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Zinnia

Not grown these before, so my first time this year (lockdown seed frenzy!) I've read that these are really easy to grow (in fact, I remember my late grandmother telling me that her father used to grow these to sell as cut flowers in the village they lived in back in the early 1900s). I threw some seeds (2 whole packets - giant green ones, and single mixed) down in a couple of empty spaces, one south facing bed, one west facing) and I've only got 3 plants come up, in the south facing bed. One flower just opened, and the other 2 plants are a bit on the weedy size. 

What have I done wrong? I know I haven't accidentally pulled them up whilst weeding, I watered the spaces, the seeds were bought only last year, so I am at a loss.
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  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,279
    Not as easy as you may have been told.
    They are not hardy, so most people start them off with some heat, grow them on, then plant them outside after the last frosts.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • Also very susceptible to damp - get botrytis and rot very easily.

  • Hi Granniegardener,  I did the same thing during lockdown and focused on my garden after many years of neglect and havent done much gardening in the past. 
    Zinnias were the very first seeds I have sowed,as I absolutely love the flowers and took the lockdown opportunity.
    It really worked so will give you the simple steps I took for next time:
    -Sow the seeds in flower pot with good compost like John Innes for seeds.
    - water regularly
    -keep in sunshine
    -when they have developed several leaves per plant, just put them in the flower bed with fresh garden compost (I bought peat-free from Wickes).
    -I didnt bother to prick them out, just roughly planted them in the earth.

    And with all this good weather, they have flowered non-stop from April to date. No dead heading required as there are non to dead-head.  They have grown so well through the stormy weather (I did put a wire support around though).

    Don't give up, they are so worth it!

  • It appears they like rich compost and plant food.  You will have no problems whatsever.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,902
    Slugs eat mine leaving bare stalks, I don’t bother with them now, 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,453
    Loads of mine got slugged, especially the direct sown ones. A few in trays survived and have made lovely plants now. Purple Prince did really well, pity I don't really like the colour! Too luminous!
  • GranniegardenerGranniegardener KentPosts: 42
    edited September 2020
    Hi Granniegardener,  I did the same thing during lockdown and focused on my garden after many years of neglect and havent done much gardening in the past. 
    Zinnias were the very first seeds I have sowed,as I absolutely love the flowers and took the lockdown opportunity.
    It really worked so will give you the simple steps I took for next time:
    -Sow the seeds in flower pot with good compost like John Innes for seeds.
    - water regularly
    -keep in sunshine
    -when they have developed several leaves per plant, just put them in the flower bed with fresh garden compost (I bought peat-free from Wickes).
    -I didnt bother to prick them out, just roughly planted them in the earth.

    And with all this good weather, they have flowered non-stop from April to date. No dead heading required as there are non to dead-head.  They have grown so well through the stormy weather (I did put a wire support around though).

    Don't give up, they are so worth it!

    Gorgeous! I'll try again next year. Thank you!
  • Loxley said:
    Loads of mine got slugged, especially the direct sown ones. A few in trays survived and have made lovely plants now. Purple Prince did really well, pity I don't really like the colour! Too luminous!

    "luminous"?  Marigolds, petunias and geraniums are brighter.  Zinnias are one of my favourite daisy type flowers. They brighten my garden and look beautiful!
  • Loxley said:
    Loads of mine got slugged, especially the direct sown ones. A few in trays survived and have made lovely plants now. Purple Prince did really well, pity I don't really like the colour! Too luminous!

    No problems with slugs and zinnias as you can see in the photo. Slugs prefer my hostas. Maybe plant some hostas in the garden to keep slugs away from flowers.
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    I can't direct sow anything.......waste of time here.  As above, start in pots then plant out......good luck for next year
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