Zinnia: Bright and Cheerful Flowers

Zinnia flowers are a few of the best to develop in a backyard. Not solely are they low upkeep, however additionally they entice pollinators and are available a wide range of shapes, sizes, colours, and development habits. In order for you cut-and-come-again flowers, zinnia has you coated. In order for you a pseudo perennial flower bush to accompany your annuals, zinnia crops 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 excellent for a spring and summer season backyard. Planting seed is straightforward. With semi-fertile, well-draining soil, you’re coated. 

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

So let’s discuss zinnias and how you can look after them.  

Good Merchandise At Amazon For Rising Zinnias:

Fast Care Information

Benary’s Large, lilac variant, is a beautiful bloom. Supply: McAli333
Frequent Title Zinnia, and lots of different cultivar-related names
Scientific Title Zinnia spp.
Household Asteraceae
Top & Unfold 1 to 4 toes tall and 6 inches to 1 foot extensive
Mild Full solar to partial shade
Soil Nicely-draining, fertile
Water 1 inch per week
Pests & Illnesses 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 crops. They’ve many frequent 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 have been first labeled within the 1700s by Johann Gottfried Zinn, a German botanist.

Various zinnia crops have completely different development habits. Some have single, erect stems. Some are bushy. Some have single flowers, and a few have double flowers. For these, zinnias type what seems as a single flower head however is definitely fabricated 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 via the backyard.

Their gentle, gentle inexperienced leaves coated 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, and so they’re additionally pretty in pollinator landscapes. They will get out of hand, although. It’s essential to train correct pruning and care when rising them. 

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

Sorts of Zinnia Crops

Yellow Star zinnia
Yellow Star zinniass are a beautiful 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 sort of zinnia flowers that develop. There are single-flowered crops, semi-double, and double-flowered ones. Earlier than you order seed packets, let’s discuss 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 slender crimson 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 splendid for vases. Discover a combine for quite a few rows of orange, yellow, crimson, pink, and purple flowers. 
  • Zahara collection: contains Zahara starlight and Double Zahara Hearth zinnias that high out at 12 inches and are powdery mildew resistant and self-deadhead. 
  • Queen Lime Collection: contains Queen Lime Zinnias which are giant flowers that vary from pink to inexperienced and even orange and yellow. 
  • Massive Pink: this zinnia grows an additional giant bloom that may be a cross between a dahlia and a double flower. An intense pop of crimson 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 toes tall. 
  • Thumbelina collection: these semi-double/double flower hybrids bloom all season lengthy, and high out at 12 inches tall. Flower heads are various shades of pink, yellow, white, and crimson. 

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 essentially 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 crimson.
  • Profusion collection: a generally out there powdery mildew resistant collection with lance-shaped foliage. For peachy blooms strive Apricot profusion. As much as 12 inches tall. 
  • Dreamland collection: this collection of dwarf double petal zinnias types dense mats of crimson, cream, yellow, and pink flowers.
  • California Large: one in all my absolute favorites! Giant 3 to 5-inch vibrant orange to scarlet flowers develop atop a 30 to 36-inch stem. 

In the event you can’t resolve which to develop, strive the California Combine Zinnia Seeds we now have in our Epic Gardening store. 

Zinnia Care

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

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

Tips on how to Plant Zinnias

If you plant zinnias, you want to 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 really helpful you attempt to begin them indoors to transplant elsewhere once 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 instantly 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. Additionally they thrive in partial shade areas however want a minimum of 6 hours of daylight per day. Their splendid 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 via 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 a minimum of 1 inch of water per week after they sprout and as they get established. Develop zinnia in soil with good drainage, and supply irrigation by way of 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 offer them with well-drained soil. Soils excessive in natural matter assist zinnia flowers higher than poor soils, however oftentimes, zinnias will develop anyplace. 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 inclined to ailments. Plant zinnias in barely acidic soil at 5.5 to 7.5 pH. 


In wealthy soil, you received’t must deal with fertilizing zinnias. Nevertheless, in poorer soils present common fertilizer. Unfold a slow-release granular fertilizer excessive in phosphorous two to a few 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 straightforward time with established Zinnia elegans that bought little or no fertilizer within the years they have been rising. 

Pruning Zinnias

If 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 are recognize constant pruning of blooms. Reduce these on the leaf node and put them in colourful floral preparations. If you do that, the realm the place you chop will now department off and produce two stems for zinnia flowers to develop on. Deadhead them as they fade in fall or winter. Until you need tons of zinnias in that spot subsequent yr, know that deadheading prevents them from taking on. Whereas zinnias are annuals, they’ll self-seed and emerge in that spot in spring. 

Prune the foliage of your zinnia crops to advertise good air circulation. Zinnias are susceptible to a number of ailments that thrive in congested backyard areas. Pruning is your first line of stopping these ailments in your backyard. 


Whilst you can let zinnias pop up in areas of your backyard yearly, you too can acquire seeds once you deadhead previous flowers and take away these to be planted instantly in early or late spring. Or, in case you have a minimum of 100 days or extra till the primary frost arrives, sow one other patch for extra flowers later within the season. I dangle on to a bag of seeds and look forward to spring to sprinkle them round annuals for an additional pollen supply. Zinnias work nicely in clean areas of your backyard, too, the place different crops 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 once they attain a number of inches tall. This retains them from choking one another and different crops out. 


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

Zinnias are nice crops that develop shortly, entice pollinators, and supply your backyard with vibrant, cheery blooming petals for months. Nevertheless, there are some things to pay attention to once you develop them.  

Rising Issues

In the event you attempt to sow zinnia seed indoors after which plant them outdoor (even in peat pots), they could expertise transplant shock. As a substitute, 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 house 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!

In the event you plant zinnias too late, they received’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 final rule of thumb is that they want cool to temperate climate to germinate, and the flowers want a minimum of 100 days earlier than the frost to place out pretty blooms. 


You’ll take care of primary 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 crops with a powerful stream of water. Comply with up with a lightweight mist of neem oil spray utilized over the inexperienced elements 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 like tiny yellow or crimson dots that transfer round your zinnias, feasting on plant sap. In infestations, you’ll see webs wound across the plant. They thrive in situations which are heat and dry. Water frequently to stop them. To deal with them, wipe the crops down with a humid material 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 frequent in greenhouses and on houseplants, and so they typically strike outside crops too. Hit them with a powerful stream of water. In the event that they proceed to feed, the honeydew they secrete can kill your plant. Use insecticidal spray similar 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 appropriate spot, conserving the soil adequately moist and never moist, and eradicating any mildewed foliage retains it in test, or prevents it. If it may well’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 situations. Watering on the base of zinnias, relatively than overhead, prevents wetting leaves. If ignored of hand, the moist, darkish spots brought on by these pathogens can result in bacterial wilt as they unfold to different elements of the plant. You’ll be able to selectively prune affected leaves to advertise higher air circulation, then with a fungicide similar to sulfur fungicide or copper fungicide to kill the pathogens. Forestall with neem oil to offer 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 crops 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 stop 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. 

Continuously Requested Questions

Zinnia with butterfly
Every zinnia is an explosion of gorgeous 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 situations 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 typically partial shade with a minimum of 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! In the event you’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: Until you need them to unfold in every single place, sure, deadhead every spent flower. 

Q: Do zinnias like plenty of water?

A: After they’re mature, they’ll deal with some drought. However in case you have the flexibility to offer about an inch of water per week, that’s greatest!

Q: What month do you plant zinnia seeds?

A: It is dependent upon your regional frost dates. Plant zinnia seed in spring after the final frost date with a minimum of 100 days earlier than the autumn or winter frost arrives.

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