‘gift’ zinnia zinnia elegans
This heirloom zinnia is the perfect addition to any garden, regardless of age. This all-red variety hails from Russia, but has been grown in North America for a long time. To grow ‘Gift’ zinnias in your garden, you can direct-sow the seeds after the last frost. Sow seeds about 1/8 in. deep. After they have sprouted, thin seedlings so plants are 6 to 12 in. apart.
If you’d like a bushy plant, pinch out the center growing tip when there are three or four sets of leaves. This will produce a shorter plant with more flowers. For larger flowers, remove some of the side shoots so the plant focuses its energy on the remaining flower buds.
Unfortunately, powdery mildew is a problem with ‘Gift’ and most other zinnias. Spray plants with a mixture of 1 tablespoon baking soda and liquid dish soap to 1 gallon of water every 10 to 14 days from spring through flowering. The extra effort is worth it to grow this heirloom zinnia.
TYPE Annual SIZE 3 to 4 ft. tall, 1 ft. wide BLOOM Summer to fall LIGHT Full sun SOIL Well-drained PESTS Powdery mildew HARDINESS Annual; Heat: AHS zones 12 to 1