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PlantFiles: Zinnia
Zinnia elegans

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Zinnia (ZIN-ya) (Info)
Species: elegans (ELL-eh-ganz) (Info)

Synonym:Crassina elegans

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

53 members have or want this plant for trade.

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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are good for cutting

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 42 photos.
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16 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive FlyPoison On Aug 8, 2014, FlyPoison from Rock Hill, SC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Zinnias are my favorite non-native annual to plant each and every summer. I can never seem to plant enough. They provide a tremendous bang for your buck in regard to their value in a garden. They attract butterflies of many types, the ruby-throated hummingbird and several species of birds that devour the seeds.

I have a strong preference for planting the Benary Giant Series of Zinnias that Johnnys Seeds offer. I could plant other varieties but once I started planting them, I never went back. The zinnias I plant sometimes get up to 4"-5" in diameter and are always a show stopper! I always plant my favorite colors which include yellow and my absolute favorite, orange. I also plant 2 shades of red, as well as a beautiful fusia variety that can range from very dark pink to a deep rich purple. I usually start planting in May and continue to plant more through August here. Every year many come back from seed but I still like to plant new seed to ensure certain colors are present.

If you want an easy to grow flower that lasts until frosts and attracts many forms of wildlife, look no further. If you want larger flowers, thin plants allowing at least 1-2 feet between and make sure they get at least 6-8 hours of full sun. If you want bushier plants, remember to deadhead the plant when the first flower bud, almost always on top of the plant, emerges. Amending the soil with compost/manure, etc. will also help produce larger flowers. Lastly, adding a good mulch, I normally use 1"-2" of leave/grass compost, when plants are roughly 1 foot tall will help the plants endure the long and hot summer days much better, and help conserve water to boot.

Positive Riverbum On Jul 26, 2009, Riverbum from Macon, GA wrote:

I always knew these as "Old Maids" as I grew up, and it wasn't until we moved from Georgia to Kansas that I began to hear them called Zinnia. You just have to love the variety of colors, plant heights, and flower styles that these easy to grow flowers provide. They grow in almost any soil type, in full sun, with only the most minor of assistance.

Positive Igor3125 On Apr 20, 2009, Igor3125 from Toronto, ON (Zone 4a) wrote:

If you are someone who just wants to grow a small tough plant with ease, Zinnia is very ideal. I can easily germinate them without any compost or any special tool. They could tolerate extreme heat, droughts and even sometimes cold. You could grow them in really small containers and enjoy their fragrance. They grow very fast, so you do not have to have one of those long waits.They mostly attract butterflies, since the flowers provide a fine landing pad for them. I live in Zone 4A (Toronto, Ontario in Canada) which is very cold and I grow them well. I give them 10/10! :-)

Positive hymenocallis On Sep 5, 2006, hymenocallis from Auburn, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

All Zinnias do well here in South -Central Alabama. I am especially fond of the profusion series and the sports of Zinnia angustifolia. Crosses have been made between elegans and angustifolia that flower for 120 or more days here. For spectacular drougth resistance try the smaller ones they do well and don't need to be deadheaded hardly at all.

Positive bettyglobal On Sep 1, 2006, bettyglobal from Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I am completely new to gardening, and these flowers are GREAT for garden-dumb-dumbs! We had just moved into our house and didn't have much time or money to get the landscaping up to par this spring. I bought some seeds for a dollar, hoping for the best, and LOOK OUT~! talk about bang for your buck! They utterly shocked me with their height and longevity, and I have collected the seeds to plant more next year. They have turned what was a sad little display around my mailbox into something above par. Definatley one of the best dollars I have ever spent. And once I know more about gardening, I am sure I will continue to have these in my yard!

Positive HobbitHerbLover On Aug 11, 2006, HobbitHerbLover from Palmdale, CA wrote:

Neutral Monocromatico On Mar 11, 2005, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant does very well over here, even though itīs not one of the peopleīs favorites. The flower heads are long lived, starting with strong colors (there are pink ones growing near here), becoming pale as time goes. Here this plant reseeds itself somewhat easily. I have to try it myself.

Positive brandnewgirl133 On Dec 30, 2004, brandnewgirl133 from Box Springs, GA wrote:

Zinnias are really easy to grow,and they grow very fast.We've had these in our garden for years now,and we've never had to plant new seeds.They reseed rapidly,and they have the greatest,brightest colors!Everyone should have these in their garden.This is one of the few plants that can survive here in 90+ heat,and the flowers stay beautiful all year round.Plus the seeds are very easy to collect and clean.Overall,its a great plant to have in the garden.

Positive Windy On Jan 17, 2004, Windy from Belleville , IL (Zone 6b) wrote:

Although by the hot humid time of mid summer this plant's leaves are usually covered in mildew, the flowers are still a pretty addition to the garden.
I have taken the flower buds and a few inches of stem and disgarded the mildew and stuck this part of the plant in moist soil.
The top soon starts to grow more leaves and roots will form to make a short compact version of the mildewed parent plant to add to containers for late color.

Positive ZenZinnia On Jan 16, 2004, ZenZinnia from Lakeview, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Zinnias grow beautifully in my area of zone 5. One problem that sometimes occurs, if conditions are just right for it and that is fungus,however,I find it was easily controlled with a fungus spray and it did not effect growth or flowers.

Positive VeganGurl20 On Nov 18, 2003, VeganGurl20 from Tulsa, OK wrote:

These flowers are so easy to raise, they grow incredibly fast, and they are very pretty. And you can practically complete neglect them, and they will still thrive. Which makes them great for children to grow.

Neutral LittleShima On Oct 16, 2003, LittleShima from Tucson, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I planted zinnias in a bed that is about 3'x15'. They grew so fast I couldn't believe it, in fact they got so tall I was having to stake them which was a job, some were as tall as 4-5' The flowers were beautiful and they continued blooming as I kept cutting flowers. The leaves are a greenish grey and the problem I had was that the taller they got the bottom leaves became so dry I had to cut them off and that caused them to look "woody". I tried cutting some of them down to about a foot hoping they would "start over" but they didn't so I wound up with sticks that had stems everywhere with lots and lots of flowers.I wonder If I had "pruned them early if this woody look could have been prevented.

Positive nipajo On Sep 28, 2003, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have several varieties of zinnia. Narrow leaf is perhaps the best since the birds planted it for me. The larger varieties are prone to mildew and loose their appeal quite fast. The dwarf types bloom all the way to the first freeze and come in colors of orange white and pink. But there is another variety that I know is a zinnia but it does not have any petals. But I can tell from the leaves that iit is a zinnia. It just puts out the center and is red with yellow. They are kind of fuzzy. I love the zinnia, even with that horrible mildew they still put out such beautiful blooms.

Positive BUFFY690 On Sep 26, 2003, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have zinnias of all kinds spread out through out my yard. I have the liliput mix which the flower is very small to the cactus mix some of them got to be about 5 inches. They just bloom and bloom I believe anyone who has access to dirt can grow them I had some come up in a pot on my deck this year noone planted them. The pot sat close to some other I had last year and it was a nice suprise this year. The hummingbirds loved them on the deck I think I will plant a couple of pots with the seed I collect this year.2003

I planted a couple of new (for me) varieties this year, some of the pastels scabiosa mix, peppermint mix, white purity, and some of the california giants agaIN THEY ALL GREW WONDERFULLY WITH ALMOST NO CARE. I even had some volunteer of the lilliput mix come back up way away from the original planting but it was a nice surprise 2004

This year I plan to plant a few different zinnia mixes I have recieved from several trades, Colorado, New Zealand, and Spain, I cannot wait to see what comes of these seeds. I did plant the white one year they did not look so good like...dirty...I will not be planting the ourity strain again. 2005

Positive suncatcheracres On Aug 31, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I love zinnias, and my Mother and other relatives always had them in their Summer gardens, both in Louisiana and in Georgia. They flower well in the hot, often rainy last days of Summer, when only the crape myrtles seem to be flowering too.

I planted quite a few this year to attract butterflies, but our incessant rain in Northcentral Florida, zone 8b, has really discouraged my zinnias, and I only have a few blooms in August, which should be the height of their flowering. My cosmos, a good companion plant for zinnias, have turned black, shriveled up and died, but the zinnias keep on growing, so lanky they are falling over, but hardly any flowers.

There are all sorts of varieties in the market now, but I really like the giant "cactus flowered" ones. All the different colors make the garden more attractive during this late Summer lag, and interplanting zinnias with vegetables will help attract pollinators.

November 18, 2003: Here in Northcentral Florida, zone 8b, we've finally had a long stretch of warm, sunny weather but with no freezes yet, so the zinnias have finally come into their own. Along with the red flowering pineapple sage they are attracting lots and lots of butterflies, especially Zebra Longwings and Cloudless Giant Sulphurs.

Positive berrygirl On Aug 30, 2003, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Zinnias do very well in hot, dry weather. One of the few annuals that are going strong in Aug. here in GA. My late Granny and other Southern ladies of their generation called zinnias "Old Maids". I had never heard anyone outside of my family refer to them as such until I saw the OM reference in Welch and Grant's heirloom book.

To avoid mildew, don't get the foliage wet. Also water in the morning so the sun has all day to dry the foliage. PM watering will guarantee mildew. The more you cut Zinnias the better they love it. You get bushier plants and a longer bloom time, too. As the season winds down, leave some dry seed heads to re-seed if so you desire for the next season.

Positive twnleaf On Oct 22, 2002, twnleaf wrote:

Absolutely easy to grow, this plant offers both beautiful long lasting flowers and the presence of butterflies who seem to never tire of eating the nectar of this plant. We are growing this plant at high altitude in two situations for the journal of the plant's adaptation to it's environment. One clump is planted in full sun in a very rocky spot of the garden. The rocks include pea gravels and larger effect rocks. The roots have little to nourish them there. The zinnia blooms are spectacular on that plant. The other plant is in good garden soil between two outdoor water gardens. It receives full morning sun and then is protected by neighboring tree foilage. The plant flowers well in both situations. Our butterfly population has tripled since the introduction of this plant to the growing space. Fertilize once when established with fertilizer pellets specified for flowering plants. Cut off spent blooms to insure the continued production of beautiful full size flowers. Drought does seem to ruin this plant, not the lack of existence of good garden soil. Seeds are attached to the outer petals of the flower and are best late summer. Plants will become lanky so do pinch back stems during early growth to promote bushiness of the plant. An annual.

Positive Terry On Mar 8, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Though Zinna elegans might sound pretentious, the zinnia is a simple, cheery garden flower that's related to the black-eyed Susan, marigold and aster. Direct-seeded, they bloom from July to October. Colors depend on hybrid. The more you cut, the more flowers the plant will produce, hence the nickname "cut and come again"


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Marbury, Alabama
Prattville, Alabama
Marion, Arkansas
Chowchilla, California
Orange, California
San Leandro, California
Valley Village, California
Vincent, California
Ellendale, Delaware
Bartow, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Key West, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Maitland, Florida
Mayo, Florida
Miami, Florida
Sanford, Florida
Box Springs, Georgia
Braselton, Georgia
Hawkinsville, Georgia
Macon, Georgia
Patterson, Georgia
Honolulu, Hawaii
Aurora, Illinois
Chillicothe, Illinois
Mackinaw, Illinois
Poland, Indiana
Olathe, Kansas
Reading, Massachusetts
Woburn, Massachusetts
Auburn Hills, Michigan
Lakeview, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Brandon, Mississippi
Florence, Mississippi
O Fallon, Missouri
Greenville, New Hampshire
Milford, New Hampshire
Munsonville, New Hampshire
Hubert, North Carolina
Painesville, Ohio
Vinton, Ohio
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Portland, Oregon
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Prosperity, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Greeneville, Tennessee
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Donna, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas
Irving, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Mesquite, Texas
Mission, Texas
Salineno, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Spring, Texas
Linden, Virginia
Bellingham, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin

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