Many nominate zinnia for the easiest flower to grow award, and it’s hard to find viable competition. These annuals shoot up from seed to towering beauties in the shake of a lamb’s tail. Some grow so tall that gardeners wonder about zinnia plant staking. Do zinnias need to be staked? Read on for information about zinnia plant staking and types of support for zinnia flowers.
Do Zinnias Need to Be Staked?
Zinnia plant staking leaps to mind when you see just how tall these bright flowers grow. Do zinnias need to be staked? Support for zinnias is sometimes required depending on the variety.
Some zinnas, like Zinnia angustifolia, are creepers, perfect for the front of the garden. Others grow to several feet tall. But staking zinnia plants is limited to the really tall zinnias – those that grow to 3 feet (1 m.) or more.
Why Staking Zinnia Plants Is Important
Staking zinnia plants helps to protect them from strong winds and rain. When slim-stalked annuals get tall, they run the risk of getting knocked right over by inclement weather. Providing support for zinnias also helps keep them off the ground.
Zinnias are native to hot, dry regions, making them particularly susceptible to powdery mildew and leaf spot in areas that have summer rains. Keeping their stems upright and their foliage off the wet ground helps.
How to Stake Zinnias
You may be wondering exactly how to stake zinnias. The easiest system involves one stake per plant. Use sturdy stakes longer than you expect the zinnia to grow at maturity, since a good piece of the bottom must be sunk into the soil. Other options are wire cages and tomato stakes.
Stems of very tall zinnia varieties should be staked just a few weeks after they start their growth spurt, or when they are one-third their mature size.
Insert the stakes close to the plant stem, being careful not to injure the roots. When staking zinnias, you must sink the stakes into the ground far enough to be firm. Then tie the zinnias to the stakes, using soft material like twine.