Back in April, I told you about my fondness for zinnias. I started two cultivars from seed – Cut and Come Again, and the newer Benary’s Giants. I promised to tell you how I liked the Benary’s, so here’s my review:
I planted the seedlings along my front stairs, and they began flowering (in a horrendous heat wave with no rain) about a month ago. They’re about 24 inches high, and sturdy, despite repeated attacks by earwigs and other various insects.
What I like best about them is their strong, jewel-like colors, which really stand out against the green of the lawn. The hummingbirds seem to enjoy browsing the flowers, zooming in after a stop at the feeder, and I often see butterflies feeding on them, too. To make things more interesting, I planted a container of bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea cyanus) nearby. I really like the way all the colors work together.
The Cut and Come Agains are doing well – vigorous and blooming strongly. They just don’t have the pop of the Benary’s, though, and their colors seem a little muddy by comparison.
So the results of my very un-scientific zinnia trial are these: Benary’s Giants are awesome and worth the extra $.50 of whatever per seed packet. I think they’ll be my default zinnias for the foreseeable future – or at least until something better comes along.