Florida’s varying climates and soil conditions often create challenges when determining how to add pops of color to the landscape to create visual interest. A staple, which fairs well in Florida’s climate and soils, is the Zinnia. Born into the Asteraceae (Aster) family, Zinnias are native to Mexico. Their name is derived from a dedication by the Botanist Carl Linnaeus to his good friend Johann Gottfried Zinn whom was a anatomist and botanist in the 1700’s.
Producing colorful blooms from summer to fall, the Zinnia includes around twenty different species including dwarf hybrids and double-flowering types, along with a wide range of color, bloom size and plant height. An interesting fact is that a blue zinnia has never been found among the spectrum of color varieties grown in Florida!
Edward F. Gilman and Teresa Howe wrote in their Zinnia Fact Sheet that “seeds are usually planted directly into the garden. The seed germinates in one to two weeks at temperatures between 70 and 80°F. In addition to spring, zinnia can be planted from August to September in southern Florida. Dwarf zinnias less than 10 inches tall include the ‘Dasher’, Dreamland’, ‘Lollipop’, ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Small World’ series, ‘Fantastic, ‘Short Stuff’ and ‘Thumbelina’. Intermediate-sized selections grow no more than about 15 inches tall and include the ‘Pulcino’ series, and the cultivars ‘Pumila’, ‘Rose Pinwheel’, and ‘Starlight’. The tallest zinnias are in the ‘Ruffles’ and ‘Splendor’ series, and the cultivar ‘State Fair'”.
To learn more about the varieties of Zinnias available in Florida, and how they can be used to create pops of color on your property contact us at (877) LMP=PRO1
Zinnia spp. Zinnia. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; and Teresa Howe, coordinator, Research Programs/Services, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611. Retrieved from: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp623