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Zinnia is genus of 20 species of annual and perennial plants from the Asteraceae family. Originally from Mexico, Zinnias are naturally found in area from the American Southwest to South America. They are notable for their single, long stemmed flowers in a variety of vivid colours.
Zinnia leaves are pale to middle green in colour and have a shape that ranges from linear to ovate. The flowers have a large range of appearances, single row petals all the way to dome shaped and have both single and double petals on the flowers. They come in white, chartreuse, yellow, orange, red, purple and lilac. The rarest colour is white. Their height ranges from 15cm all the way up to 1 meter.
This popular garden flower is usually grown from seed and performs best in fertile, well-drained soil with full sun. They re-seed themselves each year. Pruning is recommended so that the branches produce more flowers. Zinnias are favoured by butterflies and are planted by many gardeners specifically to attract them.
Zinnias are prone to powdery mildew, however through cultivation, hybrids have been produced which are much more resistant to the disease. If you spot powdery mildew on your Zinnias dispose of the diseased tissue carefully to avoid spreading.
For longer vase life, cut flowers before they are completely opened.