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How to Deadhead Zinnias (And How Often You Should Do it)

How to Deadhead Zinnias (And How Often You Should Do it)

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Zinnias are very common flowers that you will see placed in people’s gardens, and they do a great job of adding color to various spaces. These bright and colorful blooms will be a joy to behold, and many people are passionate about making them a huge focus of their gardens.

You’re going to be able to love the color that these plants provide to your gardens during the spring and summer. It’s also excellent to know that these are astonishingly easy to take care of.

Newcomers will love how simple maintaining zinnias will be, and they’re well worth the minimal effort that you need to put forth. With that being said, it is also important to deadhead your zinnias if you want to produce lots of brightly colored blooms.

Pruning is something that you’re going to need to do a lot of when taking care of these plants because it will promote growth. Deadheading is a bit different than standard pruning, though, and it involves cutting back blooms to encourage more blooms to grow.

If you’re not familiar with the process of deadheading plants, you should keep reading to get all of the details. You’ll be able to learn how to deadhead zinnias reliably so that you can have the nicest looking garden area possible.

Don’t feel intimidated by this process since it is actually very simple to accomplish. Zinnias are easy to care for, and deadheading them isn’t going to pose much of a challenge even if you’re fairly new to gardening.

A Word of Warning

Zinnias Are Mildly Toxic Plants, Always Wash Your Hands After

Before going any further, it’s important to know that zinnias are known to be mildly toxic plants. This is because they produce a sulfur compound on their leaves, and this can actually leak onto the soil as well.

When you’re handling zinnias, it might be for the best if you wear gloves. This will make it so that you won’t have to worry so much about handling them, and it makes sense to wear gardening gloves when pruning anyway.

Some people might get slightly poisoned if they eat after handling zinnias. This can occur when you handle them with your bare hands and then forget to wash your hands before eating something.

Zinnias aren’t dangerous in any way, and they’re even considered to be safe for gardens that children frequent. You just can’t eat them, and you should wash your hands after handling them.

There are those who try to counteract the toxicity of the zinnias by making use of a garlic spread. This probably seems like a weird idea to someone who hasn’t done anything like this before, but it can actually work.

Essentially, you’re going to spread garlic paste on the leaves of your zinnias that will kill the bacteria that is causing problems. If you make garlic paste on your own using natural ingredients, you won’t harm the plants in any way.

You don’t necessarily have to do this, though, since you could just choose to wear gloves while handling them. It’s just important to know that zinnias are toxic before you start handling them so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Deadheading Explained

The very basic idea behind deadheading is that you are going to be cutting back blooms once they have started to fade. By taking the time to trim the flowers on your zinnias, it’s going to promote new growth.

Gardeners who take the time to deadhead their plants are going to be able to enjoy many more blooms throughout the season. This is an essential process for anyone who wants to have a garden that is full of colorful blooms that can be enjoyed by everyone.

You should be able to tell when the blooms on your zinnias are starting to fade because they will be less vibrant than they once were. If you cut back the blooms at this point, it’ll give your zinnias a chance to grow new blooms.

There are actually some interesting things that you can do when you’re deadheading zinnias as well. For example, you can deadhead them very low on the stem if you would like your plant to be a bit lower to the ground.

Conversely, deadheading them higher on the stem will help your plant to keep growing taller. Don’t be too afraid to make the cuts wherever you think will be best because your zinnia is tough enough to handle it.

One of the best aspects of caring for these plants is that they are incredibly resilient. You won’t have to worry too much about your deadheading process harming them in any significant way.

To make this easier, it’s going to be a good idea to ensure that you have a good pair of hand-pruning shears. If you have a nice sharp pair of hand-pruning shears, you should be able to make accurate and clean cuts each time.

When you are deadheading your zinnias, it’s going to be best to try to get as much of the stalk as you can with your cuts. If you wind up getting a little bit of foliage with your cuts, it won’t be anything to worry about too much.

There is a good way to try to get a bigger and bolder display of blooms when deadheading your zinnias as well. Some experts recommend cutting the top off of your plant once it has reached between eight and twelve inches of length.

What this does is it causes your zinnia plant to shoot up more stems from where you made the cuts, and it can wind up producing more flowers in the long run. If you want to maximize the number of flowers that you can enjoy, it might be good to do this even if it isn’t completely necessary.

How Often Should You Deadhead Zinnias?

Deadhead Zinnias As They Start To Fade

You don’t have to constantly deadhead your zinnias since the blooms are going to last for a while. It’s essentially just wise to keep an eye on the blooms to see when they start to fade.

As blooms start to turn brown, it’s going to be time to cut them back. The deadheading process is about cutting back blooms that have started browning and sections that are wilting.

It isn’t hard to deadhead a zinnia, and it isn’t difficult to know when it’s time to deadhead them either. So long as you’re paying attention to how they look, it’s going to be easy for you to make the right call.

You should know that it won’t be a terrible thing if you can’t deadhead your zinnias right away either. Life gets busy sometimes, and you might not always notice when they first start browning.

Simply deadhead your zinnias when you have time for gardening and see that some of the blooms are browning. It’ll help your garden to stay as beautiful as it can during the spring and summer months.

Tips for Getting Your Zinnias to Thrive

Aside from deadheading, there are certain things that you can do to give your zinnias the best chance of thriving in your garden. First, you should know that the easiest time to plant new zinnias will be either the very late summer or early autumn.

Some recommend planting them slightly later, but they’re easy to raise when you plant them during this time. It should give you the best experience when you’re trying to grow them and get them to produce flowers.

Using good fertilizer is something that can help out a lot as well, and you can definitely find fertilizers that are good for zinnias. Your zinnias will have an easier time growing when they’re getting the right nutrients, but be sure to follow the instructions without giving them too much fertilizer.

As with most things in life, too much of something good can wind up becoming a bad thing. Use fertilizer only as instructed so that you can have the best experience.

The best time to give your zinnias fertilizer will be when they’re planted. You can usually give them more fertilizer later on after several months have passed, but it’s best to simply follow the instructions that come with the fertilizer that you decided to purchase.

When you’re watering zinnias, you’re going to want to do so by watering them at the base of the plant. This keeps the water from getting on the leaves and stems since you don’t want those getting too damp.

If you don’t water them the right way, you could have issues with mildew or fungus pop up. This will be an annoyance, and you might wind up needing some type of fungicide.

Watering the zinnias the proper way is actually really simple, and it gets the water directly to the soil where it needs to be. Zinnias do need to be watered regularly, and the soil is meant to be kept fairly moist.

If you live in a particularly hot climate, you might need to water them more than usual. Try to use your best judgment about the weather, but do try to avoid watering them too much since that can cause problems.

You know everything that you need to know to take care of zinnias well. Deadheading them should be easy enough for you, and you’re going to love having them looking so nice in your garden moving forward.

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Monday 21st of August 2023

Thank you for the helpful information. I always wondered why my fingers felt kind of funny after picking zinnias. So the info about them being mildly toxic was especially interesting.


Wednesday 20th of July 2022

I bought my pink zinnia when it was so vibrant and bright bright pink. The color has faded to a dull pink but the plant looks healthy. Maybe I fertilized them too much or given them the wrong kind. I don't know. The article has been helpful- TY.