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Top 5 Annuals for the Southeast


1
Zinnias
Zinnias are especially interesting because they can have single or multi-colored petals.
Zinnias are especially interesting because they can have single or multi-colored petals.
iStockphoto.com/Kazakov

­The zinnia, Zinnia elegans, can withstan­d heat, dry conditions and hard sun, and they are easy to grow. [source: Thomas].

Zinnias have full flowers with multiple petals on each stem. The zinnia flower can have single or multi-colored petals. They come in varying sizes, ranging from 6 to 40 inches (15.2 cm to 101.6 cm) in height and just shy of 1 inch to 7 inches (2.5 cm to 17.8 cm) in diameter.

If you want the zinnia to per­form and flower to the best of its ability, it is a good idea to start the seeds indoors. A zinnia will not do well if it is planted outside before the warm weather begins, but if the last frost is past, you need not worry. You can start the seeds of the taller zinnia types in a three-inch (9 cm) pot. When you decide the weather is warm enough to transplant outdoors, zinnias do well in flowerbeds, borders, containers and rock gardens. Because of a zinnia's height, it also does well as a background plant or in a fresh-cut floral arrangement. Butterflies are attracted to zinnias -- an added bonus for the overall aesthetics of your garden [source: Garden Guides].

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