Type of Plant: Annuals, many cultivars of Zinnia elegans, aka the common garden zinnia.
Why I Love This Plant: At this time of year, I need to be reminded that in five short months I will have a riot of colors in my gardens as the zinnias come into flower. Buying Zinnia seeds gives me the same feeling as getting a new box of crayons or markers did as a kid…with a range of Zinnia varieties, I am ready to get colorful and creative in the garden!
A Word to the Wise: Don’t start the seeds indoors too early. Move backward from your target outdoor planting date six to eight weeks, and start the seeds then. Zinnias germinate quickly and you don’t want the plants to get too tall and leggy before they are planted.
In dry springs you can plant zinnia seeds right in the ground, but if the ground is cold and wet, they may rot before they germinate. For this reason, I’ve found it helpful to start the seeds inside instead of sowing them directly in the ground. Plant zinnias in full sun, and well-drained soil.