Save for a Bright Future
You might think that seed saving is a complex challenge best left to advanced gardeners. Not true when you're talking about zinnias. It could not be easier, and when you save seeds, you not only get the colors you want (and only the ones you want), but you can also select seeds from the healthiest plants. Do this, and in a couple of generations of seeds, you will have developed your own strain of zinnias selected to perform well in your conditions.
Right now, in early fall, is the time to give this a try. Get a few envelopes and a pencil—don't forget the pencil because, trust us, you will not remember what is in the envelope. Simply clip off a dried flower head from each color that you want to save. Pull the flower apart and remove the seeds inside, or simply put the whole blossom in the envelope. Seal and identify the color. Keep it in a cool, dry place until it is time to plant next year. That's all there is to it. Now you are a seed saver!
If there's one thing that's better than a hearty border of cheerful zinnias, it is a plot of zinnias accompanied by a partner that shows them off to their best advantage. Try these winning combinations:
'Benary's Giant Lime' and Verbena bonariensis
'Big Tetra Mix' and Alternanthera 'Purple Knight'
'Cut and Come Again' in mixed colors and red fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum')
'Persian Carpet' and 'Blue Horizon' ageratum
'Profusion Orange' and Salvia farinacea 'Victoria'
'Star White' and black-eyed Susans
'Zowie! Gold Flame' and 'Purple Majesty' millet
What do you know about zinnias?