Cutting Zinnia Flowers
Cut zinnia flowers are beautiful to have in your home. Even better than having them in your home, is having them growing right outside your home so you can refresh your home weekly with their beautiful fragrant blooms. Zinnia flowers are one of those plants that can do just that for you. They need little supervision to create an abundance of blossoms ready to be cut.
Choose the Best Plants for Cutting
Zinnia’s have annual and perennial varieties. The annual varieties tend to yield larger flowers. Choose an annual that will yield a stem 18 inches or taller, so that you have plenty of stem to work with. Some of the more popular varieties for cutting are: Cut and Come Again, State Fair, Giant Dahlia Flowered, Giants of California, and Luther Burbank.
Once you have decided which variety you want to work with, sow the seeds in spring after the danger of frost has passed. Zinnias can also be started indoors. Don’t start them before early April because the plants could get too big and awkward to transplant easily. Germinate the seeds according to the directions on the seed packet. The seeds should germinate in 5 to 7 days. Spacing the seeds or thinning the zinnias to18 inches apart will encourage them to flourish. Keep them watered and fed regularly and within 2 to 3 months you will have blooms until the frost comes in the fall.
When it’s Time to Cut
You will need some basic supplies. A 5-gallon bucket or similar sized container filled with warm water will help preserve your cut flowers from the garden to your home. You will want a sharp pair of scissors or clippers to cut the stems with.
Cut your zinnias early in the morning while the blooms are just beginning to open. Stripping the leaves off will keep the flowers looking nicer since the leaves will droop and wilt before the flower does. Once cut, immediately place the zinnias into the warm water. Once you have collected the amount you want, take them inside and arrange them in a vase with water and flower preservative. There are several brands of flower preservatives to choose from at garden supply centers. You can also add a little sugar to the water to help your blooms last longer. Add sugar to a level of 1 percent.
How Long Will They Last?
With proper care in cutting the young blossoms early in the morning, and then placing them directly into warm water, they should last at least a week. The blossoms that have opened enough to show their pollen will probably not last as long as the younger ones. Making sure to add flower preservative to the water will extend their life.
Zinnias are a beautiful addition to your garden and with basic care they produce a continuous supply of flowers all summer long. With zinnias, you can fill your home with fresh cut flowers, and by the end of the week your garden will have another fresh batch waiting for you.