Moisten the soil evenly with water before planting the zinnia seeds. If plants don't get good air circulation, they are prone to powdery mildew on the leaves especially in hot humid weather. Use your fingers to make small holes in the ground. The germination medium must be sterile and well-drained. Soak one seed variety per ice-cube-cell. Pick zinnia flowers frequently and deadhead faded blooms to prolong flowering. Wrap a dry paper towel around the damp paper towel to help keep things moist but not too wet (which could become moldy). EXCEPTION: Some smaller seeds such as lettuce prefer light to germinate and should barely be covered. Soaking sweet pea seeds is supposed to soften the tough outer skin so that the seed can germinate more easily. Soaking the seeds with water also lets it germinate at a faster rate, letting you plant your seed … The average growing time is usually between 4 and 12 weeks. Sow two or three seeds 2in (5cm) apart at 12in (30cm) spacing. Lots of perennial seeds require a period of moist cold (cold stratification) before they will germinate. Seedlings will emerge within 4-7 days and should be thinned to 4-6 inches apart in the row. A staple in the home garden for generations, zinnias (Zinnia elegans) are flowering annuals that make a perfect addition to a garden or patio with bright, colorful flowers for summer. If the seed is still attached, that should be at the top. Keep the soil moist but not soggy until germination, and maintain temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. An easy way to do this is to set the flat, pots or tray in a container of water so the water seeps up into the soil. The shells of these seeds are very thick, so they might not germinate well if they are not thoroughly soaked. Scarifying seeds is nicking to weaken the outer seed coating so that moisture can penetrate into the actual seed. The reasons to dry seeds before planting listed below are specifically for those type of seeds that do need to be dried before planting. Plant zinnia seeds a quarter inch (.6 centimeter) deep. Germination rates are improved by filing down the seeds just enough to break the coat, then soaking them for 24 hours before planting. They grow in hot climates without cold winters, so seeds don't need cold treatment to germinate. Seeds can be planted indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost and the seedlings can be easily transplanted into your outdoor garden later on. Do this by setting them outside in a covered area like a covered porch or a carport for at least a week before transplanting them. They have bright, solitary, daisy-like flowerheads on a single, erect stem, which makes them great for use as a cutting flower or as food for butterflies . Because the purpose of soaking seeds is to break through that hard protective outer shell and to give the seed a good healthy drink before it is planted, small seeds are probably not good candidates for soaking. Let the flower heads dry on the plant before snipping the stem. There are far more options than I’ve listed here but this is a good start. Sowing Seed Indoors: Sow indoors 5-7 weeks before outdoor planting date in spring using a seed starting kit; Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed starting formula; Keep the soil moist at 70-75 degrees F When ready, the seeds should be somewhat swollen but still firm. For a cheaper alternative, use paper egg cartons as seed trays that can be planted directly in the garden along with the seedlings. Whether you're planting indoors or out, it's a good idea to break or soften the hard seed coat before planting. Spread seeds out in a single layer on the paper towel. Moreover, it is best to soak dried seeds in water for 4-6 hours before planting. I’ve listed everything below and you can save the download for future reference. This means they need to be tough.And it also means they can be reluctant to germinate, with their hard protective shells forming a barrier that the seed embryo needs time to break through. If the water they’re soaking in is warm, it may take less time. The ancestors of our hybrid garden zinnias (Zinnia spp.) Throughout the growing season, make sure the soil remains moist and water as needed to retain moisture. You can also start them indoors in peat pots if you keep the soil temperature at 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a heating mat. Soak the garden for up to 4 hours at a time, letting water soak deep, then let upper soil layers dry out before watering again. - Cut some tiny squares of white plastic and write a number or letter on each. If it’s planting time when you conduct the test, you can plant the seeds that sprouted in potting soil, or discard them and plant fresh seeds from the batch. Wide flowers give a sturdy landing platform for even big butterflies like tiger swallowtails. The best soil for zinnia flowers is rich in organic matter, but these plants will adapt to most soil conditions. When you do feed them, use a diluted indoor houseplant food and follow the listed directions. Since zinnias are annual, they grow in any U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone in summer. Seedlings don't handle transplanting well unless they are in biodegradable pots and can be set directly in place without disturbing the roots. Use a paper towel or coffee filter to drain the water. Remember, whether or not a seed should be dried before planting all depends on the type of seed in question. Zinnias famously hate root disturbance, so it is best to sow directly into freely drained soil with a fine tilth.Sow two or three seeds 2in (5cm) apart at 12in (30cm) spacing. Let us show you the way. Zinnia flowers need to get used to outdoor conditions before you move them to the ground. Learn how to scarify and soak seeds for spring planting. Water thoroughly at planting. Turn over the soil in the area you want to plant your zinnias and work in 2 or 3 inches of compost or peat moss to help improve soil fertility and drainage. If you just want to grow zinnias and you don't care about flower color or form, you can collect seeds from your own pollinated zinnias. After building her own home with her husband, she has a new appreciation for the many decisions required to turn a house into a home. How To Grow Thunbergia From Seed: It is recommended to soak the Black-eyed Susan vine seeds over night in tepid water. Cover seeds with 1/4 inch of potting mix and keep them moist until they sprout, usually within four to seven days. Soak the seeds overnight before planting. Cathryn Chaney has worked as a gardening writer since 2002. Tomato seeds don't necessarily need to be soaked before they are planted. Zinnias famously hate root disturbance, so it is best to sow directly into freely drained soil with a fine tilth. Once your zinnia seeds start to turn into plants, prepare them to go outside but don't transplant them right away. The area should have good drainage because zinnia flowers don't like to be wet. If you’re planting native seeds and aren’t sure, chances are you should at least scarify and soak your seeds before planting. Use your fingers to make small holes in the ground. Seedlings should appear in about a week. If you are interested in adding zinnia to your butterfly garden, try "Cut and Come Again," a large double flower in pink, scarlet, yellow and orange. Minimize wetting of foliage and space plants properly to avoid disease. Moreover, it is best to soak dried seeds in water for 4-6 hours before planting. This allows the seeds to absorb more oxygen, helping them sprout efficiently. Plant the seeds only about ¼” – ½” deep and you should see seedlings sprout in four to seven days. Plant seeds directly in the garden when the soil is warm. Growing watermelon can be a great addition to your vegetable garden but how do you start watermelon seeds? Best done on one end of the seed, rather than in the center. You should water a zinnia plant once or twice a week throughout dry times. This promotes deep root growth, more lasting beauty and better harvest from your plants, and helps retard weed growth. Then they will be ready to put outside when the air and soil temperature warms up. Space seeds about 6 inches apart. The growing time varies depending on what you’re planting and should be on the seed packet label. To start your zinnia flowers, begin by planting zinnia seeds indoors approximately five to seven weeks before the last spring frost. Following the soaking, sow Thunbergia seeds outdoors after the last frost in prepared seed bed. Her horticultural experience working in the nursery industry informs her garden articles, especially those dealing with arid landscaping and drought-tolerant gardening. There's no predicting what you'll get, since you are creating your own hybrids. Remember that germination is less successful in cold soil. You can see the hard, almost walnut-like seed coating on these Nasturtium seeds. Thin out the seedlings, so you end up with one plant every 12in (30cm) or so. Soak your seeds in a 3% hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes. The shells of these seeds are very thick, so they might not germinate well if they are not thoroughly soaked. Smaller seeds such as zinnia and marigolds can be soaked as well. I don't know about all seeds, but I think most, if not all, commercial zinnia seeds have been heat treated to kill diseases on the seeds. Zinnias will last for around two months, so stagger multiple plantings in the garden to keep zinnia flowers in the garden from spring through fall. 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