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Jul 15, 2014 9:22 AM CST
|I am new to gardening. I have had several of my plants start out very good, the slowly the lower leaves start browning and dying. I have lost my daisy and pansy. Now my Zinnia is starting to do it. Im very careful not to over water. Am i under watering or does it need plant food?
Jul 15, 2014 8:29 PM CST
Considering your Zone and where you are, that's pretty much normal for this time of year. Also, annuals tend to go down hill fast if you don't remove spent flowers because making seeds take a great deal of energy from a plant. That's why you want to cut off the flowers before they go into making seed mode so that energy can be put to use making more flowers and leaves. Do leave a few flowers on though to make seeds if you want, but cut the rest off after they've finished blooming. Pansy's are cool weather flowers - we zone 8 people grow them in Winter.
Definitely feed them and try to keep the soil uniformly moist .. not soaking wet though.
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
Sep 5, 2014 11:23 PM CST
MystWolf said:I am new to gardening. I have had several of my plants start out very good, the slowly the lower leaves start browning and dying. I have lost my daisy and pansy. Now my Zinnia is starting to do it. I'm very careful not to over water. Am I under watering or does it need plant food?
You have several zinnias in a container, and zinnias are heavy feeders, so they probably are very short on nutrients. Considering the delay between when you posted your message and now (I just signed up here recently) your zinnias are probably too long gone to save them. As far south as you are, you might have time to replant that container for a second try. Zinnias bloom in about six weeks from seed. This time I suggest you regularly water the container with a dilute nutrient solution of Miracle-Gro. Full strength is one tablespoon per gallon of water every week to two weeks. I would suggest a much more dilute one teaspoon of Miracle-Gro per gallon, every two or three days. (Two weeks is a rather long time between meals).
It is not necessary for zinnias to have dead lower leaves. This is a picture of one my zinnias that was planted later so that it would come into bloom in the Fall season (about now).
Notice that it is well branched and all of the foliage is healthy. It has had a recent feeding of Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster formula, because plants need more phosphorous to make blooms and seeds. When it was younger it got Miracle-Gro Tomato Food, because zinnias, like tomatoes, appreciate a little extra magnesium (a component of chlorophyll).
Zinnias also need full sun, and unless that container is hanging on the south side of the house, that might be a problem. Sorry I wasn't here to answer you sooner.
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