Double, giant cactus-flowered Zinnias?

kristin_williams(6)June 23, 2006

I have a few dozen NK (=Northrup King?) zinnias, planted from seed, surrounding my clump of three Agastache plants. There are taller ones called "Giant Cactus Mixed Colors," and another, shorter one that is also double-flowered, with shorter petals, and also in mixed colors. They're just starting to get buds, and I imagine they'll be blooming in a couple weeks or so.

I did a search on the forum for zinnias. Several people mentioned being surprised at how good they were at attracting hummingbirds. However, they all seemed to be growing the single, more wild type zinnias. I would have preferred single-flowered seeds, but I didn't see any on the rack, so I satisfied myself with the usual double ones. On the forum, there was mention of double-flowered zinnias, but no one seemed sure whether they get used or not by the hummingbirds. My guess is that they may not be as good.

Does anyone have any definitive experience with the double flowered ones? Do the hummingbirds use them?

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I dont know about the zinnias, never saw the hummingbirds bother with mine, but they love my red bee balm and cant seem to get enough. I dont think the h.b. care weather a plant is single or double. They love red though. Very attracted to that color (hence why more h.b. feeders have the red liquid or red feeders on them)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 7:54PM
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pinwheel(SE PA)

I grow the single type zinnias for the butterflies, but I've never seen a hummingbird near one.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 3:25PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I wish more people had checked in, but I am grateful for your comments, even though they are negative with respect to your experience with zinnias and hummingbirds.

If you're curious, do a hummingbird forum search on zinnias, and you will find people who say that their hummers found them very attractive. I just don't know of anyone who's planted double ones that got used.

Anyway, it's no tragedy if the hummers ignore them. They will look pretty around my Agastache, which is being visited by hungry bumblebees, but being ignored by the hummers, as far as I can tell. I've got other stuff blooming that is more to the hummers' liking.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 3:49PM
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Patrick888(z8 SeaTac WA)

Single zinnias reveal the true (tiny yellow) flowers better than the doubles. If you look at a seed catalog & find single or semi-double zinnias, you'll see a ring of very little yellow flowers around the daisy-like center. Those little flowers are what the bees, butterflies & sometimes hummingbirds visit for nectar. The reason you don't see many responses here is that most of the regulars have gone elsewhere.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 12:52AM
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I know what you mean, Patrick888, by the tiny yellow flowers. I do recall seeing them on zinnias, but mine haven't flowered quite yet so I haven't had a chance to study them.

The regulars have gone elsewhere? Have they gone to a different forum, and if so, why? Or am I asking a clueless, tactless question? I'm just wondering what exactly you mean, and how you know this. If all the knowledgeable old timers have left the forum, perhaps I shouldn't bother anymore.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 1:50AM
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Perhaps the regulars have gone elsewhere because when they post a respose to a post they get screamed at.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 6:53AM
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I don't have experience with Zinnias, but the little guys love Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower). Butterflies go for them too. Many regulars are gone (I don't think GW will let me say where), but some still lurk!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 1:49PM
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I'm almost afraid to ask, but are you feeling personally abused or persecuted, ghoghunter, or are you speaking for others? I can't help but wonder (I hope I'm paranoid) that your words are some sort of veiled criticism of me and Trey's thread on feeders versus hummingbird plants? I hope not, but I know you were involved in that discussion, and there was some unpleasantness. However, I did feel we got past that, and a lot of useful things were said.

When someone on this forum says something I don't like, or seems hypercritical of me or another person, I just come right back and state my objection. I really do try to see if I've been unfair, and look at the situation from the other person's perspective. I can think of three occasions in the past year when I was personally involved in some unpleasant discussions on this forum. On a couple of occasions, I felt I was defending others, on another I was definitely the victim of unfair criticism. As far as I know, the discussions continued, resolved themselves, and there were no hard feelings--at least, I hope not. Way more often, though, I've been involved in positive exchanges of useful information, enjoyed beautiful photographs, humorous stories, etc.

I guess I can't really argue with personal choice, and it's certainly a person's right to drop out, but if people are dropping out over being "screamed at," that's definitely a sad issue that should be addressed. Overwhelmingly, though, it seems to me that the exchanges on this forum have been useful, positive, and affirming. But hey, negative exchanges are an inevitable part of communication, too. Maybe some day I'll feel so upset that I'll want to drop out, but I hope I will have the presence of mind to move on to a different thread, or start a new and more positive one. If I feel really bad, I could take a brief break, lick my wounds, and return. Another reason I might drop out is from boredom. I don't mean that in a snotty way at all, but as one spends more time on the forum, certain subjects will tend to repeat themselves. Or, I may feel I've said all I can, and drop out. Dropping out because of intimidation from others seems wrong.

All I can say is that from the standpoint of interpersonal relations, I have never felt residual bitterness about anyone, here, and hope no one feels that way about me.

To those mysterious, unnamed people who've dropped out, I hope you'll be back and contributing. Is this forum really such a negative place?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 6:29PM
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The link below lists zinnia as a Hummingbird plant, but again, I've no experience pro or con. My thought would be that single flowers are preferable to the little guys, as the nectar would be easier to get at.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hummingbirds & Deer

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 11:44AM
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I have planted Double Giant and Double Giant Cactus Zinnias for several years now and the hummingbirds love them.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 9:27AM
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Kristin, there are a lot of flowers that you will find listed as attracting hummingbirds, including Zinnias.

Two observations: First, there are different hummingbirds in different areas of the country and they seem to have somewhat different appetites. Second, and more important, is that many plants will get visited by hummingbirds sometimes, but will get passed over if there are more appealing plants around. This is particularly true in areas of the country that have a lot of hummingbirds.

I live in Central Florida and grow Zinnias often, but I have never seen one visited by a hummingbird. I have many, many other plants that they visit, however. I like the Zinnias because they are very good nectar plants for butterlies and they are very pretty when in bloom.

Enjoy the Zinnias and the bees and butterflies that they will attract. You may get a hummer visit from time to time as a bonus.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 7:06AM
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