Zinnia elegans belongs to the Asteraceae (sunflower) family and is a highly bred annual. They range from a single row of petals and an easy to see centre to multiple rows of petals with a hard to see centre, and many variations in between. As a standard rule, flowers with a single row of petals with an easy to access centre are better for pollinators than the flowers with multiple rows of petals with a hard to see centre. So if your goal is to attract pollinators the more simple flowers are the way to go. Zinnias are sun loving plants and are subject to mildew so best to soak the soil below the plant than to water overhead. They bloom summer to fall and make a good cut flower, which will help make the plant bushier and keep the plant producing flowers. As an annual, the plant’s life cycle is to grow, produce flowers, have them pollinated and then go to seed, and then die at the end of the season leaving behind the seeds to start new plants the following year. These plants should be planted about 12″ apart to give them growing room and will grow 1′ to 3′ tall depending on the variety, and come in a variety of colours.

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