It Can Be Fun To Breed Your Own Zinnias

By ZenMan
April 6, 2015

As you already know, zinnias are easy to grow, and they come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, shapes, and descriptions. But did you also know that zinnias offer you an easy entry into the hobby of plant breeding?

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Avatar for Marigold246
Jun 11, 2020 12:52 PM CST

Hi Zen Man,
I came across your name regarding zinnias and their issues on a few sites over a long period of time so it seems you are quite knowledgeable about them.

I joined here in order to seek out your expertise.

This is my second year growing zinnias for cut flowers. This year I used seeds from Botanical Interests.

Seedlings are about four inches high and I am noticing a few branching already which I thought was early since I haven't pinched them. And on those there are deformed leaves. The are pinching together and narrow to the end, almost what is would look like if a Caterpillar was making a nest, but no bugs.

I'm assuming a nutritional deficiency or something but I have very little experience and am not finding the problem online.
Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Avatar for ZenMan
Jun 12, 2020 9:57 AM CST
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United States of America Seed Starter Keeper of Poultry Hybridizer
Hummingbirder Dragonflies Garden Photography Butterflies Zinnias Garden Ideas: Level 2
Hi Marigold246, Welcome!
Welcome to this National Gardening Association forum.

That picture does look like a nutritive deficiency. I recommend feeding zinnias with Miracle-Gro Tomato Food. It is a reasonably complete formula with a bit more Magnesium than most of the Miracle-Gro formulas.

ZM (not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)
I tip my hat to you.
Avatar for Marigold246
Jun 19, 2020 12:12 PM CST

Hi Zen man, thank you for the reply. I was honestly beginning to think it might Aster Yellow. Some of my nearby strawberries have deformed leaves as well, but I guess that could also be nutrition. I hit them with some regular miracle gro that I had on hand and will pick up some tomato MG when I am able to. I sell these roadside or at a small farm stand nearby and the income is helpful so it was devastating to think I might lose my crop after putting so much work I to them this spring. I am still new to zinnias and by no means a master of dealing with problems if any arise. Thanks again.
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