The first time I have chosen to grow Zinnias [zinnia elegans Jacq, Youth-and-old-age].
Type: State Fair Giant, Mixed Colors.
Height: 2 1/2 – 4 ft
Since hearing of the beautiful Monarch butterflies still struggling, I felt it was vastly important to do my part and help out. 🙂
When I was a child, I adored watching the majestic Monarch flutter by me on a hot summers day. Captivated by them, I would commonly find myself searching them out on daily hiking trips as a teenager-young adult; with my camera in hopes to snap a quick photo.
Sadly, these days you are lucky to even find one flying in a Vermonter’s back flower garden.. or anywhere in particular.
I have heard these lovely flowers are not only for attracting the admiring eye. The Common Zinnia is also used for it’s medicinal properties as well [I shall have to do further research to clarify the uses if really worth my while]. 🙂 Hummingbirds are also found visiting the Common Zinnia. My dear Grandmother is fond of them. 🙂
Paragraphs of quite interesting information, presented by: Susan Peterson and the SFGATE Website.
“Zinnias attract and benefit pollinators. Zinnias themselves are pollinated by insects, typically bees and butterflies. Their bright colors draw pollinators to a garden. Monarch butterflies, in particular, love zinnias and pollinate them and use them for food and egg-laying habitat. Insect ecologist Chip Taylor, of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, suggests planting zinnias at Monarch butterfly way stations along the Monarch’s migration route. At these way stations, the butterflies can get the nectar they need for their long journey from North American to Mexico and back. Honeybees also benefit from zinnia pollen and nectar.”
“Normally we think of flower beds and vegetable beds as being separate. Zinnias, however, are good companion plants for vegetables and deserve a place in your vegetable garden. Zinnias deter cucumber beetles and tomato worms. They attract predatory wasps and hover flies, which eat insects that would destroy garden plants. They attract hummingbirds, which eat whiteflies before those flies can damage tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes.”