Zinnia - growing from seeds at home
- Zinnia: growing from seed
- How to grow zinnia seedlings at home
- Planting zinnias
An ornamental plant called zinnia is very popular among gardeners. The ancient Aztecs began to grow the flower. Zinnia is native to southern Mexico. The flower is used in Russia to decorate the garden and adjoining territories.
Zinnia: growing from seed
Both perennial and annual zinnias can be propagated generatively.
How and when to collect seeds
Seeds for subsequent planting must be collected from flowers that are brightly colored and have the correct shape. It is best to pre-select specimens that are especially pleasing to the eye during flowering. It is recommended to take seed material only from those plants that have a thick stem and a well-developed head. It is better not to take seed material from low-growing plants, as it will be of poor quality.
How to collect seeds
Collecting zinnia seeds is necessary in dry and sunny weather. If it rained before the expected harvest time, then you should wait until the buds are completely dry, as a rule, this happens within 3-4 days. If the summer is rainy, experienced gardeners in such situations cut wet flowers and dry them at home. Otherwise, the seeds may lose their germination due to rotting.
Before you start collecting seeds, you need to prepare a dry container, a sheet of paper or cotton bags. Subsequently, the collection is carried out in the following sequence:
- First, the most suitable and dried flowers are determined. The fact that they are ready to collect seeds is evidenced by the dark color of the head and the stem of a brown shade. A stiff brush should resemble the middle of a flower.
- With your fingers, you need to carefully remove the middle from the flower and put it in a container.
- As soon as the middle is removed from all the flowers, the seeds should be gently shaken out from them onto a sheet of paper, then sorted out.
After the seeds are sorted out, you need to sort them and arrange them in matchboxes, bags or paper envelopes, depending on your preferences.
Seed selection and planting time
When collecting seeds, experienced gardeners immediately sort them into groups depending on shape and size. Store them in breathable bags or packages, in places protected from light and freezing temperatures. If everything was done correctly during the collection of seeds, then they perfectly retain their germination for 3-4 years. To ensure the quality of the seeds before planting, you need to soak them. There are absolutely no difficulties in choosing seeds.
Planting dates are determined depending on the planting method and the climatic conditions of the region. In the southern regions, in early spring, zinnia is immediately sown into the ground. In all other regions, mid-April is considered the most optimal time for sowing seeds for seedlings.
Preparing seeds for planting seedlings
When planting a flower such as zinnia, growing seedlings from seeds is considered the best option in all regions of Russia except the South. Seedlings can be grown both at home and in greenhouses or hotbeds.
Before sowing, the seeds collected from the plants are recommended to be independently kept in a solution of potassium permanganate or phytosporin. Such activities will help destroy fungal spores. If the seeds were purchased in a store, then they do not need preliminary preparation.
Sowing seeds in the spring directly into the ground
As soon as the weather settles in the region, zinnia is planted in the ground. In regions where winters are not very cold, seeds can be sown before winter, as they are not afraid of low temperatures. In spring, the flower is sown from late March to late May. In Siberia and the Urals, it is best to sow as late as possible.
The seeds are planted in the ground and watered abundantly. If germination is too dense, then it must be thinned out. It is not recommended to transplant the flower, as it has a very weak root system. Such activities significantly slow down the development process.
It is recommended to sow seeds in the ground no deeper than 1-2 cm.The distance between the rows should be within the range of 30 to 40 cm.
How to grow zinnia seedlings at home
As mentioned earlier, planting zinnia seeds for seedlings should not be earlier than mid-April. If you do this earlier, then the stems of the seedlings will be very fragile, and it will be problematic to replant them.
Sowing seeds for seedlings
When planting seeds for seedlings, it should be borne in mind that flowers do not like picking very much, so it is best to sow them right away in individual containers. They must be equipped with drainage holes.
An important stage in planting is the preparation of the soil mixture, which is carried out before sowing the seeds. The soil should be light, nutritious, permeable and loose.
The seedling method is considered the most time-consuming and involves the following step-by-step actions:
- Seeds are first sown in boxes and kept at temperatures between 18 ° C and 20 ° C. If all conditions are met, seedlings appear in about five days.
- Throughout the growth, the seedlings must be protected from direct sunlight and watered moderately.
- When the zinnia seedlings at home give the first leaf, it must be dived.
- From the second half of May, seedlings are grown in open ground.
Picking seedlings and caring for young zinnias
As soon as several true leaves appear on the seedlings, it is recommended to immediately plant them in separate containers. When picking, you should be very careful about your plants, since it is very important to prevent damage to the roots.
You can exclude this possibility by first watering the flower abundantly with water and leaving it for several hours. After that, each sprout can be moved freely.
In order for zinnia to develop well, it needs to provide the proper level of lighting and moisture.
Hardening of seedlings
An important stage is the hardening of seedlings, which should begin from the beginning of May. To do this, the plant must be taken outside on sunny and warm days. The residence time is initially limited to 30 minutes and then gradually increased.
Why are seedlings pulled out
When growing zinnia from seeds at home, you may be faced with the fact that the seedlings begin to stretch. This occurs mainly as a result of non-compliance with growing conditions. Too early planting of seeds, high temperature at the location of the seedlings, as well as too dense sowing can provoke such an effect.
To prevent the seedlings from stretching, it should be provided with additional lighting with special phytolamps, systematic ventilation and maintenance of the optimum temperature.
Before planting zinnia at home, gardeners recommend soaking it in a damp cloth. This advice will help determine the germination of seeds. Sowing is carried out as soon as the spring frosts are over.
When to plant zinnias in the ground
Many novice gardeners are worried about when it is possible to plant zinnias in open ground. The answer is very simple: you can plant a flower as soon as the danger of frost return disappears. This usually happens in mid-May.
To grow a beautiful flower, you need to provide it with comfortable conditions. The area where you plan to grow zinnia should be well lit and protected from soil acidity and drafts.
Before planting a plant in the soil and continuing to grow it, it is necessary to carry out preparatory measures: the site must be cleared of weeds. To do this, you need to dig up the soil to a depth of about 45 cm, and the soil must also be fertilized. If everything is done correctly, then zinnia will bloom in early June.
Thus, even a novice gardener should not have any difficulties with growing these flowers. The main thing is to plant the seeds for seedlings on time, and then pick them carefully. In addition, it is important not to miss a good time to land in open ground. Only then will the zinnia delight with its flowering all summer.