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NC State Extension

Zinnia ‘Giant Scarlet’

Trial: Annual

Year Trialed: 2008

Good Qualities

Eye catching brilliant red color (11); Large flowers (3); Prolific (2); Matches rest of BG series in size and bloom time, good doubleness and even color; Easy to grow, bloomed for most of the growing season; Strong stems, especially in September, little mildew problems; Great plant; Nice form, robust; Full blooms with many layers of petals; People and hummingbirds like zinnias; Tall, attractive, with large double flowers; about 4 days earlier than ‘Giant Carmine Rose’; Stiff stem; Scarlet can’t handle any rain or petals get marked with white bruise-like defects, couldn’t sell once we started getting rain showers in Sept.


Color was not always uniform, some blooms were orange, others were deep scarlet (2); None (2); All had to be sprayed for fungus, especially with our very rainy summer; Too short, especially in my later plantings; We had the usual problem of short holding for all zinnias, problems with Japanese beetles and leaf spot; Poor germination, 10 out of 48 plants made it to flowering; Unattractive white spots on some flowers may have been from insect damage or dew, very noticable against bright background; Weak neck and melt down at times; Size/diameter of blooms decreased with each cut, could somewhat be restored with severe cut back of side shoots; Mildew; Standard zinnia problems, weak neck, barely acceptable vase life, not enough of the nice big really double flowers; Slugs devoured seedlings as they emerged so I replanted twice, they have really just started to produce in the last few weeks; Sensitive to our high EC water.

Similar Cultivars

I didn’t find these that different from the other giants I’ve grown.


Harvested between 7/14-8/18 (for two crops transplanted to field April 22 and May 22); Not as prolific as some of the other Benary Giant colors; Despite the problems, I can’t imagine not growing all the beautiful, colorful Benary zinnias, I only stay away from the white which looks old too quickly, next season I’m going to try to stay away from floral preservative and only use water on my zinnias; Love it; One of my favorite colors of Benary Giant zinnias; Susceptible to foliar diseases – more than other zinnias; Entire zinnia crop was planted late while I was out of town, this year, I pinched in August and cut back severely in late August which did increase stem length, I could have sold all of the large flowered ones if I’d been able to keep the mildew preventative spray; Flower head = 5 cm; A staple for us.


Plain water (2); Remove about 1/3 of lower leaves; Surface sterilize stems in a 10% bleach solution, we don’t use floral preservative with zinnias, we avoid keeping them in the cooler.

Trial Data

Zinnia ‘Giant Scarlet’
Yield (stems/plant) Stem Length (inches) Market Appreciation Rating¹ Repeat Again Rating¹ Ease of Cultivation Rating¹ Average Spacing (in2) Average Postharvest Life (days)
Wholesale Retail Consumer
Average 8.3 18.4 2.5 4.4 4.5 4.1 4.3 127 7.8
Range of Responses 1-40 7-30 1-4 4-5 4-5 1-5 2-5 24-252 6-14

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


Benary Seed
1444 Larson St.
Sycamore, IL 60178

Page Last Updated: 8 years ago
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