Growing zinnias from seed (Zinnia elegans)
Growing zinnias from seed, how exciting! In this article, we will learn step by step how to germinate zinnia seeds (Zinnia elegans) to have flowers until autumn.
Blooming continuously from midsummer to autumn, this is one of the most popular annuals. Flowers are excellent for arranging and come in a wide variety of colors and shapes.
Harvesting zinnias regularly makes the plants constantly produce until the first frosts. Zinnias grow quickly and like warm weather. They prefer well-draining soils that are rich in organic matter.
In this guide we are going to sow on a tray, however, it is very common for zinnias to be sown directly into a seedbed and then pricked.
Sowing early in a protected location gives plants a head start in growth and more assured germination that generally yields better results. We will sow in trays and keep at a good temperature in a greenhouse. If you don’t have a greenhouse, you can place it in the garage or indoors on a sunny window sill.
You can buy Zinnia elegans seeds at garden centers, supermarkets, or online. Check the package to see if the seeds are within their expiration date and are in good condition. If you need to store seeds for a while, do so in a cool, dry place. A fridge is perfect for this.
In this guide we are sowing two different zinnia mixes: Liliput mix and dahlia flowered zinnias.
The seeds are small but easy to handle.
When to sow
Zinnias are better sown from late winter to mid-spring. You can start them earlier in a protected place. Keep in mind that they will need to be protected until the last frost has passed.
How to sow
I filled the tray with good quality seed compost and added some coarse sand for good drainage. I left some space below the edge. I lightly pressed the soil to make it firmer and even.
I distributed the seeds.
We should not sow too much… we should never allow the seeds to be too close to each other as this will restrict their development.
Then I lightly covered the seeds with more soil. I watered the tray with a fine watering can, alternatively we can dip the tray in a bucket of water so that it is slowly absorbed from the bottom up.
Then I covered the seed tray and placed it in a protected place to improve germination. A temperature of 20 to 23ºC is ideal for germination to occur.
The seeds germinated easily, continued on the next page…