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help with Zinnias

Posted by marthacr (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 23, 10 at 16:39

I have been marketing my bouquets for over ten years, but I have never had good luck with zinnias. They seem to be a real winner and mainstay for so many of you on this forum. Mine either are attacked by mildew/fungus or the stems are misshapen or bent due to falling over or bending towards the sun or the stems are too short. I have tried a couple of different varieties including Oklahoma, Benary's mix, and Yoga.
Could you all share what you do to manage the funguses and some planting techniques to manage the shape of the plants?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: help with Zinnias

Speaking only for myself, I think it's dumb luck that my zinnias tend to do well. I say that because I don't do anything special to them - just full sun, watering with drip irrigation when it's dry, and a sprinkle of fertilizer once or twice during the summer. I do get some fungusy-looking leaves on maybe a quarter of the plants, but even those plants keep on choogling and still produce pretty good flowers. I see that you're in zone 5 in Maine, so high humidity is probably not a big issue for you.

It seems that every so often I see a post here or there on the web by someone who says the same thing you do - zinnias just don't do well for them. Other than maybe having especially fungus-ridden soils, there often doesn't seem to be any obvious reason for it. If there was, I'm sure you would have figured it out by now.

Do you have any major fungus problems with any other flowers? Do you do sprinkler watering?

Sorry I can't be of more help, Martha. Maybe someone smarter can chime in.


RE: help with Zinnias

Do you have any major fungus problems with any other flowers? Do you do sprinkler watering?

Humidity CAN be a problem. We are literally ON the ocean. I get mildew on some varieties of other flowers like blue boy phlox. I rarely use a sprinkler, most of my beds are drip or soaker irrigated. Perhaps I should devise a plan for my zinnia bed to either stake or provide horizontal netting for them and plant them farther apart from each other. I would just have to come up with another veg or flower to underplant so as to not lose too much bed space (maybe lettuce.) Do any of you others stake them?

RE: help with Zinnias

Martha, do other folks in your area grow zinnias? I seem to remember reading somewhere that they do NOT like sea air. Might be the reason. Kat

RE: help with Zinnias

I mulch my zinnia rows with straw, which works quite well against black spot on the leaves. At the first sign of mold/mildew, they get a spray of fungicide. If a plant starts looking funky, OUT it goes into the burn barrel.

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