Annuals forum: tall single-colored zinnia varieties

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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 23, 2016 5:41 AM CST
This spring I'm planning a big bed of zinnias. I'd like to do some cross-pollinating as per Zen_Man but as a test I'd like to find a (reliably) tall, (reliably) single-colored white strain of Zinnia elegans (AKA Zinnia violacea).

There are several listed out there but I know some of them have poor fidelity (i.e. some have many short plants and some have cream- or yellow-colored flowers).

So I ask for others' experiences: are there any large, white, varieties I should look into?

Short of that, what is the largest, darkest, purple variety that's readily available?

Thank you, thank you and Merry Christmas!
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Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
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ZenMan
Dec 23, 2016 1:15 PM CST
Hi Jai,

" ...are there any large, white, varieties I should look into? "

Cut flower growers would probably say Benary's Giant White.

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/flo...

The heirloom zinnia variety Polar Bear is an alternative.

http://www.edenbrothers.com/st...

" ...what is the largest, darkest, purple variety that's readily available? "

There aren't any super dark purple zinnia varieties that I know of, and there should be, because zinnias are capable of really dark purples. The Benary's Giant Purple is what I would call a medium purple.

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/flo...

Benary's Giant Wine may actually be a bit darker.

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/flo...

Zinnia Purple Prince is what I would call a medium purple.

http://www.edenbrothers.com/st...

And zinnia Giant Cactus Purple is also just "medium" in my opinion.

http://www.hazzardsgreenhouse....

Zinnia Gigantica Cherry is unfortunately not "Black Cherry"

http://www.hazzardsgreenhouse....

I have had zinnias a little darker than medium purple, but nothing approaching dark purple. The Haageanas can do dark purple.
Thumb of 2016-12-23/ZenMan/be1c30 Thumb of 2016-12-23/ZenMan/088a24
We need to get that dark purple transferred into a large flowered zinnia.

ZM (not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 24, 2016 1:30 AM CST
Thank you. I've come across the dark purple Z. haageana before but from what I remember they're dark purple and white, not solid dark purple. Have you ever had any which are a solid, dark purple?

It makes sense that there are no deep, dark, purple strains--that's why I couldn't find them.

What about deep, dark, red? Do any varieties approach that?
Keep going!
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
Dec 25, 2016 2:20 PM CST
Hi Jai,

" What about deep, dark, red? Do any varieties approach that? "

You might be able to call Benary's Giant Wine a deep red.

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/flo...

Otherwise, for a blood red, Benary's Giant Deep Red is a candidate.

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/flo...

Improving zinnia colors is one goal that both professional and amateur zinnia breeders can do. I like the metallic sheen that one of my scabiosa recombinants exhibited.
Thumb of 2016-12-25/ZenMan/d7008f
It also had a blue-ish look. Zinnias can be full of surprises.

ZM (not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 27, 2016 11:46 PM CST
Thank you. I don't mean to rain on anybody's parade but I don't like the scabiosa flower form or the pale washed-out purple-gray color. That sounds much meaner than I mean it!

I wonder if you've ever dealt with Renee's Garden seed company? I wrote to them asking about zinnia varieties and they recommended the "hot" and "cool" crayon colors for zinnias that will grow reliably tall. Just curious if you've dealt with them before? I have, but not with zinnias.
Keep going!
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 29, 2016 1:38 AM CST
I just ordered a butt load of Giant Wine from Stokes and threw in some more Whirligigs while I was at it.

I have a feeling I'm going to have way too many seeds come spring. Haha.
Keep going!
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
Jan 1, 2017 9:24 PM CST
Jai_Ganesha said:I have a feeling I'm going to have way too many seeds come spring. Haha.


Hi Jack,

If you have too many zinnia seeds, you can always use that trick of pouring them out on a sheet of white paper and picking out just the most "interesting" ones to plant. And save the rest for later.

ZM
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Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Amaryllis Houseplants Annuals Garden Photography
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kniphofia
Jan 27, 2017 11:21 AM CST
Chiltern has some interesting varieties for their "Year of the Zinnia"

http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk...
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies Cat Lover
Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
Apr 27, 2017 3:05 PM CST
Zenman ~ What about a tall white single flowered zinnia? I have seen the small short ones in singles. I really like the "daisy" form.
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Apr 27, 2017 3:39 PM CST
evelyninthegarden said:Zenman ~ What about a tall white single flowered zinnia? I have seen the small short ones in singles. I really like the "daisy" form.

Hi Evelyn,

I haven't seen a tall white single zinnia, although I am sure such a thing is possible. I have seen some white zinnias with a loose informal flower form that is unlike conventional zinnias. And some with daisy-like petals.
Zinnia
Posted by ZenMan
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Thumb of 2017-04-27/ZenMan/94c568
I have seen a few zinnias with petals that were very rounded on the ends like daisies.
Thumb of 2017-04-27/ZenMan/bebe90
So I think that zinnias could do a good job of mimicking a white daisy. But as far as I know, it hasn't actually been done yet.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies Cat Lover
Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
May 13, 2017 3:18 PM CST
What is the name of that white zinnia?
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
May 13, 2017 11:21 PM CST
evelyninthegarden said:What is the name of that white zinnia?

Hi Evelyn,

It is one of my "hybrids between hybrids" and it doesn't have a name. Its ancestors include Burpeeana Giants and Whirligigs. Whirligigs can be unusual. This oddball one came directly from a packet of Whirligigs.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.



Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies Cat Lover
Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
May 13, 2017 11:27 PM CST
That is awesome! Could I buy some seeds from you?
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
May 14, 2017 12:31 PM CST
evelyninthegarden said:That is awesome! Could I buy some seeds from you?

Hi Evelyn,

Thanks for the compliment. Some day I hope to make some of these new zinnias available to the general public as commercial strains, and the route for doing that would be to build up a seed stock of "purified" strains that I could supply to a commercial seed grower who would then further multiply them to commercial quantities for commercial introduction. A seed grower would conceivably not be interested in paying me for a seed stock if some of them had already been distributed.

I did not get into this zinnia hobby with the idea of profiting from it, and that is still true, and it will remain true. I enjoy growing and breeding zinnias, and that enjoyment is my reward. Any future negotiations with a commercial grower will be just something that "needs to be done" to serve the public.

Since I am a bit of a "slow poke", your fastest way to enjoy new zinnias might be to take up the zinnia breeding hobby. And, as they say, "getting there" can be more fun than "being there". I don't share seeds, but I am always ready to share advice. (I know, you would rather have seeds. Grin.)

The thread "It can be fun to breed your own zinnias." in Annuals forum

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills - (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: California Annuals Bulbs Butterflies Cat Lover
Foliage Fan Irises Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
May 14, 2017 4:41 PM CST
ZenMan ~ Thank you.

S_I
Jan 12, 2018 12:38 AM CST
Hi Zen_Man,

This is a old thread but your bluish white zinnia inspired me to bread my own zinnia!

I never liked zinnia because I always thought zinnia flower colours to be somewhat 'opaque'- I mean, muddy, and no ethereal quality in it, as well as always tending to warm colours like, pink ones looking more of peachy pink rather than mauve-pink . These ones are only zinnias I see sold down-under. and I prefer my flowers in cool shades.

HOWEVER, your cool shade zinnias are truely devine! I have read your zinnia breeding threads in various places ever since!

I only began giving a thought to growing one this season (middle of summer now here), getting too hot for anything else to germinate now. I am gernminating viola cornuta (my favourite flowers)/pansy in my fridge (they love it!) - some of them have gone to 2ndary thermodormant and had to get GA3 online to break it.

It's rather Mediterranean where I live, some say equivalent to California, dry summers and wet winter/spring and I am in one of the cooler parts of the continent. Even then, germination seasons ended months ago for it's now dry/hot summer! Various dianthus species do very well here and quite suitable to grow Californian and Turkish salvias. I have impression that zinnia came from summer wet areas and they seem prone to powdery mildew where I live. I don't get it that people always blame dampness for PM.

So far I have only acquired Envy(Queen Lime unavailable here yet), Exquisite (pink), Scabiosa flowered mix and Lilliput. Isabella (creamy yellow) was also thrown in as a gift from a ebay seller. As you may have guessed, not very many cultivars are available here. I am aware that I must get purple zinnia as well as white one if I am to breed bluish zinnia but suffering from limited space. Time's running out!

Sayuri.

Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Jan 12, 2018 3:57 PM CST
S_I said:This is a old thread but your bluish white zinnia inspired me to breed my own zinnias! ...and I prefer my flowers in cool shades.

Hello Sayuri,
Nice name. This is an old thread, but your message here answers some of my uncertainties over in the Houzz GardenWeb message thread.
S_I said:I have impression that zinnia came from summer wet areas and they seem prone to powdery mildew where I live. I don't get it that people always blame dampness for PM.

I agree. That is a common misconception. We will discuss Powdery Mildew in subsequent messages over at GardenWeb. Since this is an old thread, I will continue my response over at GardenWeb in the "It can be fun to breed your own zinnias" message thread in the Annuals forum there. You were wise to leave your response here, because it helped me understand your reference to a bluish white zinnia. I will start composing a response to your query over at GardenWeb, because that is an active message thread, and other participants might join in with helpful comments.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Courtney Cahoon
North Carolina, U.S.A. (Zone 8a)
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Mayflowers
Feb 14, 2018 12:19 AM CST
I love zinnas, so much joy in the colors. My daddy always grew zinnas. He had a few rows in the center of his veggie garden. So now I share his joy. Anyway my friend planted zinnas and marigold. He had some flowers that came out very odd. It's like the marigold and zinnias needed.
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Feb 14, 2018 9:42 AM CST
Mayflowers said:I love zinnas, so much joy in the colors. My daddy always grew zinnas. He had a few rows in the center of his veggie garden. So now I share his joy.
Welcome!
Hello Courtney.

Welcome to the National Gardening Association. I have grown zinnias, off and on, ever since I was a kid. I can understand how zinnias might be associated with memories of your daddy. Zinnias are now a hobby of mine, along with photography. I am currently growing some of my home hybrid zinnias indoors. I also grow a vegetable garden of sorts. We currently live in a rural area of east central Kansas.
Mayflowers said:Anyway my friend planted zinnias and marigold. He had some flowers that came out very odd. It's like the marigold and zinnias "kneeded".

It would be very interesting to get a cross between marigolds and zinnias. Marigold foliage is better looking, and apparently is not susceptible to Powdery Mildew. When I was a kid, I actually attempted to make that cross. But with no success, of course.

One year, many years ago, someone convinced me that if I planted marigolds around my zinnias, they would repel some pests. I don't remember what the "pests" were. Maybe nematodes. In any case, it was the marigolds that had a problem. A population explosion of Spider Mites wiped them out. It was like the marigolds were a magnet for the mites.

Anyhow, keep us posted on your zinnias this year. You might decide to "be the bee" and do some "kneeding" of your own. Have you given any thought about what varieties of zinnias you might grow this year? I always recommend that Whirligigs be included, because they have inter-species ancestry, and can produce some interesting results when crossed with other zinnias.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.

Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
MindiHammerstone
May 5, 2018 9:13 PM CST
I haven't seen it grown yet but on the picture it looks pretty white!! I want to cross them with the Whirligigs and just see what happens.

I realize this is an old thread but worth reading and Iam happy I did!!

Mindi

😀

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