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
If you’re looking for a fast and low-maintenance way to add a riot of color to your garden beds, growing zinnias are the answer for blooms that last all summer. Larger 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.
Zinnias are among the easiest flowers to grow and are extremely rewarding with their beautiful colors and long-lasting blooms. Vibrant blossoms are also highly attractive to songbirds, butterflies and pollinators. Plant an array 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.
Tired of the same old flowers? Heirloom flower seeds — the ones that Grandma used to grow — add charm to your garden while stirring memories with their abundant blossoms and arousing scents. Best of all, we ship them FREE!
- One of the simplest, most colorful annuals to grow
- 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 grow in average soil but performs better when organic matter added
- Pests include black spot, rust and powdery mildew
These annual warm-season flowers like full sun and rich, well-drained soil. They are easy to grow and will tolerate average to slightly poor soils. Preparing garden areas with generous amounts of organic compost and well-aged animal manure will improve the health of plants tremendously. Watch Flower Gardening from the Ground Up – video.
How to Plant
Start 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 with approximately 1/4 inch of soil. Water thoroughly and thin to 6 to 12 inches apart after seedlings have sprouted. Once established, zinnia flowers are easy to grow and 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. Zinnia will not survive a hard frost or freeze.
Insects and Disease
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.