Hoping Starlight gets her rose back

Photo courtesy All-America Selections

A few weeks ago, when picking out my annuals for use in my summer containers and mixed borders, I was pleased to find a flat of Zaraha® ‘Starlight Rose’ zinnias available for purchase. This zinnia, bred by PanAmerican Seed, has been on my garden radar since it was named an All-America Selection in 2010.

Every time I’ve seen this flower featured in garden press, I became further enamored with its form and color. The double-petaled flowers, with orange-yellow centers surrounded by bright magenta that fades to white, would make a bold statement in the garden.

The flat of plants that I bought was still tightly in bud, betraying no hint of the flower color. The only way I knew they were ‘Starlight Rose’ was from the plant tag inserted in each of the cell packs. I planted several in mixed containers and the rest in one open area of our driveway border.

When the first flowers opened, I was disappointed to find that most of the petals were plain white, with little or no magenta coloring. ‘Starlight Rose’ had left its rose behind. I began to suspect that the flat had been mislabled and I’d received Zahara® ‘White’ instead.

As the plants have started to mature, some of the flowers have started to exhibit the magenta I expected.

It’s possible that the weather (several days of scorching heat followed by a week of cool) or my watering frequency has caused ‘Starlight Rose’ to emerge so faded. PanAmerican Seed bills the Zahara® series as heat-loving and low-water plants, so I’m hoping that the warmer temperatures will help ‘Starlight’ get her ‘Rose’ back.

Published by Christopher Tidrick

Be real. Love always. Share beauty. Lead well. Learn more.


  1. The first pic is stunning! I've never seen these. Zinnias are my favorites. I do like in the first pic of your own plants, you can see the tiniest hint of that pink. I hope they turn out well for you!



  2. It's interesting that they don't show any color markings at first, then develop them later. They are pretty when they have the magenta streaks.



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