If you’re looking for a fast and low-maintenance flower to add a riot of color to your garden beds, consider growing zinnias. Their brightly colored, often densely layered blossoms last late into the season making them a summertime favorite.
Larger zinnia varieties can be used to brighten up annual or mixed borders and are a favorite in cut flower displays. Smaller varieties are well suited for containers and window boxes or planted at the front of a garden bed.
Zinnia flowers grow easily from seed and are available in a colorful array of shapes and sizes. Vibrant blossoms are also highly attractive to songbirds, butterflies and pollinators. Plant a smorgasbord of colors and watch your flower gardens come to life.
Fun Fact: Zinnias are members of the aster family, making them closely related to daisies, cosmos, marigolds and sunflowers.
Large, brightly colored blossoms are a sunny summer-time favorite.View all
Heirloom flowers — the ones that Grandma used to grow — will stir memories with their abundant blossoms and arousing scents. Planting instructions are included with each seed packet and shipping is FREE!
Quick Guide: Planting, Growing & Caring for Zinnias
- One of the simplest, most colorful annuals
- Attracts beneficial insects, butterflies and birds
- Start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost or outside after last frost date
- Needs full sun; fertilize monthly
- Will tolerate average soil but performs better when organic matter added
- Pests include black spot, rust and powdery mildew
Sunlight: Full sun
Maturity: 60-75 days from seed to flower
Height: 18 to 24 inches
Spacing: 6 to 12 inches apart in all directions
A warm-season annual flower, zinnias like full sun and rich, well-drained soil. They are easy to grow and will tolerate average to slightly poor soils. Preparing garden beds with generous amounts of organic compost or well-aged animal manure will improve the health of plants tremendously. Watch Flower Gardening from the Ground Up – video.
How to Plant
Start zinnia seeds early indoors for transplanting outdoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date (see Starting Annual Flowers Indoors). In warmer climates, sow seeds directly into planting areas and cover lightly with soil. Water thoroughly and thin to 6 to 12 inches apart after seedlings have sprouted. Once established, flowers will thrive in many conditions, even if left unattended.
Fertilize monthly with an organic bloom boosting fertilizer once plants have started flowering. Pinch the spent blooms off to extend the blooming season. Mulch to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and improve aesthetics. Zinnias will not survive a hard frost or freeze.
Insect & Disease Problems
- Avoid overhead watering whenever possible (use soaker hoses or drip irrigation)
- Properly space plants to improve air circulation
- Apply copper spray or sulfur dust to prevent further infection
Seed Saving Instructions
Zinnias will cross-pollinate. To save pure seed, gardeners should only grow one variety at a time or isolate varieties by 1/4 mile. Seeds are ready to harvest when the blooms begin to turn brown and dry. The seeds are contained in the very center. When the heads are completely dry, gently crush the heads between your hands and then carefully winnow away the chaff.
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