Light: Full sun is ideal for zinnia growth and flowering. Even in warmer climates with afternoon shadow, they can flower there, but they may be more prone to disease and produce fewer flowers.
Soil: Organically rich, fertile soils with good drainage are ideal for growing zinnias. Because zinnia seedlings are susceptible to rotting in cool, damp soils, having well-drained soil is crucial.
Plant zinnia seeds in rows or clusters spaced a few inches apart. Once the plant has four leaves, thin to 8 to 18 inches apart, depending on the variety.
Planting: Plant zinnias in the spring, just about the time you plant tomatoes, when all threat of frost has passed. Growing zinnias from seeds straight in the garden is simple. Start seeds inside four to six weeks before to your last frost date for earlier flowering.
Can I merely sprinkling zinnia seeds?
Every summer, I overflow my gardens with flowering flowers that last until the fall. It’s lovely, reasonably priced, and best of all, requires little upkeep!
The Zinnia is my secret flower; it’s a magnificent, robust flower that looks fantastic in the garden and makes quick bouquets.
In the spring and summer, you can purchase zinnia plants at nurseries, but it would cost hundreds of dollars to get the same level of coverage as I do with only $15 in seeds! Park Seed sells packets of 50 seeds for $3, and I’ve always had success with them sprouting.
This post is not sponsored, please note. I’ve been a customer of this business for 5 years and am a big fan.
Zinnias are surprisingly simple to grow from seed and require very little maintenance once they are established. Despite the harsh sun, the clay soil, and my inability to water them frequently, they thrive in my front garden.
Early summer to fall, they are in full flower. On November 1 of the previous year, my garden was still partially colored. In my garden, the Zinna Park’s Pick Mix variety grows 4 to 5 feet tall.
Another advantage? They draw butterflies and birds. The Monarch Butterflies (an endangered breed), Swallowtail Butterflies, and Goldfinch birds have been my garden’s most thrilling guests.
Even planting is a simple operation. I lay down new mulch before scattering the Zinnia seeds in the desired locations. I just spread them; I don’t think about spacing or anything. I add a tiny bit more mulch to the area as cover once the seeds are planted. If there isn’t enough rain, I do water them every few days for about a month or two until the seedlings are well-established.
What Seeds Are Best?
Pick of Zinnia Park Mix the tallest, strongest, and simplest to grow Zinnias. These are positioned behind the house in the garden since they can grow to a height of five feet. Great around fences as well.
I planted a small “dwarf variant” of Magellan Mix Zinnia Seeds around the front of the garden. The bushy, 1.5-foot-tall blossoms are short and slender. fantastic along borders and pathways.
To create the most beautiful zinnia garden:
- Because the leaves are prone to mildewing, water beneath the foliage with a soaker hose, or water in the morning.
- Remove the dead flowers to promote new blooming (called “deadheading)
- To improve plant spacing, transplant some seedlings after they have grown. (I don’t do this all the time.
- To maintain the garden neat, think about staking the tallest plants. The strongest ones can be staked first, followed by tying up the weaker ones with twine along a line that extends to the stake. If they grow too big, they may topple over, and they may appear unkempt, as they did in my garden last summer:
Ordering now will ensure that your seeds arrive by April. Try just one package of seeds for now if you’re unsure. Although seeds can be started indoors, I’ve never been good enough to keep them alive. A few weeks after the last frost, I simply planted the seeds in the ground. In the VA/DC/MD/DE region, April is the best month.
How long do zinnias take to grow from seed?
Beautiful flowers like zinnias are ideal for novice gardeners! These annual flowers come in a wide range of hues and variations, adding a vibrant pop of color to your yard and making them ideal for bouquet-making. Zinnias require only plenty of sun, warmth, and well-drained soil to thrive and can be grown without much care from summer until the first hard frost in the fall. They don’t have any significant pest issues and can draw lovely butterflies to your garden.
Depending on your location, the growing strategy may change slightly. When the temperature starts to rise, zinnia seeds can be sown immediately into the garden in warmer climates. Here in New England, it takes longer for the temperature to rise, so if you can keep the soil between 70 and 80 degrees F, you can start the growing process about a month before the final frost is predicted. Since zinnias dislike being transferred, sow seeds in peat pots that can be placed straight in the garden. From seed to flower, zinnias normally require two months, though this might vary depending on the weather.
Here are some more hints for growing zinnias:
- For your zinnias, choose an area that is sunny and bright.
- Zinnia seeds require sunshine to sprout, so only cover them with 1/4 inch of dirt.
- Keep the soil damp while the flowers grow.
- Thin seedlings to 6-8 inches apart for small varieties and 1 foot apart for large varieties when they are 2-3 inches tall.
- Avoid drowning the zinnias in water. Water intake of 1 inch per week is advised.
- To encourage the zinnias to generate more blooms, remove any faded or dead flower flowers. Deadheading is the term for this.
Before planting zinnia seeds, should I soak them?
If you’re raising zinnias from seed for the first time this year, you might still have some concerns. Here, I’ll address them for you.
How do you germinate zinnia seeds fast?
To hasten the germination of zinnia seeds, keep the seed trays warm. The biggest effect will be made by heated mats and a warm environment. Zinnia seeds can germinate in as little as five days when the soil is 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal temperature for germination.
Should I soak zinnia seeds before planting?
Before sowing, zinnia seeds don’t require soaking. The seeds of zinnias are designed to sprout quickly when exposed to water since they are warm-season annual flowers that are indigenous to hot climates like Mexico and the southwest of the United States. The seeds only need to be sown and watered for germination to begin.
How long do zinnia seeds take to germinate?
The normal germination time for zinnias is 5 to 10 days. Seeds sown in trays with the soil kept warm at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit using heat mats will germinate more quickly than seeds sown in cold soil, which could take up to three weeks.
Do zinnia seeds need light to germinate?
Zinnia seeds should be placed with 1/4 inch of dirt on top of them because they don’t require light to germinate. The seeds will require intense light in the form of a shop light or grow light as they begin to germinate and break the soil’s surface.
At what temperature do zinnias germinate?
Zinnia seeds should be germinated at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The soil will reach these temperatures with the help of a heat mat put beneath the seed trays. In soil that is colder than 70 degrees, the seeds will still germinate, but it will take longer.
Do zinnia seeds need cold stratification?
Cold stratification, which involves chilling seeds prior to sowing, is not necessary for zinnias. The seeds of zinnias are designed to germinate without being exposed to cold because they are warm-season annuals that are native to hot climates.
Are zinnias sun-loving plants?
It’s hot outside, so gardening in the summer calls for plants that are minimal care, drought and heat tolerant, and have vibrant colors.
The better, the brighter.
On each of the three criteria, zinnias were suitable. plus more. They’re among the best flowers that savvy gardeners may use in their gardens, in fact.
If there is a flower that is simpler to grow, please let us know. Since zinnias are annuals, their life cycle from seed to flower to seed is short. Simple garden preparation is all that is needed for zinnias’ arrow-like, pointy seeds to germinate. Simply place them in soil that is well-drained, in full sun, and in an area that receives a lot of summer heat, and you’ll soon see small seedlings and blooming flowers. No enduring can boast of that speed!
One gardening buddy just scatters seeds wherever she wants a few zinnias, watered those areas for a few days, and then lets the zinnias’ naturally easy-to-grow nature take its course.
“Candy Cane,” “Green Envy,” “Persian Carpet,” and “Pop Art.” When a variety has names like those, color is guaranteed. The ridiculous color palette of zinnias includes every vivid and pastel shade (aside from blue), as well as bi-, tri-, and crazy-quilt combinations made for cutting, luring pollinators, etc.
Many new zinnia series give options for height and width in addition to vibrant color.
- While Zinnia elegans tall varieties continue to be the preferred option for the back of the border, shorter series are now challenging the low ground once held by marigolds and petunias. The Thumbelina Series of dwarf zinnias reach their highest point at 6 to 8 inches, whereas the Magellan Series remain roughly knee high at 14 inches.
- The Crystal Series and other creeping or spreading Zinnia angustifolia are a revelation for the front of the border, raised beds, containers, and even ground coverings. The fact that its native to Mexico is even more drought tolerant than regular zinnias makes it the preferred choice for hot locations like sidewalk beds or that no-man’s-land next to the garage.
- With a height of about 8 to 12 inches, ZaharaTM zinnias are renowned for their resistance to powdery mildew and leaf spot (see below). In the entry beds of the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, we paired Zahara Yellow, which is brief but sweet, with tiny sunflowers.
Zinnias are obviously meant for the vase because they have style and long, sturdy stems.
The words stars and daisies, dahlias and spiders, buttons and domes, and quill-leaf cactus are all used to describe zinnia blooms. Flowers come in different varieties: “singles,” which have their petals arranged in a row around an open center; semi-doubles; and doubles. Each one is fantastic in floral arrangements.
The best zinnias for cutting are, of course, the tall kinds; “Benary’s Giant” is renowned for its three-foot-tall, robust stems and huge flowers. Just above a bud joint, angle-cut zinnia stems. Zinnias often stay a long time in a vase; thus, remove all but the most obvious leaves off the stems before placing them in water.
Zinnias require little upkeep. Because they grow quickly, they shade out weeds. They don’t need mulching, and the only fertilizer they need is an occasional application of a well-balanced mix.
Deadheading encourages the growth of additional blooms. Lack of time to deadhead? When it comes to a big bed, the Zaharas indicated in the sidebard are a significant time saver.
The Profusion Series, a cross between Z. elegans and Z. angustifolia, is resistant to powdery mildew, which is the bane of zinnias, just like Zaharas.
Zinnias are accustomed to dry environments because they are indigenous to the grasslands of the southwestern United States, Mexico, and South America. However, wet summers, like the one we’ve had so far, can be damaging. And leaf spot and powdery mildew can result from that. Three recommendations for surviving inclement weather:
- Only water as necessary, and then only at the plant’s base. Wet leaves can encourage the growth of mildew, and water splashing can instantly spread fungus from the ground onto zinnia leaves.
- Taller, mildew-prone kinds can be hidden by foreground plants.
- As one horticultural put it, “Even when zinnias are coated in powdery mildew, they’re covered with flowers,” do both #1 and #2 and accept that zinnia leaves (but not flowers) are impacted by wet weather.
Zinnia seeds can be saved with ease. Simply let the blossoms to completely dry on the stalk, gather the seedheads, and delicately crush them in your fingers to release the harvest of seeds for the following year. In the same manner as other seeds, store in a cool, dry area. (And save some for our seed swap in February of next year in a labeled envelope!)
Last but not least, zinnias attract butterflies, so plant them every year. The plants with larger flowers serve as landing places for butterflies looking for nectar. (The same is true with hummingbirds.) To capture the most attention, try tall zinnias with scarlet or hot pink blossoms.
Living and gardening in Oak Park, Illinois, Karen Zaworski is a writer and photographer who specializes in gardens.
‘Benary’s Giant,’ one of the greatest for cut flowers, stands out in the English Oak Meadow with its 1,000 blooms.
Above: Double Zahara Fire (Zinnia marylandica), one of a group of plants resistant to powdery mildew, was cultivated in the Enabling Garden.
For your summer garden, the ZaharaTM Coral Rose Zinnia (Zinnia Marylandica) excels and requires little water.
Sow Seeds Outdoors
Zinnias are best started by planting them immediately in their outdoor final beds. Wait until spring to plant zinnia seeds since they require air and soil that are both warmer than 70 degrees Fahrenheit to grow effectively.
They should be planted in the ground at a depth of about 1/4 inch, spaced as your chosen variety requires, which can range from a few inches to a few feet. After they have sprouted, thin them out gradually to help the strongest grow. Leave enough space between mature flowers to allow air to circulate and stave against illness.
Start Seeds Indoors
Start seeds in peat and seed starting mix pots about six weeks prior to the last frost if you want to jumpstart the growing season for some early spring color. You may just plant the entire container in the ground once the soil has warmed up sufficiently for zinnias.
Maintain Proper Soil Conditions
Before planting the zinnia seeds or plants, some compost that has been mixed into the ground early in the season will offer the earth an advantage because zinnias need well-fed soil. In the first few weeks, moisture is crucial, but watch out that it doesn’t become soggy. In order to avoid issues, the soil must be well-drained.
Stagger Multiple Plantings
In order to keep zinnia flowers in bloom in the garden from spring through fall, stagger multiple plantings in the yard. Zinnias can last for up to 2 months, depending on the variety. Some varieties produce a lot of blooms all season. Your only challenge to consistently growing zinnias all summer may be high humidity.
Water Them Properly
To maintain your zinnias blooming completely and regularly, provide them with water and sunlight. On the other side, too much water increases the risk of powdery mildew, the only disease to which zinnias are susceptible. Limit all sources of water to roughly an inch per week. Avoid spraying the foliage and flowers as much as you can, and don’t do it at all during the hottest part of the day, as you should with most plants.
Shape the Plants
Pinch the tops of the stems off of immature plants to produce lush, bushy zinnia plants. Stake the largest zinnias to prevent them from flopping over if you want to promote tall growth.
By telling the zinnia to keep producing blooms until some of them can set seed, cutting zinnias for cut flowers will also promote full growth. If you prune the stems just above the leaf or bud nodes, new stems will continue to grow and bear flowers.
Save the Seeds
You can take out and replace a zinnia plant once it has finished blooming. Let a few heirloom kinds go to seed, and be sure to save the seeds for the next year. To prevent having dead zinnias as a focal point, try to conserve seeds from plants that are nestled beneath other zinnia plants.