‘Peppermint Stick’ Fiasco

I’m a little disappointed with Zinnia ‘Peppermint Stick’. Yes, I really like the freaky flowers:

And most of the other large-flowering zinnia cultivars I grow are very tall (40-50 inches), so I like mixing it up with this medium-height zinnia (28 inches). But, oh my goodness were the seedlings ever a damping-off drama for me this year. I started out with 24 plants and before I could get them hardened off outside and into the ground I was down to less than a dozen.

They were only ever bottom-watered, and I made every effort to make sure the soil on top stayed dry at all times, but ‘Peppermint Stick’ was having none of it. I was a little hesitant to plant any of them for fear a few days of rain might kill them off and leave gaping holes in my flowerbeds, but I did stick a few in here and there.

Thankfully four weeks and 4 inches of rain later, the survivors are hanging on strong. Maybe they can still prove to me they were worth the hassle.

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