Super new cut flower zinnias

November 21st, 2014 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Zinnias may not be the first flowers that come to mind in November, but these two new varieties are so special that it will pay to get your order for them in before they sell out. So what’s so good about them?

Zinnia 'Zinderella Peach' is a lovely new scabious-flowered variety.These two new ‘Zinderella’ varieties are a complete new look at the old scabious flowered zinnias. ‘Scabious Flowered Mixed’ had deteriorated so much over the decades that the sensible thing was to start again and develop a completely new series of these lovely zinnias, and in colours that match today’s tastes. So rich and pastel shades instead of garish primary colours.

Each flower is about 21/2in/6.5cm across, and crested and packed with petals as what is usually the eye of the zinnia flower has become partly transformed into petals, just leaving a small, tight dark zone in the centre and a ring of slightly longer petals around the edge. It makes a very attractive flower.

So far, ‘Zinderella’ zinnias are in two colours: ‘Zinderella Lilac’ comes in shades of pale lilac, almost pale rose, with a reddish centre while ‘Zinderella Peach’ comes in peach and apricot tones with a honey reddish centre.

Now, of course, these flowers are so packed with petals that they’re heavier than the flowers of most zinnias. So, with the plants being 2ft/60cm tall, the stems must be strong enough to support the flowers without bending or breaking. And they are.

Zinnia 'Zinderella Lilac' is a pretty new zinnia for cutting.One thing about all large flowered zinnias like these is that they hate being pot bound or having their roots disturbed before you get them in the ground. Sow them in large cells, or even three seeds to a 3in/7.5cm pot, in heat in April or May and get them planted out before they grow too large. And be sure they have plenty of sun.

When the time comes for cutting them, leave them a little longer than you might think and cut them when there’s plenty of colour in the flowers. And always use flower food.

You can order seed of Zinnia ‘Zinderella Lilac’ from Mr Fothergill’s and you can also order seed of Zinnia ‘Zinderella Peach’ from Mr Fothergill’s. Don’t leave it till the last minute.

 

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Is one of our best known gardening writers. A graduate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Graham was previously Gardening Correspondent of The Observer.
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