My posts about zinnias are always some of the most popular ones on the blog. To me, it’s no surprise. Zinnias are so easy to grow AND they’re gorgeous. While there are several really pretty open pollinated varieties, seeds for some zinnia varieties can be pricey. It’s for this reason that I’ve found an interested in propagating zinnias from cuttings and rooting stems in water.
Taking cuttings is really easy. All I do first, is make a cut below one of the leaf nodes. You can see in the picture above that I’ve carefully removed the very bottom set of leaves. While I’ve had quite a bit of success, it’s best to do this when the plants are young – before they’ve started blooming. It’s especially convenient, as this is about the same time that pinching zinnias takes place.
There are two methods to begin growing roots. The first one involves placing the stems in a jar of clean water. This can be done outdoors in the summer or indoors in a sunny windowsill. Over the next 2 weeks, growers will need to make certain to keep the water changed. If too much bacteria grows in the water, the zinnia stems will quickly turn to mush and rot away. If done properly, they’ll start growing roots.
You can see that these zinnia cuttings are very leafy. I’ll be removing as much foliage as possible. This reduces the likelihood that the plants will wilt as they begin to take root.
Above, this cutting is ready to go into the soil.
Putting the cuttings into a tray of moist potting mix is my favorite technique. Even with the humidity of summer, it will be imperative that I keep the tray nice and moist. During the rooting process, I like to keep my plants in a somewhat protected location. Ideally, one which gets sun very early in the morning and nice shade during the hottest portion of the day. Before long, we’ll have beautiful zinnias!