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NC State Extension

Zinnia Elegans ‘Sun Cherry’

Trial: Annual

Years Trialed: 2002

Zinnia elegans 'Sun Cherry'

Good Qualities

Great color (10); Large flowers (6); Flowers mostly double (5); Fast crop (3); Mix of color shades (2); Powdery mildew resistant (2); Good branching; Very strong stems; Full – adds different texture; Great production and good vase life; I had no problems with stems bending – Tall straight stems, easy to cut; Strong fast grower in the field in full sun in very hot conditions (Zone 10) – Great flower shape and form; Consumers loved them and they sold very well at our farm – Many comments on their beauty; The slight variation in pink among the blossoms was nice; Good stems, especially late in summer, excellent vase life, kept double flowers throughout season; Plant size good and full; Good quality flowers, produced for a long time; Vase life – 1 week or better; Nice form, no support needed; Keeps producing.


Powdery mildew (4); Different shades of pink (2); Quite a bit shorter than ‘Benary Giants’; Too short compared to other Zinnias in same planting; Very short stems on first cuts (plants were pinched at 4-6 inches) and very thick; Not as tall or thick stemmed as ‘Benary Blue Points’; If left in the field mature, they seemed to get dark spots on the flower and I don’t mean too mature either; Wholesale and retail florists are luke warm to all zinnia’s in my area – Relatively short vase life improved with Chrysal and keeping them out of the cooler – Late in the season problems appeared with mildew but not before a great crop was picked; A few singles; Japanese beetles was heavy late in season, otherwise no insect problem; Poor germination (40%); Not as big blooms as the ‘Sun Gold’ nor as prolific; Needed 3 cuts before 12 inch+ stems possible; No problems.


Editor note: See the Postharvest Report in this issue for vase life and handling information. Similar to Benary ‘Carmine Rose’ and Benary ‘Giant Pink’; Would choose this pink in future over Benary pink – more intense and stems stronger; While this only comes in yellow, pink and red, the florists really liked them; Stem length may have been better under more favorable soil moisture conditions – I had a potential market for the zinnia stems if the stem length had been at least 45 cm (18 inches) – That never happened so I distributed the flowers around the department to favorable reviews – the blooms themselves were marketable; Will grow for early zinnias and rely on others for late season; Harvested both plantings until frost 6/15-10/4 and 7/19-10/4 (Zone 6/7); I would grow again, but only to see if mildew was less the next time – If still prevailed, I would try other varieties; Not nearly as rigorous as ‘Sun Gold’; More affected by the heat and drought than ‘Sun Gold’ – Would like to try again under more normal weather conditions; Plants still healthy in October (Zone 4).

Trial Data

Zinnia elegans ‘Sun Cherry’
Yield (stems/plant) Stem Length (inches) Market Appreciation Rating¹ Repeat Again Rating¹ Ease of Cultivation Rating¹ Average Spacing (in2)
Wholesale Retail Consumer
Average 10.3 16.1 4.0 4.4 4.4 4.1 4.5 128
Range of Responses 0-35 0-26 3-5 4-5 2-5 1-5 3-5 16-288

¹1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the best. Market ratings are based on sales to wholesalers, retailers, or final consumers direct.


American Takii
301 Natividad Rd.
Salinas, CA 93906

Page Last Updated: 8 years ago
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