Need a good zinnia that doesn't need staking

misha35(east texas)March 3, 2007

I love to plant zinnias for cut flowers, but my plants always seem to get so tall and even with staking start to not look so pretty in the garden. Are there any varieties that someone could recommend that produce nice blooms, but don't get so tall?

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maineman(z5a ME)

Misha,

Burpee's recently re-created Burpeeana zinnias were bred for a lower, more branched plant habit with large 5½" to 6" flowers. They start blooming at about 18 inches and ultimately develop to about 24 inches, which is about half the height of many large-flowered zinnias.

If you don't need such large flowers, Zinnia Border Beauty Hybrid hybrid zinnias have 3" to 3½" flowers on bushy 22" plants.

The bi-colored Zig Zag zinnias have 3" - 4" blooms on 20-inch plants.

Incidentally, if you were interested in going the opposite direction with extra-tall zinnias, My Lucky Ladies zinnias hold the world record, with a 12-foot tall zinnia. You might have to stake those with a flag pole. (grin)

MM

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 6:28PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Oh goodness, I just bought some seed for My Lucky Ladies - didn't realize they got THAT tall, lol! I think the catalog said 5 feet! Hmm....

Misha, zinnias are fairly new for me, with last year being my first attempt. Most of the varieties I grew were about 2 to three feet, and I used them all for cutting. I had teh best luck with either Pumila and Pulcino, and I loved Zowie Yellow Flame.

This year I'm trying a couple of new (to me) varieties. Have to rethink where I'll be putting those Lucky Ladies, lol!

:)
Dee

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 8:50PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Dee,

Did you buy your Lucky Ladies from Parks? Parks is now out of stock on them.

MM

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 3:30AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Yes, MM, I did, but I order my seeds quite early, as I winter-sow, and I received them several weeks ago. I guess I was misleading by typing "just bought" in the post above. I was referring to buying for this season. Sorry.

Funny, after reading your post, I went to the catalog, and right there in front of me was the blurb about growing to 12feet tall! How did I miss that, lol? Oh well, either way I am excited about growing these. Even though I am trying some other supposedly good varieties, I just like the look of My Lucky Ladies, and hope they do well for me.

Funny, I was never a big fan of zinnias, but after growing them last year I don't think I will ever be without them again. A real workhorse in the garden, and now that I've grown them and gotten to know them, quite beautiful to boot!

:)
Dee

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 10:15AM
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Pudge 2b

I grew the Benary's mix last year and was really pleased with how they performed. Although they were about 4' tall, they really held up to some strong prairie winds in my rather open windswept yard. As a matter of fact, we had an August hail storm accompanied by really strong wind that didn't knock these Zinnias down.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 1:33PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Pudge,

Last year I crossed some tetraploid State Fair zinnias with a selected female white Benary's giant zinnia, in an attempt to produce triploid seed. When I was saving the seed from that cross, I couldn't help noticing how strong the stem was of the Benary's giant. The dried stem was actually hard to break. It was easily twice as strong as most of my other zinnia stems.

So I'm not surprised that your Benary's performed so well. They are bred specifically to be a good cut flower. Many of them are grown for the florist trade. And that means long, strong stems, which they certainly have. The flower form; I'm not so crazy about.

MM

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 1:01PM
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anniew(4-5/PA)

I've grown Benary's for several years and have never had them need staking. They don't grow to 4 feet here, however.
Ann

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 7:19PM
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misha35(east texas)

Thank you all for the replies. I took the suggestion of the Benary Zinnias and am waiting to recieve them from Johnny's Seed. I also ordered some Megellan variety from Park seed. I had read somewhere about these and wanted to give them a try. I love zinnias, they are definetly a main stay of my garden.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 5:30PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Misha,

Magellan won't grow very tall, so they won't fall over. But on the other hand, their stems won't be very long, either. Magellan grow 12 to 14 inches tall, and are classified as a dwarf bedding zinnia.

MM

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 10:21PM
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