Monday, December 29, 2008

Narrow-leafed Zinnias

More Zinnias
More Zinnias,
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originally uploaded by

The photo that appears in the upper right corner of this blog contains Narrow-leafed zinnias and Knock-out Roses, both of which are two of the most hardy plant species for full summer-long color! Both plants literally bloom from frost to frost and therefore, rate very high on my list of preferred plants.

Let's start this blog with the zinnias. Narrow-leafed zinnias (Zinnia linearis) are summer annuals. Here is the skinny on them:

Botanical Name: Zinnia linearis
Common Name: Narrow-leafed zinnia
Size at Maturity: 12 - 18" ht. x 12 - 18" wide
Requirements: They grow best in full sun and are drought-tolerant once established
Foliage texture: fine, narrow leaf
Bloom color: Dark rose pink, bright orange, gold (yellow/orange), white/pale white

This plant is an annual and must be replanted every year. However, as an annual, it blooms prolifically from Spring to the first frost in Fall. I think it is best used en masse -- plant large masses of these for eye-catching impact at entrances or entry signage or where ever you want to feature something in your garden such as bird baths, statuary, etc).

The narrow-leafed zinnias have recently been hybridized and a new variety called "Profusion" is now available on the market. This "new and improved" variety has the same coloring and is slightly larger in size than the narrow-leafed variety.

I usually buy these plants by the flat in late Spring/early Summer. I amend the planting beds by adding organic material such as compost, peat, or mushroom compost. Next, I'll mix in some sort of slow-release organic fertilizer. Always, always raise up your planting beds at least four inches above your lawn areas. This does two things. First it provides good drainage for your annuals, and second, it differentiates your planting bed from any adjacent lawn areas. We'll talk more about bed preparation in another blog.

I plant the zinnias about 6 to 8-inches apart in staggered rows and water them once a day for the first week. Once established, these plants will quickly take off and will need no other maintenance. The flowers of these plants will also attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden.

Courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder
Narrow Leaf Zinnias also make great plants for the border!

The Last Word: Basically, I have to add that there is absolutely nothing negative I can say about this plant. It is pest free and maintenance free. It's blooms are spectacular and therefore, I give it a 10 out of 10 in the annual department! If you have no gardening skills whatsoever, you will want to purchase and use this annual in your garden or container (yes, they are great for container gardening too). These plants are WINNERS!


  1. I love this site. I will be having tons of questions regarding gardening.

  2. I am excited to read about your garden and your favorite plants. I'm a gardener too (but I have to fight deer and a chocolate lab so I get frustrated.) I wish you lived closer so I could employ your talents as a landscape architect.

    Good luck with your blog. (P.S. I never pictured you as a blond, Miss Scarlett, lol!)

  3. If you're going to be posting pictures of flowers and gardens, I'll be here often!


  4. Thanks for stopping by one and all! I'm so excited! I better get busy. CTgirl -- if you have deer than you should plant plants that they won't eat. I'll write a blog soon on what plants to plant with deer around. I've got them too.

  5. Hey CTgirl, you're not alone... I pictured Scarlett as a Vivien Leighesque type. :-)

    Scarlett, these are great pictures! Too bad you don't live closer or we'd hire you to fix up our garden in the spring, or more accurately, put in an actual garden as the only one we've got right now is a 4-foot strip on our new property. Pene is interested in taking a course in the spring on landscaping, so I'm sure she will enjoy checking in on this blog here and there.

  6. Wow, look at those flowers! I hate living in a flat - we are so limited with space that we can't do much. I look forward to coming and seeing what you are growing! I can live vicariously and eventually bend your ear about gardening when we get a house!


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