Zinnias are annual flowers grown for eye-catching colors and are perfect for bouquets or a dazzling late summer garden display. They grow easily from seed but started plants can be purchased at garden centers.
Color and Height.
Zinnias come in every color but blue--namely reds, roses, oranges, pinks, yellows and whites, but there's also one that is chartreuse-green, a mid-sized variety called "Envy". With varieties sized from "Thumbelina", at 6 inches tall to "State Fair"at 3 to 4 feet, and lots of sizes in between, zinnias can be used for tall backgrounds, low mounds for the front of a bed or for container plantings.
Sun and Water.
Put all zinnias in the sunniest part of your space because they love heat. They are warm season plants so wait until the last frost is over before seeding or planting. Avoid mildew by watering at the base of the plants. Allow foliage to dry before the sun goes down.
Pure Colors or Mixed.
Try some of the following zinnia varieties to add to the color of your garden. "Pinwheel" is a compact, bushy, mildew-resistant plant 12 inches high with large 3 1/2-inch flowers in mixed colors. "Zowie" is a 2006 All-America Winner and grows 2 to 3 feet high and has long-lasting 3 to 5-inch flowers of intense rose, scarlet and yellow with prominent center cones. Popular with beginning gardeners is "Orange Star", a mildew-resistant dwarf variety about 10 inches high with profuse orange daisy-like blossoms.