Photo: SHELLY NOLD
THE FLOWER COLORS AND SHAPE of zinnias make them the quintessential flower of summer. I’ve been growing them since I was a child.
Depending on variety, zinnias can be 10–36 inches tall. I enjoy cutting flowers, so I always grow one of the tallest, State Fair zinnias, for cutting. I have been growing Profusion zinnias recently, and I am thrilled with the abundant flowering and variety of bright colors.
Profusion zinnias grow only 10–12 inches tall but produce a “profusion” of 1- to 1.5-inch flowers all summer long, attracting both bees and butterflies. Flowers can be single or double, and colors can be pink, coral, apricot, red, orange, white or yellow. Spent blooms do not have to be removed for blooming to continue.
Zinnias are best grown in full sun. Water regularly for continuous blooming and fertilize at least once a month. The Profusion zinnia is most commonly grown in the ground as a bedding plant, but with its abundant flowering, compact habit and strong branching it is also an excellent choice for growing in containers.
While zinnias are notorious for getting powdery mildew in our hot and humid summers, the Profusion series shows excellent tolerance to both powdery mildew and bacterial leaf spot. For best powdery mildew resistance, space plants far enough apart to avoid overcrowding, and always plant in full sun in areas with excellent air circulation.