Monday, June 15, 2009

The Great Zinnia Mystery

You may have read about my giant zinnia.

I saved the seeds. A great, big pile of seeds, and then planted them around in various beds this spring. I wrote just the other day about the strange color of one of them - it was more red, where the original was bright pink.

Here is what has come up around the flagpole the past few days:

Here's another from the back garden. It's darker, but closer to the color of last year's original.

Here's the thing. The saved seeds came from ONE plant (see entry in the link above). ALL of those flowers were the bright, hot pink. Is it possible that the saved seeds could produce different colored flowers? I searched around on Google today, and all I found were a few people who noticed their saved seeds produced a different shade of the same color. No one, that I found, had completely different colors.

But that ONE plant came from a packet of mixed seeds that I just dumped into the flagpole bed on a whim. Is it possible that some seeds lay dormant for an entire year? That the different colors of flowers are from old seeds - not the ones I planted there this year, saved from last year's plant?

I don't think that could be possible. Why would they have sprouted right when they should have (based on when I sowed the seeds)? Also I would expect some to be miniatures as were in the packet. These are all large.

This is exactly the kind of thing that will drive me crazy until I figure it out. Help!

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