Updated: Jul 23
Zinnias are low-maintenance annual flowers that thrive in the heat and sun, are easy to grow from seed, grow quickly, and attract butterflies and hummingbirds. We love incorporating them into our garden ecosystem.
If direct seeding, plant zinnias in the spring once soil temps have warmed up. You can then reseed all throughout the summer for blooms that will last until the first freeze.
Dill is another plant that grows easily from seed. Grow an abundance of dill (host plant to the swallowtail butterfly) near an abundance of zinnias (a plant swallowtails love) and boom - you have a thriving butterfly habitat!
If possible, avoid overhead watering (disturbs pollinator activity, makes plants more susceptible to powdery mildew).
While zinnias aren't very fussy and can tolerant dry soils, they prefer fertile, well-drained soil with a good amount of compost and organic matter. If treated well, they can grow several feet tall.
Zinnias are cut and come again flowers. The more frequently you cut, the more your zinnias will bloom.
Zinnias that aren't pruned can often become top-heavy and fall over. For stockier plants with more stems and blooms, pinch back the plants regularly to encourage branching. You can start when they're small and have just a few sets of true leaves.
Deadheading spent and dried blooms helps redirect the plant's energy to new growth.
To know when a zinnia's ready to pick, jiggle it. If the stem is wobbly, it's not ready. If it's firm, it's good to go.
Working with Zinnias:
Zinnias are edible. They aren't particularly tasty (a bit on the bitter side), but the petals add vibrant splashes of color to cakes, cookies, salads, spring rolls, pastas, or quiches.
Zinnias make beautiful cut flowers with long-lasting blooms. Change vase water regularly to keep them fresh.
Zinnias make beautiful dried flowers as well. We like incorporating them into our herb bundles and wreaths.
Don't listen to the garden trolls. Zinnias are awesome! So much joy in an easy to grow flower.