It has been eight years, and it is still causing an uproar in the gardening world. If you are an avid gardener, then you probably caught my ‘tongue and cheek’ on one of the best zinnias to ever hit the market, Uproar Rose. This beauty gives you bouquets for the vase and living arrangements in the landscape.
Uproar Rose was selected in 2009 as the Cut Flower of the Year by the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. This association has had many other outstanding selections we can all grow, and cut for the vase, like Limelight hydrangea and Amazon dianthus.
Uproar Rose is unique, first consider it is a series of one-no other Uproar zinnias exist. The Benary Giants and Oklahoma series have dozens of colors. The fact that Uproar Rose is the only one, and is still around is amazing.
To find a tall cut flower such as the zinnia available as a transplant at your local garden center is also noteworthy, it’s kind of like looking for a four-leaf clover. But Uproar Rose is often found along with shorter landscape zinnias like the Dreamland, and Magellan series.
Unlike those shorter cousins Uproar Rose will give you a bounty of blossoms all summer. They are large dahlia-like blooms borne on 30-inch stems and also showing a good level of powdery mildew resistance when spaced as recommended.
Mid-July is certainly a great time to plant zinnias. There is a lot of growing time between now and fall’s first frost. In fact, southern locations could probably get in two crops. Whether you choose a package of Uproar zinnias or get lucky enough to still find transplants, remember they prefer full sun to really put on a dazzling performance.
Prepare your beds by incorporating 3-to-4 inches of organic matter and 2 pounds of a slow-release 12-6-6 fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed space. Direct seed, or set out transplants that you have purchased, or those grown at home that have little to no color showing.
Thin these seedlings to around six to eight inches for the vigorous growth that is about to occur. Mulch when the seedlings are large enough or after setting out transplants. Side-dress the young plants in six to eight weeks with light applications of the fertilizer.
Cut flower growers as you might guess grow many of them in a row and with a little more agricultural look, after all, you will be cutting every day. If you don’t think people will buy cut-zinnias, you should see the Saturday farmers market in Columbus, GA.
In the landscape, Uproar zinnias work in a cottage setting garden and simply as a taller form of intense rose mixed in a living bouquet of mixed colors. Uproar zinnias also excel artistically in those designer containers too.
Whether you choose Uproar or another variety know that zinnias are the perfect flower to get you children or grandchildren involved in the greatest hobby on earth, gardening.
Norman Winter is director of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, and author of “Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South” and “Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden.”