Pinching back

Cortlandt Manor, NY(Zone 6a)

I am growing Zinnia and Cosmos for the first time by seed. I was wondering if I need to pinch these back and when and how to do it?

I always am so thankful for good answers from DG'ers and would really appreciate some advice!


Westbrook, ME(Zone 5a)

Pinching them back won't hurt them a bit and will make them branch out. Zinnias always get leggy for me when I start them in the house. You can pinch just the tippy top leaves, or if they're really leggy.... cut off a couple sets of leaves. They'll bush out and become sturdier.

Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

thanks alyssum and poppysue, i need this information too. what cosmos and zinnia's are you growing alyssum? i'm growing cosmis orange, picotee and dazzler (a rust) cosmos. zinnia's are ruffles mix, a 12" variety, whirlgig, some free ones park seed sent to me and one other i can't remember at the moment. i fell in love with zinnia's last year, but not the mildew. so i have 2 disease resistant varieties i'm trying.

Knoxville, TN(Zone 7a)

Debi, I love zinnias also. I try to water them only from the bottom (soaker hoses work great)to reduce the mildew problem. I am growing Candy Cane, Dreamland (yellow and red),Persian carpet and Profusion Cherry and Orange.

This year, I am also trying a dwarf cosmos called sonata. My larger variety got almost 5 ft tall last year, and fell over after a bad storm. Nat

Cortlandt Manor, NY(Zone 6a)

Thanks Poppysue for the advice, pinched them all today.

Debi_z. I relate -- and with all the rain the mildew has already started and sprays don't work well since it washes right off, if we get a break from this wet weather they just might do OK.

I am growing Cosmos Sensation and Picotee and Zinnia Burpeena Giants and and a mix of pink cut and come agains.

Newcastle, ON(Zone 5a)

I'm growing Zinnias and cosmos in my garden too..last year I planted cosmos for the first time..and they have seeded themselves and I have a good amount of new plants coming up.
They are so colourful. In this garden in the foreground there are lots of four o'clocks too..and they are also coming back. This used to be my vegetable garden but I converted it to flowers for cutting.

Thumbnail by Starzz
Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

starzz, nice picture.
last year i learned that cosmos dont like a lot of water and fertilizer. i was just getting loads of beautiful leaves and then i layed off the water and fertilizer and low and behold i started to get flowers. they plants were so big they were taking over the driveway, they were leaning so far out of the garden bed. :-)
i'm cutting way down on my veggi gardens this year too. i had 2 now i have 3/4 of one. :-) i'm also making one of them into a cutting garden. so far i have oriental lilies in there and i have a whole lot more to plant if it will stop raining long enough for me to get the plants in the ground. :-) we are having a loooooooong spring here.
hopefully we can all share seeds in the fall.

Cortlandt Manor, NY(Zone 6a)

Wow Starzz -- I had to get close to the screen and rub that picture maybe some of those gorgeous blooms will rub off on me and come my way! So pretty!

Newcastle, ON(Zone 5a)

Debi..thanks for the need to worry about me giving too much water of fertilzer here though. :) I have a shallow well so can't be generous with water..and I'm not too good about fertilizing either..just some of my plants on the deck get that. The tall plant you see with the peachy plumes is called Plume Poppy and there are some castor beans beside that. make me smile.....thanks..

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