Decorating Cheats ~ Zinnia Bush From Seeds

August 28, 2014



Grow a zinnia bush from seeds for just pennies with this easy DIY!




If you are a longtime reader of Exquisitely Unremarkable, you know that I am a big cheater! I like the quickest, easiest and least expensive way to a spectacular result. I am not a perfectionist and I don't really care about the process, I just want things to look pretty as fast as possible.

Today's cheat, takes us outside.

I want a lush cottage garden, but I was not born with a green thumb. Therefore, spending tons of money on plants is not a wise investment for this girl. I also crave an immediate result, the growing season here is short and I am not patient enough to wait years for some teeny, tiny starter to grow into something of notice.

This is precisely why I am a big fan of seeds! Seeds are super cheap, require very little effort to lay down and usually produce great results...and if you plant the right seeds, in the right way, you can cheat your way to fabulous in no time flat.

My zinnias are a perfect example, coming in at just under $2.00.  There was a sale at our local nursery and at that price, we couldn't resist. We had removed an underperforming hydrangea from a corner spot and needed a large bush to fill the space. Instead, my handy husband planted three different zinnia varieties all in the same small area, sprinkling them haphazardly right on top of one another. Each packet listed a maximum growth height and we purchased one low, one medium and one tall flower. He covered the seeds with a handful of plant nutrient and hit them with water. It was a ten minute job, at most.




The result is a thick mass of flowers peaking at varying heights. By layering the seeds in no particular order, they have grown as a unit, giving the appearance that they are one cohesive ball of blooms ~ a zinnia bush, if you will.  It fills the corner so completely, it would've taken a perennial plant years to get quite that large. Or it would've cost us a small fortune to buy one that big. I like my $2.00 solution much better.



  
I absolutely adore the burst of color it adds to my patio area and the never-ending supply of fresh flowers it provides for my indoor vases. Since there is such a variety of zinnias in that lovely tangle, my centerpieces are so much more interesting.




Of course, cheating is a dangerous habit. Once you get a taste, it's hard to stop. I have actually cheated many times before in this cottage garden. The trellised Morning Glory is a product of seeds, as well.


We have been planting seeds in that same exact spot for so many years, it actually just comes up on its own now.

That's about $1.50 in my pocket each spring!


Who says cheating doesn't pay?

Are you a gardening cheat?



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31 comments:

  1. I brought morning glory seedlings over from the other place. The same purple morning glories that put out its first bloom over two years ago, and I headed out to take a photo with my camera. And broke both sides of my ankle. A life-altering event in just a snap of the fingers. Those seedlings are strong little suckers. They have flourished and grown up the trees here. The other pretty blue seeds I planted that I SO wanted to have, never even came up.
    Brenda

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    1. Brenda, I am so sorry to hear about your ankle. I have heard you talk about it, but I never knew how you broke it. I have had seed failures, as well. I have planted scarlet colored morning glory seeds, many times and they have never bloomed either...I think the purple ones are just very hearty!

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  2. I have never tried seeds much, but several people talked about how easy it is to grow zinnias from seeds. This is the first year that I bought zinnia plants and they did well. I am enjoying them in our front planter.

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    1. I like to split perennials and plant seeds, Carol. I do plant a few annuals each year, but only in pots. They are so pricey, sometimes they don't do very well and the season is short here...seeds are easy! ;)

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  3. Great idea and your zinnias look beautiful! I'm always afraid to plant seeds figuring they will never come up, but I'm surprised and think I need to find some seeds. :)

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    1. Thanks Gina! I am really happy with the way the bush turned out. I say give the seeds a try! Sometimes I get them at the dollar store, two for a buck! If you plant them, let me know how it turns out! :)

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  4. Hahaha, I'm a cheater too Kim!!!! Love your zinnias, enjoy them on this long weekend dear!

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  5. I AM A GARDEN CHEAT TOO! teeeheeeee

    I love your green on white; we have a beautiful stone house but a little white sure adds the look I love. I am not an avid gardener but I do want my garden to look as if I was, so like you, I find ways to make it look lush without me having to weed or plant a lot. I have perennial boxwoods everywhere so in the spring/summer, all have are white annuals in pots, everywhere. Though it's still warm here, I'm back to school teaching and my flowers have take a hit with a strange virus, so things are dying, but it sure was fun to look at my DYI garden!

    Kim, your space is beautiful and thank you for your comment! Anita

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    1. Thanks so much, Anita! I adore stone on a house! We have just a bit, the original owners added some around the front door, back in the 1920's. It contrasts well with the white. I put annuals in pots, too. The rest of the yard is decorated with perennials. They are lush, hearty, some are colorful and they all come back up each year with a warm prompt from Mother Nature...requiring nothing from me! ;)

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  6. Okay, I'll have to try this next year. I've been collecting seeds from all over my garden, now, and marking their envelopes. I want to see if THOSE seeds work, but will buy some too next season. Love those zinnias!

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    1. I have done that too Cheryl! I have had success most of the time. I find that sunflowers are the easiest, but this year I am going to try to collect some from the zinnias, since they are so beautiful! I just have to remember where I put those envelopes of seeds come spring! Good luck!

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  7. Kim, I don't consider this cheating, at all! In fact, you are smarter than me, who DID buy young flowers, transplanted them into their ceramic pots, watered every single scorching day so that they would grow into strong, healthy flowers, and some did, BUT others, (we won't mention how many), did not. Let's not talk about how much $$ I spent on replacing the 'lost ones' - ouch! The thing is, I enjoy pruning and pinching and showering my lovelies with the gift of life, but I can still do all of this from seed!! Your BEAUTIFUL zinnias, looking like something straight out of an English cottage garden, have convinced me to do so. Kudos to you... cheater!

    Poppy

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    1. Those flowers can get so pricey, Poppy, I totally get it! I always hate spending so much money when the season is so short here. I am also such a bad gardener, when things don't make I feel very bad! BTW, you have just made my day with your English cottage garden comparison!

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  8. I do seeds sometimes...but mostly I have a black thumb! Yours is gorgeous!

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    1. Oh Kristen, I am right there with you! I am not a great gardener...that's why I love the seeds...they are cheap and if they don't come up, it's not like I really killed anything!! ;)

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  9. I planted Zinnia seeds for my daughter this year. We put ours in seed trays and then she transplanted the little plants once they had a little size to them. They turned out great. We also grew some marigolds from seed that turned out nice as well.

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    1. I have seen pictures of your garden, Lorri and you are head and shoulders above the rest!

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  10. Hi Kim, wow how pretty your zinnia plants look. I love planting by seeds too! We planted basil and strawberries from seeds and they did well. By the way you are not cheating! Take care.
    Julie

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    1. Mmm...your seeds sound much tastier than mine! ;) Might have to give that a whirl next season! :)

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  11. Heck yea I am / morning glories and zinnias here too. Yours are stunning. Such a lovely display of color and variety :)

    I didn't plant as many zinnias this year as the prior one and I am missing that.

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    1. Thank you Deb, your garden is lovely, too...that's some hollyhock! ;)

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  12. I've always grown zinneas from seeds. I love them for cutting. Actually, I consider buying the plants to be more like "cheating". Although I wouldn't judge anyone for doing so. LOL Hugs, Kim.

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    1. You know, Nancy, maybe you are right...maybe I have it backwards! :)

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  13. I love growing zinnias. They are so easy to grow from seed. I will be tryingn morning glory next. Yours are beauties! xo Jen

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    1. The zinnia bush was an experiment and it turned out really well...thanks for popping by, Jen!

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  14. Your Zinnias are beautiful. I have planted them from seed many times for many yrs. This yr. however, I did not and I really misses my Zinnias. The summer is very short here and passed too fast. Thanks for sharing. xo

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    1. Summer is short here, too. The zinnias don't really take off until late in August and they hang around for the beginning of September. Their colors are so cheerful! Thanks so much for the comment and the visit! :)

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  15. These are gorgeous! I'm going to try this for next summer. Great idea to mix the different seeds!

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  16. I cannot for the life of me get Zinnias to grow. I have lived several places in Coastal North Carolina and for some reason I cannot get them to grow. My Dad used to plant them for me and I would go cut them everyday and put in every room. I have tried planting the seeds in the ground following directions on packet, in containers, etc. but nothing happens. What am I doing wrong???
    Thank You,
    Patricia (NC Coast)

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    1. Hi Patricia, I wish I could help, but I am not familiar with the growing season in North Carolina, nor do I have a particularly green thumb. Zinnias seem to thrive here, perhaps it's the climate. We generally throw the seeds down, cover then with a bit of dirt and mulch and Mother Nature does the rest. They don't bloom here until late August and only for a few weeks until there first cold snap hits and they're gone. I'm sorry I am not more help. There is a website called Hometalk. It is full of knowledgeable gardeners and whenever I have a question, I ask there. Perhaps you could give it a try, everyone is so helpful and maybe they can help you fill those vases again!! Good luck! :)

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