Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Red Spider Zinnia
Zinnia tenuifolia 'Red Spider'

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Zinnia (ZIN-ya) (Info)
Species: tenuifolia (ten-yoo-ih-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Red Spider

One vendor has this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

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:
Unknown - Tell us

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
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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to view:

By Terry
Thumbnail #1 of Zinnia tenuifolia by Terry

By Terry
Thumbnail #2 of Zinnia tenuifolia by Terry

By Terry
Thumbnail #3 of Zinnia tenuifolia by Terry

By Terry
Thumbnail #4 of Zinnia tenuifolia by Terry


2 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive tcs1366 On Oct 22, 2010, tcs1366 from Leesburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I grew these from seed and at first I was not impressed. As the season went along and they grew and grew -- with many blooms -- I could see how neat this plant was. I have it in a Cottage Garden where it was able to 'ramble' along the taller plants. The stems were very long -- If it were staked, I could see it as tall as 6-7'

Added a nice splash of red throughout my flower bed.

Neutral kittysue On Aug 17, 2010, kittysue from Fairborn, OH wrote:

Pretty. However, I garden for butterflies and only the smallest of butterflies sparingly visit this species. I plan to try growing this species closer to the host plants of the small butterfly species and see if it gets more attention.

Neutral grik On Aug 1, 2009, grik from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

Not really excited about this plant. Grew it for the first time this year. Small red flowers on long stems. It doesn't seem to be all that profuse in bloom for me. I think I prefer the bigger flowered zinnias and I think the butterflies do too.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 5, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This zinnia was mentioned in botanical documents as early as 1801, so it is not such a recent introduction. Bright red 1" blooms on 2' tall plants.

Positive Terry On Jan 5, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A different species than the regular garden-variety zinnias. Introduced a few years ago, it's a nice compact plant with beautiful scarlet blooms that are deeply scalloped.

Update September 24, 2008

Well, after a few years of letting this plant re-seed itself in my garden, I can't say it's "compact" gets up to 36" tall or so, and needs staking. But on the plus side, it kind of grows on you, and the red-orange (they turn scarlet as they age) blooms are a nice pop of color; the reddish stems are pretty in their own right.

Place in between shrubby or bushy plants that can help support it, and it can act as a filler, similar to the thread-leaved coreopsis.


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

Itasca, Illinois
Barbourville, Kentucky
Saint Paul, Minnesota
North Augusta, South Carolina
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Houston, Texas

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