Zinnia elegans Growing Guide

How to Grow Common Zinnia in your Garden

Zinnia elegans are a commonly grown garden annual. These plants are usually just referred to as Zinnias.

Zinnias carry colorful flowers and are native to Mexico, but are commonly found throughout the Americas.

Common Zinnia

Zinnias. Zinnia elegans photograph by Swallowtail Garden Seeds.

These plants are great to grow if you wish to bring a variety of bright colors to the garden.

They are also great to grow if you wish to attract helpful garden pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds.

Common Zinnia Flowers in Bloom
Common Zinnia Flowers in Bloom, photograph by Peter D. Tillman; CC.

Zinnia elegans Growing Guide

They're relatively easy to grow annuals, producing showy blooms from June until the first frost of the year.

For best results, start sowing seeds immediately after the last frost date. Continue sowing zinnia seeds out every 2-3 weeks through to the end of June; this will almost guarantee that there will be blooms throughout the entirety of the season.

These somewhat large flowering plants need to be planted at least 18 inches apart (45 cm) as they can up to 4 feet tall (1.2 m) and one foot (30 cm) wide.

Zinnias grow well in USDA zones 2 through 11 (UK zone H2). They do need a decent amount of water to produce nice flowers, as the blooms are somewhat large.

Depending on the zinnia variety used, blooms can be pink, red, purple, yellow, white, orange, or green.

Zinnias grow well in various soils including clay, loam, chalk, and sand. The soil pH is not overly important. But do ensure that the soil drains well, but remains moist.

Zinnia elegans plants require a decent amount of attention but are still a somewhat hardy flower. This means that they can easily be grown by gardeners with little experience yet remain beloved by experienced gardeners as well.

Zinnia elegans Botanical Drawing
Zinnia elegans Botanical Drawing, sourced by Biodiversity Heritage Library; CC.

Zinnia elegans Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Zinnia elegans, Synonym Zinnia violacea).
  • Common Names: Common Zinnia, Youth and Age, Elegant Zinnia.
  • Growing Zone: USA: 3 to 11, UK Hardiness zone H2
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Annual

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 12 to 36
  • Plant Spread (Inches):
  • Time of Bloom: Summer and early autumn
  • Flower Details: Lavender, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
  • Leaf Foliage: Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Upright / erect

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:
  • Level of Maintenance: Medium
  • Propagation: Seed
  • How to Prune:
  • Pests: Japanese beetles
  • Diseases: Powdery mildew, leaf spots, root rots, blight and Botrytis

Further Information

  • Can Attract: Butterflies, Hummingbirds
  • Tolerant of: Black Walnut
  • Best Garden Use: Border, Container Garden, En masse, Rock garden, Seashore North American native
  • Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
  • Closely Related Species: As a member of the daisy plant, Zinnia are closely related to plants such as Coneflowers, Asters, Marigolds, Sunflowers, and Chamomile.

  • Miscellaneous: Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers
  • Genus Detail: Zinnia
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

Zinnia elegans rosa Flower Close-up
Close up of a Zinnia elegans rosa Flower, image by Joan Simon; CC.

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

How to grow creeping Zinnia and my Growing Sanvitalia Plant Guide.