Zinnia: Shiny and Cheerful Flowers

Zinnia flowers are a number of the best to develop in a backyard. Not solely are they low upkeep, however additionally they appeal to pollinators and are available a wide range of shapes, sizes, colours, and development habits. If you need cut-and-come-again flowers, zinnia has you lined. If you need a pseudo perennial flower bush to accompany your annuals, zinnia vegetation try this too!

Not solely are there tons on the market to select from, however zinnias are additionally easy-going and develop in raised beds, in-ground, and even in containers. They’re drought-tolerant and ideal for a spring and summer season backyard. Planting seed is simple. With semi-fertile, well-draining soil, you’re lined. 

The place I dwell, most vegetable gardens are accompanied by two flowers: zinnias and cosmos. Grasp gardeners within the space swear by zinnia vegetation for attracting butterflies to the backyard. Exterior this area, they’re a mainstay. You’ll fall in love with them!

So let’s speak about zinnias and methods to take care of them.  

Good Merchandise At Amazon For Rising Zinnias:

Fast Care Information

Benary's Giant Lilac zinnia flower
Benary’s Large, lilac variant, is a beautiful bloom. Supply: McAli333
Frequent Title Zinnia, and plenty of different cultivar-related names
Scientific Title Zinnia spp.
Household Asteraceae
Peak & Unfold 1 to 4 ft tall and 6 inches to 1 foot huge
Gentle Full solar to partial shade
Soil Effectively-draining, fertile
Water 1 inch per week
Pests & Ailments Aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, powdery mildew, alternaria leaf spot, bacterial leaf spot, cercospora leaf spot, aster yellows

All About Zinnias

The zinnia is a member of the Asteraceae household, which incorporates daisies, asters, marigolds, and different flowering vegetation. They’ve many widespread names, all associated to the lots of of cultivars that exist inside their 20 or so species. They’re native to Mexico, South America, and the southwestern United States and had been first labeled within the 1700s by Johann Gottfried Zinn, a German botanist.

Various zinnia vegetation have totally different development habits. Some have single, erect stems. Some are bushy. Some have single flowers, and a few have double flowers. For these, zinnias kind what seems as a single flower head however is definitely made from small fertile flowers in a central ring that’s surrounded by petal-shaped infertile flowers. One simple distinction between two main species is that Zinnia elegans has a tall, erect behavior whereas Zinnia angustifolia creeps and spreads by way of the backyard.

Their tender, gentle inexperienced leaves lined in trichomes appear perennial, however that’s as a result of they self-seed readily. They’re nice for a spring or summer season backyard, the vegetable patch, they usually’re additionally beautiful in pollinator landscapes. They’ll get out of hand, although. It’s necessary to train correct pruning and care when rising them. 

Zinnias had been regarded as a poor man’s flower after they had been first launched to European elites. That is due to how widespread and straightforward to develop they’re. Nevertheless, I believe zinnia flowers have fairly a regal and stately presence within the backyard. They’re wonderful alongside my melon vines or in lower flower bouquets.

Forms of Zinnia Crops

Yellow Star zinnia
Yellow Star zinniass are a stunning single-petal selection. Supply: audreyjm529

Within the final part, we talked about the excellence between Zinnia elegans and Zinnia augustofolia. Let’s add to that with this: there are three sorts of zinnias. These are decided by the form of zinnia flowers that develop. There are single-flowered vegetation, semi-double, and double-flowered ones. Earlier than you order seed packets, let’s speak about a number of of cultivars organized by flower kind.

Single-flowered zinnias

These zinnias bloom a flower with a visual heart and a single line of petals. 

  • Pink Spider: with slim pink petals and yellow seen facilities, this compact plant is nice for attracting pollinators.  
  • Crystal White: one other bushy selection with small white flowers and yellow facilities. Fairly delicate associated to different cultivars. 
  • Star Zinnia: the single-petaled flowers of star zinnia are available various shades of white, orange, and yellow. A bushy selection with illness resistance. 
  • Mexican Zinnias: gorgeous variegated orange and yellow petals give these zinnias a wild look. Every bloom emerges from a low-lying flush of foliage. Nice lower flowers. 
  • Soleado: one other wild-looking bushel with orange blooms. 

Semidouble-flowered zinnias

Semi-doubles have a number of petal rows with seen facilities. Many are tall varieties. 

  • Benary’s Large: one of many taller varieties that produce 3’ stems ideally suited for vases. Discover a combine for quite a few rows of orange, yellow, pink, pink, and purple flowers. 
  • Zahara sequence: contains Zahara starlight and Double Zahara Hearth zinnias that prime out at 12 inches and are powdery mildew resistant and self-deadhead. 
  • Queen Lime Collection: contains Queen Lime Zinnias which can be massive flowers that vary from pink to inexperienced and even orange and yellow. 
  • Large Pink: this zinnia grows an additional massive bloom that may be a cross between a dahlia and a double flower. An intense pop of pink wherever they’re planted. 
  • Purple Prince: this mildew and disease-resistant selection has brightly coloured purple blooms that develop on stems as much as 3 ft tall. 
  • Thumbelina sequence: these semi-double/double flower hybrids bloom all season lengthy, and prime out at 12 inches tall. Flower heads are various shades of pink, yellow, white, and pink. 

Double-flowered zinnias

Zinnias with double flowerheads have a number of rows of petals and a seemingly inaccessible heart. Generally confused with dahlias. 

  • Cactus Zinnia: maybe probably the most fascinating zinnia on the market? The quilled petals of this plant are 3 to six inches throughout and are available shades of pink, orange, white, yellow, and pink.
  • Profusion sequence: a generally out there powdery mildew resistant sequence with lance-shaped foliage. For peachy blooms strive Apricot profusion. As much as 12 inches tall. 
  • Dreamland sequence: this sequence of dwarf double petal zinnias varieties dense mats of pink, cream, yellow, and pink flowers.
  • California Large: one among my absolute favorites! Massive 3 to 5-inch brilliant orange to scarlet flowers develop atop a 30 to 36-inch stem. 

If you happen to can’t resolve which to develop, strive the California Combine Zinnia Seeds we’ve in our Epic Gardening store. 

Zinnia Care

Semidouble flowered zinnia flower
Semidouble flowered zinnias don’t fully obscure the middle of the flower. Supply: Francisco Soto

Whether or not you’re rising Zinnia elegans or one other species, their wants are comparable sufficient that we put this info in a single place. Let’s speak about methods to nurture them in your summer season backyard yearly. 

Tips on how to Plant Zinnias

Whenever you plant zinnias, it’s essential know the place you need them and when to plant them. As a result of zinnia seedlings are topic to transplant shock, it’s not advisable you attempt to begin them indoors to transplant elsewhere after they’re mature sufficient. Planting in peat pots may assist, however you should still barely disturb the roots. Zinnias do greatest in the event that they’re sown straight after the final frost date in late spring. Broadcast them into areas of your backyard that want a pop of colour or a pollen attractant. As they emerge, skinny them to six inches aside for dwarf varieties and 12 inches for others. 

Solar and Temperature

Zinnias thrive in heat climates in areas uncovered to full solar. In addition they thrive in partial shade areas however want not less than 6 hours of daylight per day. Their ideally suited temperature vary is between 74° F and 84° F (or 23° C to twenty-eight° C). Zinnias are annuals. Because the summer season wears on and the warmth will increase, most will stay. Some are delicate to warmth and die again in the event that they aren’t already established. They don’t tolerate frost. Plant them in spring in full solar, and watch them bloom by way of summer season into fall. In some areas, zinnias stay within the backyard till the primary frost of early winter. 

Water and Humidity

Whereas zinnias are drought-tolerant, they do want common watering. Give them not less than 1 inch of water per week after they sprout and as they get established. Develop zinnia in soil with good drainage, and supply irrigation through soaker hoses or drip tape beneath the plant. This prevents fungal spots that may happen when zinnias are watered overhead. 


Mexican zinnia
Mexican zinnias are sometimes variegated in colour. Supply: PMillera4

The bottom rule for easy-going zinnias is to supply them with well-drained soil. Soils excessive in natural matter assist zinnia flowers higher than poor soils, however oftentimes, zinnias will develop wherever. The soil ought to retain some moisture, however not a lot that it stays moist for lengthy. Extra moisture makes Zinnia elegans and different species prone to ailments. Plant zinnias in barely acidic soil at 5.5 to 7.5 pH. 


In wealthy soil, you gained’t have to deal with fertilizing zinnias. Nevertheless, in poorer soils present common fertilizer. Unfold a slow-release granular fertilizer excessive in phosphorous two to 3 instances within the spring and summer season rising season. Alternatively, a soil drench of compost tea utilized each two weeks or so in spring and summer season works. I’ve had a simple time with established Zinnia elegans that acquired little or no fertilizer within the years they had been rising. 

Pruning Zinnias

Whenever you develop zinnia, pruning zinnia flowers is paramount. When the primary bloom totally opens, prune it off on the bud joint to advertise extra blooming later within the season. Whereas not all zinnias are cut-and-come-again, these which can be recognize constant pruning of blooms. Minimize these on the leaf node and put them in colourful floral preparations. Whenever you do that, the realm the place you narrow will now department off and produce two stems for zinnia flowers to develop on. Deadhead them as they fade in fall or winter. Except you need tons of zinnias in that spot subsequent yr, know that deadheading prevents them from taking up. Whereas zinnias are annuals, they’ll self-seed and emerge in that spot in spring. 

Prune the foliage of your zinnia vegetation to advertise good air circulation. Zinnias are vulnerable to numerous ailments that thrive in congested backyard areas. Pruning is your first line of stopping these ailments in your backyard. 


When you can let zinnias pop up in areas of your backyard yearly, you may as well accumulate seeds once you deadhead previous flowers and take away these to be planted straight in early or late spring. Or, when you’ve got not less than 100 days or extra till the primary frost arrives, sow one other patch for extra flowers later within the season. I hold on to a bag of seeds and anticipate spring to sprinkle them round annuals for an additional pollen supply. Zinnias work properly in clean areas of your backyard, too, the place different vegetation might have failed, or in spots that want an additional pop of colour that lasts all season lengthy. Bear in mind to pinch again seedlings to 12 inches aside after they attain a couple of inches tall. This retains them from choking one another and different vegetation out. 


Double Cherry Profusion zinnias
The Profusion sequence has gorgeous double petals. Supply: rachelgreenbelt

Zinnias are nice vegetation that develop rapidly, appeal to pollinators, and supply your backyard with vibrant, cheery blooming petals for months. Nevertheless, there are some things to concentrate on once you develop them.  

Rising Issues

If you happen to attempt to sow zinnia seed indoors after which plant them outside (even in peat pots), they could expertise transplant shock. As an alternative, merely broadcast seeds in your backyard. 

Most points related to zinnias contain an excessive amount of of a great factor. Sure, sow seeds densely. However area them as they develop, and deadhead them after their petals fade. This prevents an amazing quantity of zinnias within the following yr. Give extra seeds to your pals!

If you happen to plant zinnias too late, they gained’t have time to bloom earlier than the frost date hits, or they could not have time to take off earlier than it will get too scorching for seeds to germinate. Right here within the south, it’s simple to be simply barely behind on planting when warmth waves roll in early. The overall rule of thumb is that they want cool to temperate climate to germinate, and the flowers want not less than 100 days earlier than the frost to place out beautiful blooms. 


You’ll cope with fundamental pests on zinnias. Aphids are little pear-shaped bugs that hang around on the undersides of leaves, sucking the sap from zinnia foliage. Knock them off your vegetation with a robust stream of water. Comply with up with a light-weight mist of neem oil spray utilized over the inexperienced components of the plant. If they’re on the petals, take away the flower they’re feasting on. However don’t spray the blooms with neem. Apply neem within the morning earlier than the solar has risen, and don’t apply in temperatures at or above 90° F (32° C). 

Spider mites appear to be tiny yellow or pink dots that transfer round your zinnias, feasting on plant sap. In infestations, you’ll see webs wound across the plant. They thrive in circumstances which can be heat and dry. Water usually to forestall them. To deal with them, wipe the vegetation down with a moist fabric and comply with up with insecticidal cleaning soap. Reapply as soon as each a number of days. 

Whiteflies are tiny white moths that additionally devour plant sap. They’re widespread in greenhouses and on houseplants, they usually generally strike outside vegetation too. Hit them with a robust stream of water. In the event that they proceed to feed, the honeydew they secrete can kill your plant. Use insecticidal spray corresponding to pyrethrin as a follow-up if water doesn’t maintain them. Wipe down the leaves, eradicating the honeydew and their eggs in a single fell swoop.


Powdery mildew is the most typical illness that impacts zinnias. More often than not, planting them in the suitable spot, preserving the soil adequately moist and never moist, and eradicating any mildewed foliage retains it in test, or prevents it. If it will possibly’t be managed with selective pruning, strive neem oil. Use the identical directions from the final part to use it.  

Alternaria leaf spot, bacterial leaf spot, and cercospora leaf spot are all brought on by both fungal or watermold pathogens that thrive in heat, moist circumstances. Watering on the base of zinnias, slightly than overhead, prevents wetting leaves. If overlooked of hand, the moist, darkish spots brought on by these pathogens can result in bacterial wilt as they unfold to different components of the plant. You may selectively prune affected leaves to advertise higher air circulation, then with a fungicide corresponding to sulfur fungicide or copper fungicide to kill the pathogens. Stop with neem oil to supply an additional layer of safety, however don’t apply neem oil inside every week of both fungicide.

Aster yellows is a illness that impacts all vegetation within the Asteraceae household. It’s transmitted by leafhoppers that carry the illness on their physique as they hop from plant to plant. Management them to forestall its unfold. As soon as a plant is contaminated with aster yellows and takes on the yellowing look and warped development, take away them and both burn them or bury them deep in your compost pile so different bugs can’t feed on them, perpetuating the cycle. Take away any weeds from the realm, and do the identical with these. 

Often Requested Questions

Zinnia with butterfly
Every zinnia is an explosion of lovely colour. Supply: Muffet

Q: Does zinnia come again yearly?

A: Within the backyard, zinnias work seem to be perennials, however are literally self-seeding annuals. So long as circumstances are proper, they’ll die off in fall or winter and return in spring. 

Q: Does zinnia want full solar?

A: Sure! Full solar, and generally partial shade with not less than 6 to eight hours of solar per day is required to develop zinnia. 

Q: How lengthy will zinnias bloom?

A: Their flowers bloom in summer season and stay till frost arrives. 

Q: Is zinnia simple to develop?

A: One of many best! If you happen to’re new to gardening, strive rising them in a pot. 

Q: Can I simply scatter zinnia seeds?

A: Completely. Scatter them inside planted backyard beds, or sow a single row of them alongside your backyard. 

Q: Do zinnias should be deadheaded?

A: Except you need them to unfold in all places, sure, deadhead every spent flower. 

Q: Do zinnias like plenty of water?

A: After they’re mature, they’ll deal with some drought. However when you’ve got the power to supply about an inch of water per week, that’s greatest!

Q: What month do you plant zinnia seeds?

A: It is determined by your regional frost dates. Plant zinnia seed in spring after the final frost date with not less than 100 days earlier than the autumn or winter frost arrives.

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