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Why is it that you rarely see zinnias in summer bedding displays? Do they give the impression of being an old-fashioned flower? Well, I think they’re in for a revival, and with some stunning new varieties coming onto the market I’m recommending them to everyone.
For me it’s the single colours that appeal. Bedding plant producers tell me that at retail it’s always packs of colour mixtures that sell best, but I always avoid these. OK, so I must be an exception, but thankfully the seed companies cater to my taste for single colours.
Pictured above is a brand new zinnia that you may have discovered this year, but will be widely available in the 2011 seed catalogues. It’s called ‘Purple Prince’ and I’ve been trialling it this summer. I love it! Growing up to about 75cm (30in) the large, mainly double flowers open first at the tip of the main shoot. Once these fade and are snipped away, further flowers develop in succession on side shoots.
This new variety has very long-lasting flowers that I’ve enjoyed in the garden, although they could have been cut for indoor display.
Another variety to consider is Zinnia marylandica ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’ (pictured left), a beautiful bicolour variety that has resistance to leaf spot and mildew disease, that can sometimes devastate zinnia plants, particularly varieties of Z. elegans.
There are many others, including the fiery Z. elegans ‘Cactus Orange’, burning ‘Benaries Red’ and pale green ‘Envy’.
Are zinnias set for a revival, and will you be growing them?
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