Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: No. 85

Question:

What are your favorite varieties of zinnias for using in wedding work? How do you condition them before using them in bouquets, centerpieces, etc.? Any special instructions for use?

Holly Heider Chapple Flowers | Abby Jiu Photography

Holly Chapple Flowers | Abby Jiu Photography

Answers:

Holly Heider Chapple Flowers | Abby Jiu Photography

Holly Chapple Flowers | Abby Jiu Photography | ‘Queen Red Lime’ zinnia

I love designing with zinnias. My absolute favorite zinnias are the Queen Red Lime. I like the moody brown tone that is a part of the characteristic of this zinnia. I either grow my zinnias or get them from local growers. This is not a flower that I purchase from my wholesalers. Zinnias like clean clear water and respond will to being stored in the cooler. Some growers use a CVBn pill from Chrysal to help with the conditioning of zinnias. I have personally not found that necessary. I try to avoid oasis when designing with zinnias.

Holly Chapple (Holly Heider Chapple Flowers)

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Zinnias are not very trendy in France, so I hardly use them. When I do so, I use the classic varieties that I grow myself and come in very vibrant orange and purple colors, just for boho style weddings.

Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)

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My two favorite zinnia varieties to use in design work are Queen Lime and Queen Red Limes. Truthfully, those are the only two zinnias names I actually know, usually I just order by color! I give them a fresh cut and drop them in clean, room temperature water. I rarely use flower food, no particular reason why, I just don’t. A very, very important note about Zinnias – they don’t like being in coolers! I made this mistake in the past and wondered why they looked like the were wilting/burning up in the cooler?! Then another floral designer told me they prefer to be left out in the room. Of course, this makes it slightly difficult to use them in mixed floral arrangements that will be placed in the cooler.

Alicia Schwede (Bella Fiori & Flirty Fleurs)

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My favourite is Queen Red Lime. The colour is just so versatile and they are a great size. I also love the Persian Carpet zinnia, although these have shorter stems and aren’t quite as good for bouquets in my experience. But they are amazing for bud vases and to spice up a centrepiece. Both of these varieties work well with pinks, corals, and dark tones – combine them with from cafe au last dahlias, chocolate cosmos, wispy grasses and bronze foliages. Zinnia’s are really long-lasting and other than using clean, cold water, don’t require any special conditioning.

Clare Day (Clare Day Flowers)

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We grow several varieties of zinnias at the farm. The ones that we use most in wedding work are those that bloom in muted tones such as salmon, peach, buttery yellow, and dusty rose. Three varieties by name that we plant every year are the Benary Giant series, Persian Carpet, and Queen Red Lime. There are two relatively new varieties of zinnias on the market: Cupcake and Zinderella. These are really adorable “scabiosa flowering” blooms. However, they tend to put out a lot of mutant, ugly flowers and only a few of the perfect beauties so I would not recommend growing those two. But if you are just buying your zinnias in and can find a reliable source for them, by all means, include them in your design work!
We harvest zinnias into plain cool water. We do not use any preservative or hydrating solution for these blooms. They do better stored in slightly warmer temperatures so if you have a walk-in cooler, sit the bucket near your door and never put them in a cold corner.

Jennie Love (Love ‘n Fresh Flowers)

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Blush Floral Design

My favorite Zinnias are what my local grower, Muddy Feet Flower Farm, calls ‘Cupcake Zinnias’. They are a little more delicate and feminine and work beautifully in wedding work, especially tucked in bouquets! I just give these a fresh cut and keep in water until using in design work.

Elisabeth Zemetis (Blush Floral Design)

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Fleuropean

Fleuropean

My favorite zinnias are by far Zinderella Lilac (top photo). While not reliably fluffy and double, even the singles are breathtaking thanks to the perfect palette of light lavender-blush. A perfect complementary color for Cafe au Lait dahlias and Bi-color Rose Doubleclick cosmos. Another favorite is Queen Red Lime (above). Although she’s not particularly “feminine” or “neutral”, something about her soft, vintage coloring makes her easy to work with. A lovely match for Koko Loco roses and other muted mauve flowers. A lot of the white varieties that you would naturally be drawn to for bridal bouquets tend to look either too green or a bit dirty (if that makes any sense?) for my taste. Instead of sticking to bridal whites. I like to use the softly colored pastel varieties as textural accents and subtle pops of color.

Fleuropean

If you are looking for peachy-pinks, Oklahoma Salmon (above) has been lovely (even if half of my plants seem to lean a tad too much toward the hot pink side).

Regarding conditioning- I’ve found zinnias super easy to use as a cut flower. Their vase-life is amazing, and they don’t have a “droopy” or “floppy” phase following cutting.

Emily Avenson (Fleuropean)

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