How to Grow Zinnia angustifolia Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Narrowleaf zinnia (Creeping Zinnia)

More commonly known as Narrowleaf Zinnia (or sometimes as Creeping zinnia), Zinnia angustifolia can either be an annual or perrenial plant, and is naturally a native of Mexico.

As a low maintenance and drought tolerant plant it is of great use in the garden in beds, borders, or for coverage.

Narrowleaf Zinnia Plants enmasse
Narrowleaf Zinnia Plants growing enmasse as low growing carpet forming coverage plants, photograph by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋); CC.

This makes it favored by many people who have only a little time to garden, and/or are living in dry areas.

The stems and herbal growth are fairly rough but still quite attractive, and the plant carries pretty dasiy like flowers

It is a great plant to grow in a butterfly or wild flower garden

Creeping zinnia

Zinnia angustifolia 'Yellow Star' photograph by K M.

In-depth Facts and Growing Guide

Zinnia angustifolia, better known as the Narrowleaf (and sometimes the Creeping zinnia (but also see Sanvitalia procumbens), is an annual from the family Asteraceae (Compositae). It is therefore related to the Daisy, Sunflower, and Aster plants.

Other common names for this easy to grow plant include the Narrow-leaf Zinnia and Mexican Zinnia. These zinnias help to provide plenty of summer colours to a garden.

The plant is native to the south-eastern United States and Mexico, and is hardy in USDA Zones 2-11.

Zinnia angustifolia typically reaches a height of 8-16 inches (20 to 40 cm), and spreads up to about a foot (30 cm). Some cultivars are a little bigger.

Zinnia carries branching stems and smooth, thin-leaved foliage.

These summer staples are compact and bushy. Bright orange, yellow, white, red, and pink blooms fill the garden from early summer through to the frost.

Orange Zinnia angustifolia flower
Orange Zinnia angustifolia flower, photograph by Eric Savage; CC.

They are a great wild garden plant as their Daisy-like blooms attract butterflies and other pollinators. These low-maintenance plants also make an excellent ground cover.

Zinnia angustifolia plants can look beautiful when planted enmasse in a pollinator garden and can also be used to make a statement when grown along a border or around a patio.

Grow them in containers or hanging baskets, or line a walkway with them. Many gardeners also enjoy growing them as part of a cutting garden for bright, beautiful bouquets.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Creeping Zinnia

Zinnia angustifolia likes full sun and a dry to medium moisture level in an evenly moist, well-drained, humus soil and is drought tolerate.

Grow from seeds placed directly in the soil 6-9 inches (15 to 23 cm) apart following the last frost.

Seeds are quick sprourting, typically taking about a week to germinate

Or get a head start by growing them indoors 4-6 weeks before transplanting outdoors.

Adding organic matter such as compost before planting will produce a higher quality flower.

Showy blooms last all summer without fading. Allow the seed heads to dry on the plants, then remove and collect seeds for next season.

Deadheading, though not necessary, may help to produce new blooms.

White Zinnia angustifolia flower
White flowered Zinnia angustifolia, image by Kenta Morigami; CC.

How to Grow Narrow leaf Zinnia (Creeping zinnia) in your Garden - Quick Facts

Zinnia angustifolia Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Zinnia angustifolia.
  • Common Name: Creeping zinnia, Narrow leaf Zinnia.
  • Growing Zone: USA: 3 to 11.
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Annual.

Plant Details

  • Plant Height: 18 to 30 inches (45 to 75 cm).
  • Plant Spread: 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm).
  • Time of Bloom: Mid-summer to mid-autumn.
  • Flower Details: Orange and White are perhaps the most common. Other cutivars include red, yellow, violet, and pink flowers.
  • Leaf Foliage: Medium to dark green.
  • Growth Form: Irregular / Sprawling.

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Full sunlight.
  • Rate of Growth: Medium paced.
  • Suitable Soil Types: Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Well drained.
  • Soil Moisture: Moist.

Caring Conditions

  • Care: Deadheading prolongs blooming.
  • Level of Maintenance: Low.
  • Propagation: Seed, following the last frost. Or start indoors about a month in advance of transplanting outdoors. Germinates at around 22°C (72°F).
  • How to Prune: Pinching Zinnia encourages bushiness.
  • Pests: Spider mites, nemotodes, beetles.
  • Diseases: Can be impacted by powdery mildew. Usually resistant to leaf spots. Diseases can be somewhat prevented by growing zinnia in an area that has a good circulation of air.

Further Information

  • Can Attract: Butterflies, and hummingbirds in its native area.
  • Tolerance: Drought tolerant, Dry Soil, Black Walnut.
  • Best Garden Use: Border, Container Garden, Foundation Plant, Ground cover, En masse, Rock garden.
  • Family: Asteraceae (Compositae).
  • Related Garden Plants: Achillea, Aster, Callistephus, Cosmea, Helianthus, Leontopodium, Liatris, Sanvitalia, Stokesia, and Townsendia.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Zinnia angustifolia. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Zinnia elegans and Sanvitalia Plants.