Elegant Zinnia is an undoubted favorite of many summer residents. The reason for its popularity lies in its amazing appearance and unpretentiousness. Multi-colored plant buds will decorate any garden plot. Zinnia is also widely used in the creation of original floral arrangements. The shades of the inflorescences of this plant are striking in their diversity.
Elegant or elegant zinnia (Zinnia elegans) is an annual culture, the birthplace of which is considered to be hot Mexico. Interesting fact: a beautiful plant has long symbolized the state of Indiana (USA). The distinctive features of a flower include the following characteristics:
- thin straight stem (from 25 to 80 cm);
- pointed, oblong leaves of dark green color;
- inflorescences of zinnia - large baskets;
- the culture produces fruits in the form of achenes;
- the size of the buds varies from 4 to 15 cm;
- the stem and foliage of the plant are covered with fluff.
The advantages of elegant zinnia lie in the simplicity of caring for it and the captivating beauty of inflorescences of different shades. Modern breeders have more than 22 varieties. Among them are famous varieties and the latest hybrids. The flowering period begins in June and lasts until October.
During this time, an amazing plant is literally “strewn” with beautiful multi-colored buds . Due to this feature, it is widely used in landscape design. For landscaping arbors and terraces in most cases, take 2 annuals: elegant zinnia and narrow-leaved.
The plant is distinguished by strong erect stems, so it is not afraid of wind gusts. A branched bush is found only in the dwarf variety.
Varietal groups and varieties
Specialists divide this plant into several groups: dahlia, pompom, scabiozoflora, chrysanthemum and fantasy. They vary in structure, basket shape and height. The first variety has gained immense popularity among Russian gardeners. The most popular varieties of dahlia flowering zinnia include the following.
- Lavender. This variety is famous for its large inflorescences, painted in amazing lavender color. Violet zinnia begins to bloom in June and delights with its beauty right up to the first frosts.
Suitable for various sites and local area. It goes well with other shrub plants.
- "Liliput." A lush bush decorated with miniature bright buds. Its height does not exceed 40-50 cm.
The variety "Liliput" is relevant for small sunny areas.
- "A mixture of colors." A lush, branched plant reaches a height of 70-90 cm. Terry (hemispherical) inflorescences have bright colors (red, yellow, pink and snow-white). It features a long flowering period.
Grade "Mix of colors" is widely used for cutting.
- "Envy". A tall shrub, decorated with large buds of a light green color, won great love by a gardener around the world. Perfectly in harmony with pink and violet zinnia.
- "Polar (white) bear." The compact shrub reaches a height of 60-70 cm. It has dense, snow-white inflorescences with a greenish tint. It begins to bloom from the middle of summer, continuing to delight with its splendor until the end of October.
Despite its name, Polar Bear prefers sunny, calm areas.
Among the known varieties of zinnia pompom, these are distinguished.
- "Red Riding Hood". A spherical, bushy bush, not exceeding 50 cm in height. Juicy scarlet buds of this variety are striking in their elegance. In addition, the saturated color does not fade in the sun and pleases with its beauty from June to the first frosts.
- "Tom Tamb." A miniature shrub with bright red flowers is suitable for small areas.
This variety is good for a single composition. However, in group plantings, red zinnia looks no less spectacular.
As for narrow-leaved zinnia, the most popular variety is the "Solar Circle". This is a branched undersized shrub (up to 30 cm), decorated with orange inflorescences. Differs in plentiful blossoming and unpretentiousness.
Landing and care
All grades of elegant zinnia love the sun and warmth. It is these factors that affect its flowering and growth. In darkened places, an amazing plant definitely will not show itself in all its glory. Definitely a site for planting elegant zinnia should be sunny and protected from gusty winds. To the composition of the soil, this plant is undemanding. Almost any soil is suitable for it.
However, the most comfortable option for zinnia is elegant is the soil with a neutral or weak acidity.
For home growing suitable universal, light primer for decorative flowers. One of the most important points is compliance with the temperature regime. The flower will feel comfortable at +18, +23 degrees of heat. Lowering the air temperature to + 10 degrees will provoke the death of the plant.
Graceful zinnia is planted in open ground at the end of May, when the earth has already warmed up enough, and the probability of frost has passed. The best option is to grow this plant in a seedling manner in mid-April. Seeds are placed in the soil, slightly crushing, and covered with soil. Then water abundantly and cover with a special film. With the advent of seedlings, the “blanket” is removed and placed in a sunny place.
It is important to monitor the state of the soil - the soil must be moistened in a timely manner, while avoiding stagnation of water. A pick is carried out as soon as the height of the seedlings reaches 10-12 cm.
Elegant zinnia tolerates transplantation and takes root in a new place without any problems. Bushes are planted in open ground at a distance of 20-40 cm from each other (depending on the variety).
Elegant zinnia is easy to care for and does not require close monitoring. However, in sultry summers, the number of irrigations must be increased to 2-3 times a week. In addition, the shrub needs loosening the soil and fertilizing. Fertilizer is applied 2 times per season (before planting and during budding). Also, do not forget about pruning and processing from pests. Zinnia graceful is susceptible to attack by aphids. With the advent of autumn, the plant may become infected with powdery mildew. In addition, this culture suffers from the invasion of slugs and snails.
It will turn out to fight parasites with the help of timely weeding and soil treatment with superphosphate.
Amazing zinnia graceful is suitable for group plantings. No less spectacular, the flower looks like an ornament for flower beds, lawns and alpine slides. The captivating “beauty” is in harmony with chrysanthemums, asters, marigolds, begonias and calendula. A great option would be a single composition. In addition, compact neat bushes are used as hedges.
To create a mixborder, tall varieties are chosen, and dwarf varieties are suitable for the border. In a cut form, zinnia graceful can stand in a vase with water for more than a week, while maintaining a presentable appearance. When creating bouquets, this flower is combined with a rose, lily and peony. Zinnia is also planted along paths on the territory of the house or around various buildings.
For more on growing and caring for zinnias, see the next video.