Seeds forum: Zinnia - Why some and Not Others?

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Name: Candee Gaye
Western Maryland
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haighr
Oct 5, 2010 8:41 AM CST
Every year when I harvest zinnia seeds some are loaded with seeds while others I just can't seem to find one solitary seed?
Anyone else experience this? Seems some of the bigger flowers are loaded with seed and then another huge one will have none that I can find and the same with the smaller ones?
“If you feel you’re being picked on, you should talk to the flowers in my garden!” ~ cgl
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Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
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Joannabanana
Oct 5, 2010 7:01 PM CST
I've never collected the seeds, but will check them. Still a lot of flowers, so I'm not sure if they have set seed yet
Name: Candee Gaye
Western Maryland
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haighr
Oct 7, 2010 5:53 AM CST
I snip the head when they are finished and then let them dry Joanne, can't get the seed out very easy until they are good and dry.
“If you feel you’re being picked on, you should talk to the flowers in my garden!” ~ cgl
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Name: Doris Klene
Greensburg,Indiana.
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kareoke
Oct 9, 2010 9:12 AM CST
I agree with that, I usualy let the heads stay in a box untill I need them next year, much easier to get the seeds.
Name: Candee Gaye
Western Maryland
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haighr
Oct 9, 2010 4:19 PM CST
Really Doris, I do shake mine out this time of year, but I like that idea of keeping the heads in a box and then just shaking them out next year.
“If you feel you’re being picked on, you should talk to the flowers in my garden!” ~ cgl
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Name: Doris Klene
Greensburg,Indiana.
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kareoke
Oct 9, 2010 4:40 PM CST
works real well because they are so dry by then Hilarious!
Name: Candee Gaye
Western Maryland
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haighr
Oct 9, 2010 4:46 PM CST
Well, then perhaps I will stop my sorting Big Grin right now and just take it easy!
“If you feel you’re being picked on, you should talk to the flowers in my garden!” ~ cgl
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Sep 23, 2011 5:35 PM CST
I had a similar experience the one year I got some dry seedheads before Fall rains rotted them.

A few Zinnia heads had 10-20 well-formed seeds, but most had very few, like zero to 3.

The heads with very few real seeds mostly had them around the very periphery of the bloom.

My two guesses were:
1. incomplete fertilization - not enoguh bees
2. not left on the plant long anough to mature the seeds

Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Sep 24, 2011 4:00 AM CST

Moderator

haighr said:Every year when I harvest zinnia seeds some are loaded with seeds while others I just can't seem to find one solitary seed?
Anyone else experience this? Seems some of the bigger flowers are loaded with seed and then another huge one will have none that I can find and the same with the smaller ones?


I've never seen that happen. Maybe it's just a difference in various types of zinnias (e.g. hybrids), or maybe I just wait longer to collect the seed heads. I leave them on the plant until the blossom is dry and brown, and the stem below is turning brown too.

I have better luck overall from narrow leaf ones (profusion and zahara). Other ones get too much powdery mildew and their seeds don't reliably produce seedlings even close to the parent plant. The profusions and zahara never get PM and always seem to produce identical babies to the mom both in plant size and flower color. If I take the time to nurture something I want to see something like this


Not this
Thumb of 2011-09-24/kqcrna/68374b

Karen
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Sep 24, 2011 6:08 AM CST

Moderator

all the ones I grew in the past.. look like your 2nd one Thumbs down will be trying those for sure
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Sep 24, 2011 6:39 AM CST

Moderator

Again, I try to stick to the easy way (which I think is the smart way), and stick to the KISS principle: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. It's easier and more rewarding to grow plants and seeds that are suited to my alkaline clay soil, cold winters, hot humid summers, etc., that to try to adapt my growing conditions (soil, weather, etc) to the plants.

Profusion zinnias are definitely my favorites. I've never seen powdery mildew on them, and saved seeds come true to the parent size and shape and color every time. And they are heavy bloomers. The photo above is dark apricot profusion.
zahara
Thumb of 2011-09-24/kqcrna/15da44
apricot profusion
Thumb of 2011-09-24/kqcrna/d6ec05
pink profusion
Thumb of 2011-09-24/kqcrna/073803

I really liked the orange profusions, too, but can't find a photo of those. They look especially good in fall.

Karen
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Sep 24, 2011 6:50 AM CST

Moderator

if you find it.. would love to see.. love orange!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Sep 24, 2011 8:43 AM CST

Moderator

Not the best pic of orange profusion, but the best I can find now. They're lining the walkway to porch.

Thumb of 2011-09-24/kqcrna/c7d691
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Sep 25, 2011 5:09 AM CST

Moderator

going to try them for sure.. thanks!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Sep 25, 2011 5:29 AM CST

Moderator

Yes, I think I might do orange again next year, too. I talked myself into it.

Karen
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Sep 25, 2011 2:21 PM CST

Moderator

Beautiful photos, as always, Karen. Love that "Apricot Profusion", but I don't think I"ve seen that color before. Did you start those from seeds, or purchase plants?
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Sep 25, 2011 2:46 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks, Linda. Yes, I started from seed as always. Wintersowing method but sown in early spring.

There are two shades of apricot profusions. The one I grew this year is called dark apricot, the lighter colored one is called apricot. I've grown that one a lot too, and I like them too.

Karen
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Sep 25, 2011 4:57 PM CST
If you like orange you will like these
profusion double fire

purchased plants , but I will be looking for seeds.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Sep 25, 2011 5:08 PM CST

Moderator

ooooooohhhhhhhh drool Cinda!!!
Name: Andi
Pocono Mountains, PA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap
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GardenQuilts
Sep 25, 2011 5:32 PM CST
I have seen these zinnias growing around town, but only in mixed plantings of bright orange, bright golden yellow and white. I performed a random act of kindness (or obsessive act of seed hoarding) by partially deadheading the neglected plants. They must be healthy zinnias to have healthy foliage in spite of the terribly rainy, humid weather we have been having. I am glad to see that they have pastel varieties also!

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