Zinnia is one of my favorite summer flowers. I plant these blooming annual plants everywhere-my raised bed, my front yard ornamental garden, flower pots. I like to plant a variety of colors and a few kinds of plants so that I can cut a few flowers here and there for flower arrangements, while leaving enough time to admire in the garden. There are many gorgeous varieties, but today I want to talk about the Zinnia Profusion series.
What I admire about these plants is that they form these lovely, even clusters in the garden and are covered by flowers. This made me understand why the process of naming this plant must be quite easy. Plants are always dense and full, full of flowers!
Due to the size and shape of the plant, a large amount of zinnia has a wide range of uses. They are the perfect complement to elevated gardens, where they will attract many valuable pollinators. The Zinnia of the Profusion series is an interspecies cross between Zinnia and Small-leaf Zinnia. The large-flowered traits of nematodes hybridize with the disease resistance of narrow leaves. (Interspecies hybrids are the crosses of two species from the same genus.) They bloom throughout the season until autumn when the temperature really starts to drop and eventually affects their vigor. Even if they do start to fade, after a few frosts, I am always reluctant to pull out the plants because they still look great.
10 reasons why you should consider planting Zinnia Profusion varieties
- The foliage is often described as “durable,” making it resistant to insect pests and not as palatable to rabbits and deer.
- Pollinators love them! My zinnias are always covered in bees and butterflies, and occasionally, I’ll see a hummingbird flitting about and landing on them, too.
- Plants are resistant to powdery mildew.
- The plants grow well in both warm and cool climates.
- Plants are drought tolerant and heat resistant.
- Plants flower continuously even without being deadheaded.
- The Profusion series has seven varieties that have been AAS (All-America Selections) winners, meaning judges from across North America have singled these annuals out for a reason!
- Plants are reasonably compact, which means they are suitable not only for gardens, but for larger container plantings, too.
- They come in a variety of colors, from primary hues, like white, red, and yellow, to pink and apricot. Some colors are doubles.
- Plants flower through the summer until fall’s first frosts.
Starting Zinnia Profusion seeds indoors
I start my zinnia seeds indoors in a container filled with seed-starting mix that I then place under my grow lights, so the plants can get a head start. You may wish to use a heat mat to encourage germination, but I’ve had success without.
Don’t start seeds too early, as they germinate and shoot up quickly (and could become leggy, depending on your light situation). About four to six weeks before your frost-free date is sufficient. Depending on how densely you plant, you may want to thin the seedlings—transfer singles to four-inch (10 cm) pots or cell packs.
Planting zinnia seeds and seedlings
Plant your zinnias in a garden, raised bed, or appropriately sized pot with well-draining soil. Having wet feet can lead to disease. Choose a spot that gets full sun, amend your soil with compost, and plant your seedlings (or sow seeds) after all danger of frost has passed (check your frost-free date as a guideline, but keep an eye on unpredictable spring weather). The soil should be about 70°F (21°C). I plant my seedlings when it’s safe to plant my tomatoes. If you’re planting seedlings started indoors, make sure to harden them off for a few days before planting them directly in the garden.
Sow seeds about a quarter of an inch (half a cm) deep, and space according to the packet’s directions. Water lightly until seedlings have developed, so the seeds don’t wash away. You may need to thin your seedlings. Follow the same steps when planting in a pot, but use a potting soil amended with a bit of compost.
Profusion zinnias generally grow to be about 16 to 18 inches (40 to 46 cm) tall and 20 to 24 inches (51 to 61 cm) wide. In cooler, northern climates, they may not quite reach their projected size.
Stagger seed sowing and planting seedlings, so that not all your plants mature at the same time—though the plants themselves will continue to bloom throughout the entire season!
Take care of your zinnia
Although the plants are drought tolerant, be sure to give them a drink as part of the watering procedure.
Fertilize zinnias with fish/seaweed liquid fertilizer every two to three weeks during the growing season.
Deadheading is not entirely necessary, but it does make plants look fresh.
Use a pair of clean garden shears to cut out the flowers that have fallen out—or cut flowers for bouquets.
I avoid being dumbfounded at the end of the season, because the flowers look interesting as the autumn temperatures begin to affect the flowers.
The latest introduction, Zinnia red and yellow color
This year, I will plant 2021 AAS flower winner Zinnia red and yellow on my raised bed.
The red and yellow flowers look very beautiful, so I am very happy that they bloom.
This variety also won the European Fleuroselect gold medal.