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Zinnia elegans


(Zinnia; Scientific Name: Zinnia elegans) We are a first grade class that has been growing the zinnias from seeds in our classroom and have just begun transplanting them into our school garden. They are currently about 1"-3" high with green oval leaves. We've learned that they will grow to be 12"-18" high and that they will grow pink, yellow, red, orange, or white flowers. It should take about 60 days for the flowers to grow, and they should be in bloom from summer through fall.


The zinnias should get full sun in our school garden.


The students have come up with a list of questions that they are interested in learning about: What pollinators will the zinnias attract? Will they attract any pollinators before the flowers bloom? Will pollinators make any nests near them? Will the flowers have lots of pollen on them? Will bats like them? How many pollinators will visit them each day? What time of day will most pollinators visit? And one bonus question... Will the cicadas be attracted to them? School gets out soon, so we know we won't learn all the answers before summer. But we look forward to learning what we can, and then seeing what the garden looks like when we return next school year!

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Mr. Schaen
Mr. Schaen 5 months ago

Thank you for the interesting information! We've talked in class about how bats eat bugs. So we think the bugs on the zinnias might be good for the bats to eat! By the way, the students took pictures in the garden today. I've added the pictures to our spotting. One is of a teeny tiny fly that was on the zinnias. The other is of a moth that was flying near the zinnias. We also saw a bee and ants. But, so far, we have not seen many other bugs yet. Maybe it's because our garden is still pretty new.

QCPP Carrie
QCPP Carrie 5 months ago

Hello! I have some information about bats for you. While bats can be great pollinators, different species of bats eat different things. Most flower-visiting bats are found in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. There are some that migrate into from Mexico to Arizon, Texas and New Mexico, but not near the mid-west where we are. But, zinnias are STILL excellent plants to plant for the bats here in the mid-west. Can you guess how zinnias might feed the bats even if they aren't drinking the nectar?

Mr. Schaen
Mr. Schaen 5 months ago

That's very interesting information about flowers that stay open at night. We know that bats are nocturnal. So it makes sense that they will be more interested in flowers that are open at night so they can get their pollen. We also think it's cool that bats eat bugs. Very soon we are going to go out into the garden to see what animals might be there. We hope to see some lizards too!

tacticalbee 5 months ago
According to the US fish & game service, bats like flowers that are pale in color, have sweet strong fragrance and are open night! Can you guess why? I don't think zinnias will be high on their list, but I don't know for sure.

Mr. Schaen
Mr. Schaen 5 months ago

We just learned that swallowtail caterpillars would like to eat parsley, and then the butterflies would like to eat from zinnias. This is very good to know. Thanks for helping us get the idea! By the way, we are still wondering if bats will like the zinnias. Do you know the answer? Bye for now.

tacticalbee 5 months ago

What other kinds of easy-growing flowers do you think would work with your zinnia garden? Adding some parsley could be a great addition, do you know why?

tacticalbee 5 months ago

Zinnias are great flowers for pollinators. The flowers will attract monarchs, and swallowtails butterflies, and hummingbirds. The cicadas will not be interested in the zinnias because they are looking for sapling trees and other cicadas.

Mr. Schaen
Spotted by
Mr. Schaen

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Spotted on May 17, 2021
Submitted on May 17, 2021

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