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Fall is for Zinnia

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Monday, September 23, 2019 - 7:00am

Gary Bachman: Most years in October, zinnia gives us some of the best annual color, today on Southern Gardening.

Announcer: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman, is produced by Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Gary Bachman: Many gardeners, me included, are refreshed with the cooler temperatures. Many of our summer flowering annuals that were looking pretty worn out at Labor Day get a second wind and perk right back up. One of my favorite fall flowering summer annuals are Zahara and Profusion zinnia that produce mounds of colorful flowers. The plants are robust and have excellent branching to support the many flowers. Now as gorgeous as Zahara and Profusion  zinnia are in the fall they may just take a backseat to cactus flowered zinnia. Cactus flowered zinnia may seem like a new type for the landscape but actually these are heirloom zinnia that have been around since the 1920s. The flowers have a completely different texture than what you may be familiar. Each fully double flower displays masses thin almost needle-like petals. There is a range of long lasting flower colors. But who can ignore the presence of the variety called Inca with its spectacular vivid blazing orange flowers. Typically these plants will grow to 30 inches tall with sturdy stems. And the stems need to be sturdy because each flower can be five inches in diameter.With the onset of cooler temperatures supplemental irrigation needs will be greatly reduced. If you do irrigate your fall zinnia use soaker hoses as an efficient method to maintain soil moisture.

Go ahead and enjoy the fall resurgence of your zinnia in your landscape. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.  

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