Last night I went into my zinnia bed and started clipping off the flowers that were starting to fade and brown. Zinnias benefit from either cutting flowers for bouquets or clipping off the spent blooms as they go by; either approach stimulates the production of more flowers. Although I enjoyed snipping these stems in the evening, it wasn’t the best time for deadheading because every other flower was already being used as a bee bed. I had to choose between snipping the blossom and disturbing a bumble bee that was already cozily tucked in for the night, or leaving that fading flower for another day.
As I clipped the flowers that weren’t already occupied, I thought of the joy that this beautiful annual brings to us every summer. There is a reason that I make sure to order plenty of packets of zinnia seeds. In fact, as you read last winter, I even take pleasure in the packets themselves. Beyond the packaging, however, this is a plant that pleases in many ways. So I’d recommend that you write on your calenders for early next year to order zinnia seeds.
Here are 5 reasons you should grow zinnias:
1. You will have plenty of flowers to clip for bouquets…flowers you can’t buy at a florist or supermarket.
2. You will have enough flowers to share. Take a bunch into work and put them in a mason jar on your bosses desk or reception counter. Drop off a bunch at your friend’s house, especially if you know he or she needs a lift. Take some to your parents, or let your kids take some into school for their teacher. Share the wealth!
3. Every zinnia is a potential bee bed. Bumble bees sleep in flowers, so the more zinnias you have, the larger your bee rest area. Seeing the bees tucked in for the night is so sweet that it’s a gift to the gardener as much as the bees.
4. Zinnias also attract butterflies which add motion and grace to your landscape.
5. The colors of zinnias will make you happy. Who can’t use more happiness in life?