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need help with green Zinnia seedlings

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need help with green Zinnia seedlings

Postby nel3 » Jun 21, 2012 10:52 am

1 year ago i got a packet of Green Envy Zinnia seeds at a hardware store. i suceeded in getint 2 plants from 5 seeds. one i kept to 3-4ft tall and had 3 blooms, one flower was 3 inches wide (270 degree flower) the other 2 were 2-3 inches, one of which was a binary flower. i planted 2 seeds this past month and got one sucessful seedling. this one is giving me issues. the seedling from last year never ranaway on me when growing tall. the current one still has yet to get a solid stem and it'll push 2 feet as a skinny seediling. ive trimmed it down to 1 foot 3 times. the cutting are replanted. i planted the seeds in 4-6 inch pots and as piled soil around the stems as they grew larger. the current ones still grow upwards and need some supporting rod. i just trimmed it a 3rd time as it fell over and took hold of the nearby coleus for support. is there anything i can do more to develop stronger stems for the seedlings? im glad i can get 3-4 plants from one seed but its nothing if they need support 24/7 to avoid drooping.

this is my first Zinnia from a seed/ first ever Zinnia
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Re: need help with green Zinnia seedlings

Postby Heidi S » Jun 21, 2012 12:12 pm

Nel3,

in what conditions did you start your seedlings? Seeds started indoors, in window sills for example, tend to get very long and leggy as they don't have enough light. This leads to spindly stems which is very hard to overcome. In addition, people often start them too early when doing them inside, and they just don't get hardened off and ready for outside conditions while living in the house.

This is why many seed-starting gardeners invest in grow light rigs to have the right intensity of light very close to the flat of seedlings. It can be expensive to get set up, but will help ensure the plants develop good, stocky stems. For an example of what this system looks like, look at the Lee Valley online catalogue:
www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?c ... 16&p=10549

I have not invested in a grow light system yet, but have learned to delay my seeding, and wait until I have my greenhouse started and heated in May. We have a long winter, with snow and cold reaching to early June in many years, but I have focused my investment into my greenhouse because I get a good result starting my seeds in there with the natural light and my electric heater.

Starting seeds is quite addictive, and you have obviously caught the bug. Now you will just need to refine your techniques!
Heidi S,
Prince George, BC
Zone 3!

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Re: need help with green Zinnia seedlings

Postby nel3 » Jun 21, 2012 12:59 pm

thank you very much for the reply Heidi. i did start the seeds indoors. last year i started them outdoors. should i just put the said seedling outside now and leave them to strenghten their stems? i probably started them early, its about a month or more since the first one was started.

i havent been much into the seed thing but im going after some sown basil seeds (indoor start). i have many plants in my unit but im overrun with Coleus. i love coleus but this current set i have is too easy to be overgrown. i have a thing when it comes to unique colours for flowers, green is one of them. id love to get cgreen Mum seeds someday if i can find them locally. i tried 2 seeds during late winter but the windowsill light was insufficient. i love these green zinnia so much i wanted an early start.

regarding the indoor setup, will a 5600k daylight simulation light be sufficient? i have one in my 5galllon aquarium. the bulb costs nearly $20 but it may make a setup relatively cheap.
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Re: need help with green Zinnia seedlings

Postby DonnaZn2SK » Jun 21, 2012 2:01 pm

I know a lot of people start zinnias indoors, but they actually grow very quickly when direct-sowed and won't suffer any transplant shock this way. You should do an experiment next year and plant a few in pots and some in the ground. Some flower quicker than others, but if you get hardly any flowers, check to make sure you aren't giving the plant fertilizer with too much nitrogen, which encourages green growth.

Zinnias benefit greatly from pinching back - you will get a much bushier/fuller plant, so don't be afraid to cut some flowers off for bouquets and such.
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Re: need help with green Zinnia seedlings

Postby nel3 » Jun 21, 2012 2:57 pm

i dont have a garden outside but i can put a pot of soil outside for such purposes. ever since 2011 i had put 2 celosia in a 1ft pot. i left them to die when their time came. the soil in that pot has so many dropped seeds. i just need to put it outside and water it every year and they come right back by themselves. for the first plant i kept i didnt pinch any flowers as i wanted to see how many came out. i still keep the 3 that came from the plant thought those only got 3-5 layers of petals (2 offshoots) while the other (ie in the pic) had so many more.
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Re: need help with green Zinnia seedlings

Postby nel3 » Aug 22, 2012 6:45 pm

i've kind of given up on getting my zinnia to be standing by itself. its nearly 4 ft tall and cant support it self. 4 collumns are wrapping around each other. thats a bit trivial to me but i noticed this: its like a large twisted leaf 1 inch or so long. its different from last year where the flower bulbs were distinct, this isnt as easy to me to figure out what it is. the plant is still in a 6 inch pot.

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Re: need help with green Zinnia seedlings

Postby Eeyore » Aug 22, 2012 11:05 pm

This is a morning glory.
Lyn
AB, Zone 3A
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Re: need help with green Zinnia seedlings

Postby Jersm » Aug 23, 2012 4:38 pm

based on my experiences and research if you are using a window or a porch then it might not be getting enough hours of direct sun. it will think its under shade of another plant and focus on growing tall in hopes of reaching the light. I believe 6 hours of sun is the minimum for most.


if you are using indoor fluorecents, ive started a whole garden indoors. If you dont use both blue and red spectrums your plant will not grow healthy. blue spectrum promotes foliage growth and a red spectrum promotes stem growth.

ONLY blue spectrum for letus indoors 16/8 cycle and they grew long skinny foliage that couldn't support itself due to lack of stem growth. To fix this i first hardened them off to direct sun light for a week then planted in the ground. they now get 6+ hours of direct light.

The natural suns full spectrum thickened up their stems and now they all support themselves. Ive has seedling uner just red spectrum and they grow tall with lack of foliage growth. blue spectrum(coolwhites) 5000k+ and red spectrum (warm white)3000k- compact fluorecents or tubes.

note: i just chopped off a whole bunch of their foliage for a delicious salad.
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Re: need help with green Zinnia seedlings

Postby hotsummerone » Aug 23, 2012 10:18 pm

Beginning to see thought is daisy,but is plump than the chrysanthemum.
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Re: need help with green Zinnia seedlings

Postby nel3 » Aug 24, 2012 3:40 pm

thank you very much, how does a Morning Glory differ from a Zinnia? it came from the same seed pack i got. i dont know if Zinnia are part of the Morning Glory species but i can accept it if a stary seed got into a zinnia seed pack. it seems i have a few Morning Glory flowers forming. i have 3 plants going from this seed (4 ft plant). the 2 cuttings were an attempt to force it to get a better stem. though the parent plant still reaches up ;(. im not

the plant is on a balcony. its getting atleast 6 hours but the balcony above does offer some shade. ive put the plant right beside the barrier/fence to maximise sunlight. the difference in position from this year and last year was the residence. at my parents place it was atleast 8hours of sun and no upper balcony. is there anything i can do to make the plant more manageable for this season in regards to getting ridiculously tall? its just over 4 ft tall.
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