If you want butterflies in your garden, plant lots of Zinnias. Zinnia is one of the beautiful flowers of summer season. It comes from the Asteraceae family and it is a relative of the Daisy, Sunflower, and Dahlias. The hardy flower of Zinnia is like a small Daisy with star-shape rays of petals. Each stem bears one bloom in single ray, double rays, semi-double rays, or wild spiky petals.
Zinnias are a popular garden flowering plant and the variety of colors available can make a garden very colorful when they bloom. The plant is classified as annual and perennial shrub, which means that they bloom seasonally. Zinnia comes in a wide array of colors, and some of them are in multi-colors and hues. Aside from the original species with colors ranging from yellow, orange, red, white, pink, purple, and lilac, hybrids and cultivars resulted in different shades and hues, too. The colors vary depending on the species. The Zinnia augustifolia has orange flowers while the Zinnia peruviana has the red, yellow, and purple flowers.
History of Zinnia
Dr. Johann Gottfried Zinn was the first man who became interested of this flower that he started cross-breeding it. He was a German botanist who was caught of the beauty of this stalwart flower. He found it in the native land of South America and brought it to Europe in the middle of the 18th Century. Since the hybridization started by Dr. Zinn, the 20 various species of Zinnia become more and counting. In honor of Dr. Zinn, the flower was named Zinnia.
There are more than 100 cultivars recognized and identified as Zinnia species. Since the first cross breeding, which was done by Dr. Johann Zinn in the 18th Century, the Zinnia peruviana and Zinnia Elegans were already introduced in 1700s.
Today, the most familiar and popular species is the Zinnia elegans, which is also known as violacea. The hybrid Zinnia Profusion, which has single and double flower components, was cross-bred by Sakata of Japan. Among the recommended varieties for flower bouquets and for home gardening are the Dreamland Series, which are the dwarf types with fully double-flowered heads in 4 inches wide, Thumbelina Series, which comes in different colors of dwarf size flower heads and 6 inches length of stem, and the State Fair Series, which comes to be the biggest of all varieties. They can have stems with 30 inches in length.
Zinnia is a lovely flower to give to someone who will be away for long. It expresses heartfelt farewell and the message that the friendship will never be forgotten. This flower symbolizes affection, too. It is the perfect choice of flower to give to someone when you want to convey your love and care. Zinnia is also a flower of remembrance. It can be used to embellish a grave to show that a loved one, who will no longer be there, will be greatly missed. This flower can also be given to symbolize your sincere emotions to someone. If you want to let someone know of your honest intentions, make use of this amazing flower.
All Facts About Zinnia
Butterflies are attracted to the beautiful, colorful flowers of Zinnias. Not only butterflies because hummingbirds also love to flock where Zinnias are blooming. In America, this ability of the Zinnias to attract hummingbirds is maximized because it was used as a defense against whiteflies. This also explains why the land has an abundant plantation of Zinnias. However, Spanish explorers found this flower, too, and thought that it brings sickness to the eye, which was the reason why they called it “mal de ojos.”
Zinnias are grouped in three kinds: single-flowered, double-flowered, and semi-double flowered. They are recognizable by the number of rows of petals in the flower head. The single-flowered has a single row of petals and the center of the flower is visible. The double-flowered has numerous rows of petals but the center is not visible. The semi-double flowered, however, has numerous rows of petals and visible center at the same time.
Zinnia flowers come in wide range of colors and shapes. Some zinnias are in beehive shape, button shape, cactus shape, and more.
Care for Zinnia
Growing Zinnias in garden beds should be done from seeds. This plant does not like being transplanted. To plant one, the soil should be rich in organic matter and well-drained. The acid content ideal for this plant is 5.5 to 7.5 pH level. Adding compost to the soil before planting the seeds is an advantage. Although this plant is very adaptable to the soil where it is planted, choosing the right soil will yield plenty of blooms in summer.
The seed is very sensitive to frost, which is why gardeners and florists suggest that planting seeds should be done after the frost has passed. Choose a site that gets long hours of sun exposure because this plant loves the light from the sun.
Caring for the plant does not require thorough maintenance. It only needs regular watering, fertilizers once in a while, and some pruning, especially after blooming. Pests and diseases may affect the plant but with minimized wetting and early detection, problems can be controlled.
Zinnias have been a well-favored flower throughout centuries because of their uses and help to people. They are also a wonderful garden plant that adds design to the garden. Freshly cut Zinnia flowers are also great for hand bouquets, flower arrangements, and even for wedding bouquets and decorations. They also look nice and lovely when dried.