Zinnias are brightly coloured flowers belonging to the Asteraceae family, where other members include asters, daisies, and sunflowers. Flowers vary in size, with diameters ranging from one inch to seven inches. They also vary in form; they might have a single, semi-double or double layers of petals. The zinnia is a hot-climate plant native to South America and southwestern United States.
Zinnias are popular fresh cut flowers and are valued for their long stems and brightly-coloured blooms. Cut flowers should last at least a week before they start looking tired. These daisy-like flowers are available in a wide range of colours, including white, yellow, orange, red, purple and lilac. Flowers will bloom from early summer to early fall. Zinnias can also be dried and used in floral arrangements.
These flowers are also a favourite among gardeners, especially those that are growing a cutting garden. They are one of the easiest flowers to grow. The bright colours attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Some gardeners will grow these flowers specifically for that very reason. For the best effect, plant in masses. The taller varieties make great borders and edging, while smaller zinnias do well in windowboxes, hanging boxes and other containers.
Zinnias do best in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. They are commonly grown from seed. Zinnias will reseed themselves if not deadheaded. Deadhead to increase blooms.
Climate zones: 3-10
Fun flower facts about the zinnia:
- Zinnia was named after the German botanist, Johann Gottfried Zinn, who wrote the first description of the flower
- zinnias represent friendship, specifically thoughts of an absent friend
- Believe it or not, there was a time when zinnias were considered small and ugly! When the Spanish first saw the flower in Mexico, they named it “mal de ojos” or sickness of the eye
- zinnias are known as “cut and come again” flowers. Cut one flower stem above a pair of leaves and within a few days two new stems with flower buds will emerge!
- from 1931 – 1957, the zinnia was the state flower of Indiana, USA