Lemon Delight (Zinnia/melampodium)
Latin Name: Melampdium paludosum
Item #: 1474B
Suitable for Containers:
Suitable for Small Pots
AFRICAN ZINNIA (Melampodium)
Annual Approx 5,500 seeds per oz/28 g; 200 seeds per gram
Used as a pot plant or for borders in hot, sunny, dry locations. It seems to have a better tolerance to mildew than most zinnias due to a much different leaf shape and size. This species is ideal for mass plantings because it produces masses of flowers from July until Sept. from transplants. Plants average 10 in/25 cm in height and spread 15 in/38 cm and are upright and bushy in habit, with dark green leaves and 0.5 in/2 cm single daisy type blooms. Germination is quite different than Zinnias, which usually sprout overnight at 85% germ. This species has twice as small seed and has a much lower average germ of about 70% in 7-10 days. Transplants are slower growing and take 2 weeks before they are large enough to handle from seeding. Seed is easy to germinate.
CULTURE: Sow indoors about 3 months from sale or mid February for pots and late March for bedding plants. Press seed into soil surface and cover lightly. Germinate at 68°F/20°C for 7-10 days. Transplants should be ready in about 2 weeks for paks (bedding plants). If you use pots shift plants again the 3rd week into 3.5 in/9 cm or 4.5 in/11 cm pots. Grow paks or pots cool at 60-64°F/15-18°C to keep plants short. This species is quite a heavy feeder so you need a pH or about 5.5-6.5. Growth retardant use is not necessary for your bedding plants in paks, but you would use a light application of about 400 ppm to keep them nice and short without pinching. Although they seem to thrive later in drier soils they prefer a moist situation as they mature in the greenhouse. Do not let them dry out. They need warmer conditions as they mature and should be hardened off by exposure to 5-6 outdoor days (inside at nights) to prepare them for outdoor sales or transplanting. Do not try to seed this too early (in Jan.) or you will have problems controlling the growth. Delay outdoor planting until Roses bloom (2 weeks after your last spring frost).