You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Seed growers generally do a good job of providing accurate information about what kind of plant will grow from the seeds that you purchase from them. Yes, the descriptions are sometimes a little exaggerated and written in “flowery” prose that push the edge of credulity. However, when describing the growth habit of the plant and the kind of fruit or flower that the plant will produce, they’re usually spot on.

But this year I grew one plant that wasn’t even close to what it was supposed to be.

IMG_2299I picked up a packet of Burpee’s Candy Cane zinnias at Lowes. The packet was beautiful – even the cashier remarked about what a pretty flower this was – so I decided to give it a try. I planted them in the front of the house and couldn’t wait to see the plants in bloom. I knew they might not be exactly like the picture on the packet but I expected them to at least be close


Candy Cane Zinnias????

The reality was of this zinnia was something else entirely! Instead of large red double flowers with white markings on fairly short plants, I got a hodgepodge of single and semi-double zinnias in white, pink, orange and red on gangly, sparse plants One plant had small fully double flowers that were white with a few red markings but nothing like the seed packet. The butterflies were attracted to them so I let them grow for a time. However the ugliness of them eventually caused me to pull them up and plant something else in their place!

When it comes to short zinnias with double flowers, I think I’ll stick with the Magellan series. They might not have striped blossoms but they grow well and are always filled with blooms. These plants actually look like the picture in the seed catalog!

Magellan Zinnias

Magellan Zinnias

The Candy Cane zinnia seeds were cheap so I’m not upset about their terrible performance. This just goes to show that occasionally what you plant isn’t always what you get!



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