What's your question? Ask


Q.How do zinnias look when the first frost happens?

Zone Virginia | Anonymous added on November 11, 2019 | Answered

This is awkward, but I’ve had zinnias for numerous years and when they die for the winter, they tend to dry up and become brown and crispy. I recently moved into a new place and planted beautiful zinnias. Last night was probably what I would consider the first frost where I have seen ice. This morning when I came out, my zinnias were droopy, wilted, moist and an olive green. They look and smell like there is old fryer cooking oil on them. No one else’s flowers on the block seem to be affected by the cold, just mine. So my question is, is this what flowers can look like that have been hit by cold, or am I the victim of someone’s prank? 🙁 the day before this they were colorful, bright and healthy.

A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 12, 2019

This is definitely a case of cold weather. Some flowers are more tolerant than others, even within the same species. They should begin to die off for the year at this point, and often even before this time.

Was this answer useful?

Answered on November 12, 2019

It looks like you had a freeze, not just a touch of frost. (freeze =28 degrees or less for several hours) A freeze turns the water inside plant cells to ice. Water expands as it freezes which tears the cells. As temps go back above 32 F., the ice melts and the plant structure, ruined by the expanding ice, crumples. A frost isn't so dramatic. It may turn flower petals brown and result in brown or black leaves but the stem is still intact. Annuals are more sensitive to frost than perennials.

Was this answer useful?

Log in or sign up to help answer this question.

Did you find this helpful? Share it with your friends!

You must be logged into your account to answer a question.

If you don't have an account sign up for an account now.

Looking for more?
here are more questions about...
Join Us - Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips!

Do you know a lot about gardening?
Become a GKH Gardening Expert