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 Rating – Wholesale (1) Market Appreciation Rating – Retail (1) Market Appreciation Rating – Consumer (1) Repeat Again Rating (1) Ease of Cultivation Rating (1) Average Spacing (in2) Average Postharvest Life (days)
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

(1) 1 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

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