Best and biggest zinnias for cutting

gardenerzone4(5b)August 20, 2011

Please recommend some tall zinnia varieties that have huge double flowers for cutting. I've grown Benary's Giants in the past but curiously, they never got more than 3" wide for me.

Next year, I'm thinking of trying some hybrids to see if I can get giant double flowers. If you have experience with these or any others, please recommend and let me know how big they get.

Uproar Rose

Burpee's Big Red

Zowie

Burpee's Tetra or Giant Mix

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bfff_tx(z8b TX)

This pic is of a Benary's Giant.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 4:02PM
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gardenerzone4(5b)

That is HUGE! I would be head over heels if I got a zinnia that big. What am I doing wrong? I planted Benary's Giant seeds from Territorial Seed and Park's Pick's, which is supposed to be a private label of Benary's Giants. Both maxed out at 3", maybe 3.5" for the main central flower. And that's in good soil with compost and 8" spacings. Bfff, where did you get your Benary Giant seeds?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 7:32PM
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gardenerzone4(5b)

Anyone else, please chime in if you know of a place where I can buy Benary's Giant Zinnia seeds that dependably result in giant flowers. I refuse to accept that I cannot grow giant zinnias! :-) It's now become a mission...

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 5:23AM
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bfff_tx(z8b TX)

I got this years crop from GEO Seed. www.geoseed.com
I have in the past, had similar experiences to you with a lack of size. This year I've added Mushroon Compost (18 wheeler load) to my sandy soil and a blend of synthetic fertilisers to each row. The results have been phenomenal. I plant my Zinnias on 9" - 12" centers and normally pinch out that first bud for better branching.
Cheers Kim - BFFF

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:02AM
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grannymarsh(z4-5 U.P. MICH)

for the best stems and largest flowers, I have to pinch off the side shoots.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 11:12AM
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boston3381(7)

gardenerzone4 where have you been getting your seed from??
have you tryed johnnyseeds?

on a side note i been told:
"NOT WHAT YOU GROW, BUT HOW YOU GROW."

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 9:41PM
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mantis__oh

I've had the same frustration and have found that the Benary mixtures can vary a lot in terms of colors. From a couple of sources, I got only purples and pinks.

Here is a picture of a Burpeanna zinnia from a Walmart pack. It is a first flower, and thus larger, but has been very free flowering.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:38PM
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gardenerzone4(5b)

I got my seeds from Territorial Seed and Park's. Haven't tried Johnny's yet. I'm growing in very good conditions, actually, all organic with lots of compost and mulch, adequate spacing (8"), and soaker irrigation. The plants look very healthy, just the flowers don't get much bigger than 3", and aren't as double--maybe 2 rows of petals instead of the dahlia look. I only cut for my home, so it didn't really bother me until I went to a local mall a few years ago and saw giant zinnias growing on their grounds. These flowers were 5-6" big easy, and I was so jealous! I should have asked what type and where bought and maybe to take seeds from them, but neglected to do so.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 6:16AM
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marthacr(z5 Me)

Are you using fertilizer as well as compost? Many people forget that compost is not really a fertilizer, merely a soil conditioner. Many growers fertilize every 2-4 weeks with both foliar and granular (organic if you so choose) fertilizer.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 9:32AM
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budb(8b)

I have direct seeded Benary's Giants for several years.
Due to a huge seed price increase by Benary's, I trialed
Giant Dahlia Flowered Zinnias from Geo and Johnnys and was
really pleased with the results. Other than a few singles,
there is very little difference.
Bud

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:19PM
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l_james(mo5)

I've gotten my seed from Johnny's before and was satisfied.
Some of the zinias actually grew to be 7'4" tall. I measured them with a tape measure.
Jung's has a line of giant zinnias also which is similar to Benary's Giants.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 1:08AM
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flower_farmer(5/6 MI)

There is a big difference between Benary's and Giant Dahlia flowered zinnias. Benary's actually look like a dahlia. The other not so much. Too much fertilizer makes them lanky, and they don't hold up as well as far as vase life. Also, zinnias should be transferred into very cold water after harvesting. Buckets of water should be kept in the cooler. Water directly from the hose isn't cold enough.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 12:33AM
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paveggie(z5-6)

Benary's should be an exclusive production of some sort, so all the seed companies are purchasing from the same source.

Flower size variation then varies according to growing conditions as boston3881 notes.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 10:25AM
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koszta_kid(Iowazone 5)

I want to plant more zinnias. They bloom most of the year. And wanted some taller ones. But nice to see the taller ones. Have bought from Johnny in past. Was busy working painting house. So will have to request a catalog. I want to take cut flowers to church to share.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 9:04AM
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