Posts Tagged: zinnia
'Tis the Season to Be 'In the Pink'
As the predominantly red-and-green holiday season draws to a close, and the year crawls to an end, it's time to "bee in the pink." Pink? Yes, "in...
A honey bee "in the pink" is foraging on a begonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee seeking a pink rockpurlane. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee foraging on a pink zinnia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This honey bee is "in the pink"--foraging on a pink oxalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
What's not to like about a pink nectarine blossom? This bee goes in head first. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The Spider, the Syrphid and the Zinnia
What are you having for Thanksgiving? Turkey and all the trimmings? Well, this little jumping spider had his sights set on ambushing a...
A syrphid fly touches down on a zinnia, unaware of a stalking jumping spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Closer and closer comes the jumping spider. The syrphid fly does not see him. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The syrphid fly slurps the nectar, unaware she is being watched. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ready, set...the jumping spider starts his jump to nail the syrphid fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Missed! Hey, where'd you go? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Something Was Wrong
Something was wrong. The Anise Swallowtail (Papillo zelicaon) that fluttered into our bee garden last weekend and began nectaring on zinnia wasn't...
This Anise Swallowtail is missing part of its wing. A predator missed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Anise Swallowtail nectaring on zinnia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Anise Swallowtail about to take flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Lovin' the Zinnias
Orange zinnias not only brighten our autumn days but glorify our gardens. And when there's a bug on the zinnias, all the better. This insect,...
Hover fly, Eristalis hirta, on zinnia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Side view of Hover fly, Eristalis hirta, on zinnia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Zinnias: One of My Favorite Cut Flowers
Zinnias are from the family Asteraceae, and there are many species. The most familiar, Zinnia elegans, is originally from Mexico, and is therefore sun and heat loving plant that grows up to 3’ high.
They have become one of my favorites for cutting because of their intense and varied colors, which make it perfect for a tabletop vase.
I have them planted right now in one of my 4x4’ mini farm boxes, and they have been doing very well for the past two months after a slow start. I put in 6-6 packs of the State Fair Mix last May. The young starts took hold, but showed signs of fertilizer burn for the first 6-8 weeks, which now in retrospect makes sense because of the fresh bagged potting soil they were planted in. However, now, they have more than compensated for their earlier malaise, as they have almost outgrown their container. I pick enough weekly to have a fresh arrangement or two for the house, or to give away. Cuts are made about 12 inches down, but above the side shoots, which will allow new blooms to grow.
This time of year some of the lower leaves have powdery mildew, from too many overcast mornings in Sunset Zone 17, and in spite of hot afternoon sun. However, this is not a problem, since most of the leaves are stripped when they are brought in for arrangements.
For strictly ornamental garden beds, dwarf zinnias (Zinnia angustifolia) look great for instant color, and also as a butterfly attractant. They come in brilliant colors of orange, yellow and white, and they are more resistant to powdery mildew. Mixed with pockets of electric blue Lobelia (Lobelia erinus), they make a stunning garden display.
Zinnia elegans. (photos by Bud Veliquette)
Mini farm box chock full of zinnia and lobelia.