Tag Archives: Persian Carpet zinnias

Powdery Mildew Resistant Zinnias

Mexican zinnia

I grow zinnias every year in my Northern Virginia garden. Zinnias are probably one of the easiest flowers to grow from seed in this area. These warm season annuals can be sown directly into a container or on the ground after the last frost. They need full sun, good air circulation, and they are not particular about the soil. The flowers attract butterflies and bees; deer do not bother the plants.

The only hitch is that some species are prone to powdery mildew. Our hot and humid summer is an ideal environment for this fungal disease that creates a white coating on the plants. It does not kill the plants but makes the foliage unsightly. However, there are some zinnias that are resistant to powdery mildew.

Narrow-leaf zinnia, Zinnia angustifolia or Z. linearis, is a foot tall, bushy plant with narrow leaves and small, single, daisy-like flowers. The flowers are about an inch wide with single-colored petals such as orange, red, pink, white, or yellow. Because of its compact size, it makes an excellent window box or container plant and can be used in the garden as a border plant. These are small but you cut a bunch and put in a small vase.

Zinnia angustifolia

Mexican zinnia (Z. haageana) is like narrow-leaf zinnia in shape, size, and foliage. The flowers are a little larger and can be single, semi-double, or double petals. Each flower has more than one color – usually a spectrum of sunset colors: red, orange, burgundy, yellow, and cream. I discovered them when I purchased Renee’s Garden Persian Carpet mix, which I love. There are other flower blends such as Aztec Sunset, Jazzy Mix, Old Mexico, and Soleado. Again, small flowers but a bunch can be cut for small vases. These are excellent for containers and as border plants.

There are two series of zinnias that have been bred specifically for powdery mildew resistance:  Z. marylandica, also called Zahara, and the Profusion series. Zahara has flowers that are larger than the two previously mentioned species, about 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide. There is a wider flower color range too. The plants are taller, about 18 inches high, which is better for floral arrangements. Profusion is pretty much the same as Zahara, a taller zinnia with larger flowers. Zahara and Profusion give you a wide range of colors to pick from, these are easy to find in seed catalogs.

All of these are going to be easier to find if you look for the seed instead of a plant in a garden center. The companies below have these varieties and here is a list of more than 100 seed companies if you want to look for more zinnias.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Kitchen Garden Seeds
Park Seed
Renee’s Garden

Mexican zinnias in a vase


In a Vase on Monday: Salvia and Persian Carpet Zinnias

Persian carpet zinnias (Zinnia haageana) are one of my favorite annuals. Their yellow, orange, red, and burgundy colors appear in different patterns on each flower. These flowers provide a great contrast to the purple salvia ‘Rockin’ Playin’ the Blues’, a new Proven Winners introduction. #inavaseonMonday

In a Vase on Monday: Small Flowered Zinnias and a Surprise Herb

I like to grow different types of zinnias each summer, particularly old-fashioned species. This year I grew a yellow-flowered Peruviana (Zinnia peruviana) and multi-colored Persian Carpet (Zinnia haageana). Tucked in this arrangement is a yellow-flowered herb, can you guess what it is? Here is a clue: This herb grows as a tangled perennial in my zone 7 Virginia garden and is just now blooming in July. #inavaseonmonday

From the Garden: Flower and Herb Arrangements

Goldfinch Shasta daisy, La Crema sage, purple flowering hyssop

Goldfinch Shasta daisy, La Crema sage, purple flowering hyssop

Every week, I cut flowers from my garden and bring them into the office to enjoy all week long. I like to include herbs as well; sometimes their flowers are just as pretty, sometimes the foliage accentuates the arrangement. These are simple “cut and stuff” vases of flowers based on whatever I have at the moment. I am not a florist but I like to look at the flowers, leaves, and herbs up close this way.

close up of yellow in sage with yellow in daisy contrasting purple hyssop flowers

close up of yellow in sage with yellow in daisy contrasting purple hyssop flowers

These two arrangements were cut a few months ago. The La Crema sage blends well with the yellow in the Goldfinch Shasta daisy and the purple flowers from the hyssop contrast with the yellow. Hyssop is a perennial herb that grows well in this area; its purple flowers attract beneficial insects.

In the other arrangement, the Persian Carpet zinnias blend well with the sweet marjoram. Sweet marjoram is known for its culinary use but it is also a small perennial that attracts beneficial insects. The flowers are small and white but the green bracts are much more visible, adding structure and interest to the arrangement.

Persian Carpet zinnias with sweet marjoram

Persian Carpet zinnias with sweet marjoram

Try cutting flowers and herbs for your office or home by keeping a few glass vases and shears within easy reach. It is a great way to get to know plants up close.

close up of sweet marjoram flowers and green bracts

close up of sweet marjoram flowers and green bracts