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Name: Elizabeth Braden
Denver Colorado (Zone 5a)
Nov 9, 2016 9:25 PM CST
Hi! I'm in Denver Colorado and for the last 2 years I have planted giant zinnias in the front of my house. They are beautiful! Is there any way of saving the roots, boxing them up or something, for another year or do you have to replant the seeds every year?
If I do need to buy seeds does anyone know of a really good place to buy tall multi-colored seeds? I noticed that this year's we're not as tall but I believe that is because I didn't replenish the Earth the spring. I have done so for next spring so I should be okay there.
Thank you very much! Elizabeth
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Nov 9, 2016 9:59 PM CST
Hi Elizabeth, and welcome. Zinnias are annuals, which means that they complete their entire life cycle in one season. Some plants that are grown for flowers in cold winter areas eg. petunias are actually tender perennials that will carry on from year to year if you can keep them happy through the winter. Not Zinnias though.

You certainly could collect seeds from the zinnias you planted last year, if you can get to them before the birds and squirrels do. Just let a few spent flowers stay on the plants towards the end of the season, and they will give you seeds. If you can bag the spent flower heads in something while the seeds ripen, then the birds and critters won't eat your seeds - socks or old stockings work, or some people who collect a lot of seeds buy the little organza party favor bags that are very inexpensive

But saving the roots for next year will not work. They are done once they finish up blooming.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Nov 9, 2016 10:02 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
Nov 10, 2016 4:10 PM CST
Hi Elizabeth! Welcome to NGA.

I agree that true annuals won't come back from over-wintering roots, and zinnias are true annuals.

I wonder whether a zinnia CUTTING started in fall would have any chance of lasting through the winter indoors and then being put outside? I'll never know because I only know how to ROT cuttings, not root them. And I like starting easy seeds.

I don't know any website that would have unusually good good prices on common flower seeds.

There are some that offer unusually small packets for slightly less money (but then almost all of your cost goes into the shipping and handling charge). And the cost-per-seed must be more, though I've never gone to that kind of online store.

If you want HUGE packets and the ability to pick all-one-color, Hazzards is like that. Kind of whole-sale-ish.

My suggestion is to join a seed swap. You'll have to pay shipping two ways ($7 plus $4-7, depending on how you mail your seeds in to the swap host). And you'll have to have some seeds to offer, either saved seeds or commercial seeds that you buy and then sub-divide. But you can bring home not just dozens, but perhaps 100 small trade packets. That lets you try more varieties than most of us have room for!

The only variety name I know of for "tall" zinnias is "Benary Giant" (36 - 40 inches tall). Usually I look for something like "Zinnias - Giant Cactus Mix".

If you don't mind old seeds, and a LONG delay, and maybe having to remind me, you could Tree-mail your home address to me and I'll send some Zinnia packets I've saved or gotten in trade. (I have plenty and the older seeds have started complaining to me that they fear they'll never get into the ground at MY house.)

But I might not be able to guarantee they are all TALL varieties. If I limit it to pkts with a clear variety name, and I can find that variety listed as more than 3 feet tall or whatever, I could limit it to those. I tend to collect red-yellow-orange, but I have at least one trade pkt of "Envy" Zinnia (light green blooms!)

But be warned: I would toss in some Bok Choy seeds, lettuce, chard and spinach, since the weight is negligible and I bought those in huge packets for trading. Sorry, but I have some kind of "greens compulsion" (O. Seed D.)

I don't need any seeds back, or postage re-reimbursement. Just, some day, give someone else some of your seeds. Or join any NGA seed swap and I'll be delighted.

Nov 30, 2016 10:25 AM CST
I plant a huge garden of Zinnias every year and always buy more seeds each year as well as collect them. The collected ones end up being different color and size as to what I planted previously as they cross pollinate easily and become a new variety. I've had fantastic success with Eden Brothers seed company as they have a huge selection and sale everything from packets to pounds.

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