It’s the summer season and Southern Gardening is at the MSU South Mississippi Branch Station in Poplarville checking out the trial beds. One of my favorite summer color annuals are Zahara zinnia. In my opinion these are some of the hardest working flowers gardeners can grow. In fact, Zahara zinnias meet the top three requirements for my Mississippi landscape: they’re low maintenance, tolerate heat and drought and give us brilliant color. The selections in the Zahara series have well branched structure to support the abundant flowering. The flowering choices begin with either single or double flowering types. Then it’s trying to decide from the wide range of colors from white, orange, fire and yellow. There are even bicolor options. I grow the double forms almost exclusively in my home landscape. Double Cherry, an All-America Selections winner, has deep magenta blooms. Double Fire has a hot scarlet orange flowers on vigorous plants that can create an amber carpet. Zahara zinnia should be planted in the full sun knowing the flower color will not bleach out. In many areas of Mississippi planting in raised beds will result in superior plant growth and flowering all summer long. Transplanted in the landscape Zahara zinnia will quickly to provide a blanket of color. One of the best features of Zahara zinnia is deadheading is seldom necessary. Growing Zahara zinnia is one way to make the summer landscape more beautiful with its season long color. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.