Annual. Easily grown in rich, humusy, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Sow seed directly in the ground after last frost date and, if desired, at 2-3 week intervals thereafter until the end of June to insure a good season-long bloom. For earlier spring bloom, start seed indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost date. ZAHARA DOUBLE FIRE may be available in cell/six packs from nurseries (small plants that have not yet flowered are best). Set out seedlings and purchased plants after last frost date. Pinch young plants if needed to promote compact, bushy form. Good air circulation helps prevent onset of fungal leaf diseases. Deadhead spent flowers to promote additional bloom and maintain plant appearance.
Zinnia marylandica is a hybrid between Z. angustifolia and Z. violacea. It was developed at the University of Maryland in the 1980s.
Genus name honors Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727-1759), professor of botany, Gottingen.
Specific epithet means of Maryland. Probably for the University of Maryland where the cross was done.
ZAHARA DOUBLE FIRE is a compact, prolific blooming, disease resistant, double-flowered zinnia that typically rises to 8-12" tall on upright, branching, hairy stems. Bright red-orange double flowers (to 2 1/2" diameter) bloom continuously and profusely from late spring to frost in cool summer climates. However, flowering may slow down around the peak of a typical St. Louis summer, particularly if soils are allowed to dry out. Stem-clasping, obovate leaves (to 5” long) are medium green. ZAHARA DOUBLE FIRE was an AAS award winner in 2010.
ZAHARA DOUBLE FIRE is noted for having good resistance to powdery mildew and leaf spot diseases. Root rots and blights may occur. Watch for whiteflies, aphids, thrips, Japanese beetles and caterpillars.
Mixed borders, beds, cottage gardens, cutting gardens and containers.