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Zinnia disappointment

BerkleyBerkley Posts: 428
I grew zinnia from seed for the first time this year - and am so disappointed. Despite all precautions, they were initially munched relentlessly by snails. But some survived and buds appeared. I checked them every day and can’t understand why, on many of the plants, the stem just below each bud has turned brown and mushy. No flowers, obviously. Should I try again next year? 
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  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,436
    I tried them last year; the ones planted out as quite big plants did well, the smaller seedlings I planted earlier got munched. I direct sowed some as well but nothing became of them. So grow them on in pots for as long as possible; if you can start them early under glass or indoors with growlights it would be better.
  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 4,017
    I grow them for myself and my customers.  I find my boarder is too crowded for them to thrive,  they flower but do much better in hot beds with a good amount of room for air circulation around them.  
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,025
    The brown mushy stems suggests the soil mix was also too wet. 
    Planting anything out too early is often a problem, especially with plants which prefer lighter conditions for their feet, and lots of sun. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • floraliesfloralies Haute-Garonne SW FrancePosts: 1,787
    They grow well down here, they need plenty of sun, good air circulation and a good watering once in a while with free draining soil. I start them in a propagator and then pot them on until ready to plant out, don't know about them not liking root disturbance!
  • AstroAstro Posts: 356
    This was my first year of trying to grow zinnias (peaches and cream) from seed and non made it to flowering.

     I think they really require quite a bit more patience than even many other tender annuals, my first lot gave up after a cool spot of weather the second got munched. 

    I'm going to try again next year because they are really nice looking flowers. 
  • JemulaJemula Posts: 144
    I agree that they need to be quite big before planting out and also that they like a nice sunny spot with room for air circulation.  Worth persevering with as they are beautiful and the individual blooms are long lasting.  They usually keep going until the first frost.
  • CharlotteFCharlotteF East Surrey, UKPosts: 337
    I've sown many this year (first time) and got one to flowering. A friend had the same. We both grow lots from seed, so are a bit baffled that this supposedly easy plant has evaded us! As with most of this year's garden disappointments I'm blaming the weather.
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 BirminghamPosts: 736
    I think it’s been a difficult year generally, the weather had been so up and down. I’ve grown Zinnias previously and found them quite easy. Agree that they like good sun and don’t like being too crowded. I didn’t do any this year but my Cosmos and Sunflowers have struggled. Few have made it to flower and those that have are much smaller than usual, I suspect I would have had the same problems with Zinnias 🙄
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • Mark-EMark-E Pontypridd, WalesPosts: 173
    We had some success with the zinnia this year. We did leave them to grow a fair bit in the greenhouse before planting out though.  More luck than judgement as we didn't have room in the garden for them at the time so they were left to grow in the greenhouse.
  • borgadrborgadr KentPosts: 280
    Mine all stayed in the greenhouse until they were at least 18 inches high. Those in the sunniest positions have just started flowering, but all seem good, some in pots and some in the ground. Feeding the pots every 1-2 weeks with liquid seaweed, the ones in the ground not at all.. They were the seeds that came free with GW magazine. 
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