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Colorful zinnia flowers

How to Grow Zinnias


Have you tried to grow zinnia but haven’t been able to do so successfully?

Zinnias are prolific annual flowers and one of my favorites. I also had a hard time initially when it started growing zinnias plants but learned the best way to do so with some research and practice. Here is how you can grow zinnia plants easily at home.

Everything You Need to Know About Zinnias

When I started growing zinnias, I didn’t know much about the flower except the fact that they looked stunning in the garden and flower bouquets. My initial attempts to harvest the zinnia plant weren’t successful because I didn’t follow any set of rules or principles. Just like all other plants, it is important to know everything about zinnias before you start planting their seeds in your garden.

Zinnia plants are native to Mexico. Zinnias brighten up your gardens from midsummer until the first hard frost of winter sets in. Zinnias are beautiful and bright summer flowers that offer much more than just a beautiful sight. Since zinnias are annual plants, they will only grow for one season. They do produce seeds but the original plant doesn’t come back in the subsequent years.

Zinnia plants have solitary, bright daisy-like flowerheads. The flowers grow on a single, erect stem. This makes them ideal to be used as cut flowers. They also make great food for butterflies.

Zinnia comes in a variety of colors from daisy yellow to petunia pink. They can easily be matched with your other favorite annual or perennial flowers, herbs, and foliage plants. To make them look even more stunning, sprinkle your zinnia seeds between a mix of other cut flowers such as marigolds, petunias, asters, and dahlias. Giant zinnias can grow up to 4 feet. Thus, these make a great background for your gardens. You can also plant dwarf zinnias which can be as short as 10 inches in length. Thus, you can use zinnias in any setting in your gardens and lift the entire landscape with the addition of these stunning beauties.

Zinnias were known as ‘poorhouse flower’ when these were first introduced in Europe as these were a very common sight. They were also called ‘everybody’s flower’ since these were easy to plant in almost any kind of soil. Europeans fell in love with these stunning flowers and started adding them to their gardens and flower bouquets.

If you want to make your zinnia plants bloom more flowers, snip old blooms from the plant ( The more flowers you snip, the more flowers the plant will produce. One of the best things about this plant is that the old blooms stay fresh while the new blooms keep opening throughout the summer season.

Types of Zinnia Flowers

There are three main kinds of zinnias.

Single-Flowered Zinnias: These zinnias only have a single row of petals on a stem. The center of the flower is clearly visible.

Double-Flowered Zinnias: These zinnia flowers have a number of petal rows. Hence, their center is not clearly visible.

Semidouble-Flowered Zinnias: These lie somewhere between single and double-flowered zinnias. These contain numerous petal rows but their centers are clearly visible.

Zinnia also comes in a number of different shapes. You can normally see them in the shapes of the cactus, button or, beehive. Zinnia plants also come in different heights. Some of them are taller which makes them an ideal background for a garden. Others are shorter in height which works great along the borders of the garden.

Zinnias are easy to grow and will not fail you. However, if you live in the areas where summer nights are humid and cool and the soil remains wet most of the time, then you may face the issue of powdery mildew ( You can protect your plants from this troublesome fungus by watering at the roots and maintaining good air circulation. You can also choose mildew-resistant zinnia plants.

How to Grow Beautiful Zinnias?

Here is everything you need to know about how to plant zinnias from seeds and grow them.

When to Plant Zinnias?

Zinnias should be grown straight in the garden bed fro the seeds. Transplanting them is not a good idea as they won’t thrive. They grow very quickly from seeds provided they are in the right conditions. You can also start zinnias from seeds indoors if you want. You will carefully need to transplant them when they are young.

Do not seed zinnias until the last frost of the season has passed. Zinnia seeds grow best in a temperature range between 74 to 84°F ( You can extend the flowering period by sowing seeds every week for several weeks.

How to Choose and Prepare the Planting Site?

Make sure the site you choose for sowing zinnia seeds gets full sun. The site must also have good air circulation to prevent mildew. Choose a well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. The pH of the soil must be between 5.5 to 7.5 ( You can amend the soil with compost to grow the plant more quickly.

Planting Zinnia

Zinnia plants should be spaced 2 to 24 inches apart. Follow the spacing directions provided on the back of the seeds packet. Zinnia seeds should be sowed about 1/4 inch deep into the soil. Zinnia seedlings will start appearing in just 4 to 7 days after plantation. Blooms start to appear in several weeks to a couple of months. Thin the seedlings when they are 3 inches tall. They should be around 6-18 inches apart so that the air circulation is maximum ( This will prevent the plants from growing powdery mildew.

How to Care for Zinnias

The soil should have a moderate amount of moisture and should be lightly fertilized to maximize blooms. Cut off the old zinnia flowers once they bloom to encourage the blooming of more flowers. You can use them as cut flower in bouquets. Zinnias are annual flowers and die with the first hard frost. You can make them reseed by scattering the seeds of the last fully mature flowers of the season.

Diseases and Pests Affecting Zinnias

  • The most common issue faced by zinnia plants is the growth of fungal and bacterial spots. Bacterial wilt and powdery mildew are also common in these plants. It is important to space plants properly and minimize the wetting of foliage to reduce the occurrence of these issues.
  • Spider mites, mealybugs and caterpillars also affect zinnia plants. They may also cause leaf damage. However, it is advised not to use disinfectant spray on these plants unless you suspect a true infestation.

Zinnia flowers generally take around 60 to 770 days to harvest from a seed to a flower. Harvesting time is different for different varieties and conditions. Zinnias look stunning in flower bouquets and are one of the most beautiful flowers you will see.


What is the best way to grow zinnias?

Take a look at the tips mentioned above to find out the best way to grow zinnia plants in your garden.

Are zinnias easy to grow?

Zinnias are one of the easiest plants to harvest. They bloom quickly if you follow the right tips and tricks.

Do zinnias need full sun?

Yes, zinnia flowers need full sun to grow

Can you grow zinnia in pots?

Yes, zinnia flowers can be grown in pots from seeds. Just make sure that the pots get ample sunlight and are placed where there is ample airflow.


Zinnia plant is one of the easiest to grow. Simply follow the tips and tricks mentioned above and you will get a full bloom of zinnia in a few weeks. Here are some important points to remember when you harvest the zinnia plant.

  • The plant should get plenty of sunlight
  • The plant must get maximum airflow so that problems like powdery mildew can be prevented
  • Plant the seeds only about 1/4 inch deep in the soil
  • Only water the roots

Zinnia plants will not fail you as these are one of the easiest flowers to grow. You can add them to any garden setting and they will elevate the entire look of your landscape. Just give them ample sunlight and keep enough space between each of them for air to pass through to prevent the growth of fungus and mildew. Your zinnia plants will grow beautiful blooms in just some weeks. Make sure you follow the harvesting and planting tips mentioned above to get the most out of zinnia plants.

Do you have any more questions on how to plant zinnia or grow them from seeds? Let us know in the comments and we will get back to you.Our experts will be more than happy to answer all your questions.