Burned up Zinna's

Hi! I live in Western Colorado, and I planted 3 little zinnias in my whiskey barrel. Two of them looked like a torch torched them, but the third one seems to be fine. What would cause this? My soil has stayed moist, I have cocoa mulch on the top. The soil is loose, not compacted.
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Several possibilities come to mind. Did this discoloration occur right after you moved the plants outdoors? They may not have been hardened off, and could have gotten sunburn and/or windburn. It's a good idea to place new transplants in a protected location out of the sun for a week or so before putting them in their final location outdoors.
Another possibility is a touch of late frost. Zinnias are quite sensitive to cold temperatures, and if it the temperature got down into the upper 30s, they may have suffered from frost injury.


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