Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
There are a number of outstanding zinnias. Whether you’re choosing cut flower stems to buy or selecting plants for your cutting garden, these are good choices. The Double Zaharas are highly recommended.
These are new for 2011. They grow to over 1½ feet in height with a matching spread.
Seeds of single colors are available. There is also a Zahara Double Duo Mix, which will have flowers in a range of different colors. The series includes the following varieties.
The Double Zaharas were among the best of the new varieties at the Stokes Seeds Trial Farm in St. Catharines, Ontario. These were also singled out for their best overall performance. In addition, they were among the visitors’ favorites, and also one of the trial manager’s favorites as well.
Double Zahara Fire
This amazing variety lived up to its name for in fact it received double honors. This was named an All-America Selections bedding plant and a Fleuroselect Gold Medal as well.
The Double Zaharas are the first truly double zinnia, while other varieties will have some seedlings that bear single or semi-double blooms.
Very care free plants, the Double Zaharas can laugh off drought and heat. They’re quite resistant to diseases, particularly mildew and leaf spot.
Double Zahara Fire is noted for its beautifully double, reddish-orange flowers. Under some growing conditions, Fire can have some white shading in the center. These are 2½ inches wide. Very easy to grow, the plants will bloom throughout the growing season. They’re over 1¼ feet tall with a slightly smaller spread.
Double Zahara Cherry
In addition to the Double Zahara Fire, there is also a lovely Double Zahara Cherry as well. This has the same disease resistance as Double Zahara Fire, and the plants are pretty similar in both cases. The main difference is the flower color for the Double Zahara Cherry is a pure red or deep magenta, while the Double Zahara Fire is more of an orange-red. Under some growing conditions, Cherry can have paler centers. Double Zahara Cherry received a Fleuroselect Novelty Mark award.
In addition to these award winning Double Zahara zinnias, the Zowie Yellow Flame was named as one of the best performers at the Colorado State University plant trials, where it was also a favorite among visitors to the gardens.