem to be stalling in terms of flower production. They were that way last year to some, too, but not quite as much as this year.

So, I'm probably not going to grow the Benary's next year. I love the color in that particular spot so will probably go with Purple Prince - very similar color.

Comments on any of these cultivars?

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franeli(z4 NH)

My 'uproar rose' zinnias are like yours. Some measure 6.5inches across, average about 4.5 to 5 inches and each plant is floriferous. They are beautiful! The benary zinnias I have are small flowers and petals are only single+double rows.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 7:01AM
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zen_man

"Comments on any of these cultivars?"

Benary's Giants are open pollinated and their seeds cost much less per seed than the Uproar Rose, which are relatively expensive F1 hybrids. Benary's Giants were bred to be cut flowers for the florist trade, so plant form or landscaping performance were not their goals.

I agree, they hardly deserve the name "Giants". Although a good percentage of them will be fully double or near so under good growing conditions. One advantage of the Benarys over the Uproar Rose is that the Benarys are available in a wide range of separate colors. We are still waiting for the Uproar White, Uproar Yellow, Uproar Red, Uproar Pink, Uproar Orange, etc.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:44AM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I get what you're saying re: expense of the seed, but really - $4-5 a pkt is a pittance when I think in terms of the joy the Uproar Rose bring - they truly have been stupendous performers the two seasons I've grown them and make me smile every time I see them :oD

Any comments on Purple Prince?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 5:38PM
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zen_man

"Any comments on Purple Prince?"

It's a nice open pollinated dahlia flowered zinnia, a rather old strain. Actually, it isn't too different in color from Uproar Rose. To me, Uproar Rose is a medium purple color, and I wouldn't have named it "rose". I just don't think Uproar Rose is rose colored. I am not a fan of the classic dahlia flowered zinnia flower form, because I don't like it that the petals all lay on top of each other. That creates tight spaces where aphids can lurk and you wouldn't see them. Overlapping petals are also a disadvantage for zinnias that have two or more colors on each petal, because you don't get a very good view of the "underneath" petals, like in this specimen.

That zinnia could have looked spectacular in a more open flower form, but the dahlia flowered petal arrangement hides the effect to a large degree. A few decades ago there was a strain of zinnias called "Crown of Gold" that had a unique bicolor effect. The base of each petal was a golden yellow, while the outer part of the petal was any of the many zinnia colors. But Crown of Gold was dahlia flowered, and effectively hid its remarkable coloration and the strain was discontinued. If I had access to Crown of Gold today, I would change its flower form to a very open form that would display the golden bicolor for a dramatic effect.

"$4-5 a pkt is a pittance when I think in terms of the joy the Uproar Rose bring"

I am glad you feel that way, because the quality of zinnias available in the marketplace today has been hurt by a popular preference for low seed packet prices. But price can be a limitation, even for people who are willing to pay for quality. For example, Parks sells a packet of Uproar Rose for $3.95, but the packet contains only 15 seeds. That is about 26 cents per seed. If you were wanting to make a large landscape planting of Uproar Rose, the seed cost could quickly become prohibitive.

ZM
(not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:16PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Hmm, I definitely interpret Uproar Rose as a rose color (a vibrant, bright rose, but rose nonetheless), not a purple. Benary's Giant is purple to me eye. IIRC, Purple Prince is similar in color to BG, not UR (based on my growing conditions, of course).

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 6:29PM
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