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by Nancy
(Ithaca,New York)


We planted zinnias (from pots) into our garden about three weeks ago, early May. We had two cold nights, but we covered all the zinnias well to prevent damage. We are located in central upstate New York. Since that time, the leaves on some of the zinnias have started to brown and wrinkle.
What might have caused this and what can we do to help our flowers continue to grow?

Thank you for your help!

Hi Nancy, the damage seems to have been caused by either frost, from those cold nights, or because the cover was left on after the sun started to warm everything up, and they are scorched.

Luckily, it’s still early in the season, but for the plants to completely recover I think the best thing is to cut off the top growth, and display the flowers in your house as a cut flower.

The bottom part of the plant will make fresh new growth and recover quickly and make more leaves and flowers. The leaves that are damaged will never heal, and in fact could just contribute to stress and cause rot to set in, especially if you get much rain in the next few weeks.

Alternatively, you could remove all the damaged leaves, and the flowers, and the plant will shoot out new growth from where the leaves were. I don’t recommend this, because it could take longer for them to recover. Cutting them off lower down will give them the best chance of responding with vigor.

Hope this helps,