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Zinnia

A flashy favorite! Easy to grow zinnias offer an eye-catching pop of color.

Zinnias​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.

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Zinnia

Zinnia Seeds

Large, brightly colored blossoms are a sunny summer-time favorite.

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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

  1. One of the simplest, most colorful annuals
  2. Attracts beneficial insects, butterflies and birds
  3. Start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost or outside after last frost date
  4. Needs full sun; fertilize monthly
  5. Will tolerate average soil but performs better when organic matter added
  6. 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

Site Preparation

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

Zinnia plants are prone to fungal diseases including black spot, rust and powdery mildew. If symptoms are noticed, we recommend the following:

  • 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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10 Responses to “Zinnia”

  1. Terry on May 10th, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    My daughter and I planted zinnia from seed. They did well, up to about 2 inches and then apparently insects discovered them. How can I prevent this, and is it possible to save the shoots we still have?

    • Anonymous on August 23rd, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

      Earwigs love to eat the tiny zinnia plants. I have found that after the plants get taller they do not like them. Find an organic method to get rid of earwigs.

  2. Becky on April 24th, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    I think I might be having trouble with snails. Are they a problem for the zinnias?

  3. Rachel on May 10th, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

    I had them last year and then cut them down when they dried up and died. This year, they haven’t even sprouted yet. When will that happen? Do they come back again?

    • Sandy Meylor on May 17th, 2016 at 8:50 am #

      Zinnias are annuals and not perennials

  4. Hassina on May 20th, 2016 at 3:38 am #

    I had them last year and then cut them down when they dried up and died. This year, they haven’t even sprouted yet. When will that happen? Do they come back again?

    • E. Vinje on May 20th, 2016 at 4:43 am #

      Hassina –

      Zinnias are annuals and do not come back year after year — they last one growing season!

      • Sharon on October 13th, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

        Yes, they are annuals, but in the warmer parts of the US, they reseed and sprout the next spring.

  5. buzann on July 4th, 2016 at 4:45 am #

    I planted a box of zinnia seeds from Walmart 15 years ago. They have come up every year. I save the seeds and put them in other parts of the garden and they have come up every year also. I know zinnias are annuals, but in the mid south, they are like perennials.

    • Anonymous on July 22nd, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

      Yes, I have zinnias and they come back in their own each year. I live in Tennessee. I also deadhead and plant my seeds in my garden yearly for new flowers.

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