Easy To Grow Zinnias

Grow Beautiful Zinnias
Growing zinnias began about 15 years ago, I discovered these beauties to be a nice addition because they welcome butterflies, honey bees and thrive in hot climates. They became a favorite as they also make a wonderful fresh cut flower.

I’ll never forget that first crop, I was living a much different lifestyle in the suburbs where they were planted in a landscaped rose bed in the front of our home. They brought life to that piece of landscaping not to mention wonderful curbside appeal.

I quickly discovered zinnias have a mind of their own and by allowing them to grow free form they always reached beyond their potential.
Growing Beautiful Zinnias Free Form

When to Plant

  • Purchase new seeds from Johnny Selected Seeds because they have a nice variety and germinate quick.
  • Use the direct seed planting method.
  • Planting seeds towards the end of April and then replant again the later part of July.

Down south many times the spring crop gets tired from the really hot temperatures in July and August; by replanting I have the opportunity to enjoy healthy plants through the fall.  If you have a shorter growing season you may want to add a second crop in June, this will depend on when the first freeze arrives.

Keep in mind these plants don’t like being transplanted so allow plenty of growing space, most varieties will grow wide and tall; since they’re an annual when the frost arrives their life cycle will come to a close.  This isn’t bad news because you can harvest the seeds and plant again the following spring without having to buy seeds again.  Learn how to harvest seeds here.

Planting In the ground with zinnias

Planting Tips

My first two planting seasons on the farm were organized in open fields.  I absolutely love this way to garden but found it difficult to maintain in addition to everything else we had going on so later I moved everything to raised beds.  The zinnias ended up in tire beds because they allowed support at the base, it gets windy here and many times I lost plants during the summer. Future plans include planting zinnias in long narrow raised beds that look like rows.

Decide the best way to plant for your climate then make sure the soil is prepped a month prior to starting seeds for best results.  Prepped soil is the key to fantastic results and once completed begin planting by direct seed after the last frost.  I also like to add liquid fertilizer like Llama Tea during the summer.

  1. Till the soil until it’s nice and fluffy
  2. Add natural fertilizer
  3. Remove weeds and plant after the last frost
Planting Zinnias in rows

Blooms, bugs and when to Water

Zinnia Blooms will dazzle from light pastel colors to bright vibrant tones.  I love them all and always look forward to bringing them indoors to enjoy.   Blooms can last just as long on the stem as they can indoors as fresh cut flowers which is another bonus. The more cut flower you bring indoors the more your plant will continue to produce.

Grasshoppers love to munch on the flowers and for that reason I used chickens to debug the garden.  Welcoming wild birds into your space is another good idea, they will also help deplete the bug population with little effort because all birds love to feast on bugs.

Water in the early morning or late evenings it’s that simple. When temperatures rise in July and August the entire plant will appear wilted by afternoon, don’t panic because they will bounce right back with a little water, they like about an inch each week and by adding mulch you can help the soil stay moist.

Get these tips for growing beautiful zinnias

Zinnias are an easy to grow flower making them a perfect option for beginner and established gardeners. You’ll enjoy the vibrant color patterns, which makes them perfect for fresh cut vase arrangements. Think about adding them to your garden this year because when those bees arrive they will help pollinate everything else you’re growing and that’s a wonderful thing!

Easy To Grow Zinnia with these helpul tips

18 comments

  1. Jemma says:

    Good Morning Carole,
    Aren’t zinnias amazing and they thrive so wonderfully in our Texas climate, they are real hardy producers and are not daunted by our Texas heat. I planted several crops this season too and plan to add a few more to our garden when I get back from my trip.
    Fabulous tips and I enjoyed seeing your garden plot too, reminded me of ours.
    We should start up a community garden in-between our two cities!

    Hugs,
    Jemma

    1. Carole says:

      Good Morning Jemma – Zinnia’s are wonderful and I agree perfect for Texas! Maybe I should do a post later on Southern flowers? I won’t be able to enjoy the ones I planted here should be blooming by the time we move on… Well I hope!! I miss that garden plot – it’s my preferred way of gardening but I had a difficult time keeping up with it back then. A community garden that’s an idea but maybe we’d be better off encouraging other to do that.. Careful I may have an idea stirring.

      Hugs – Carole

  2. Patti says:

    Every year my sister in law replants her zinnia seeds collected from the previous year and they are so pretty. I’m off to Johnny Seeds to buy some for my garden this year. Now I just have to make a decision on which to grow. I’m tempted to try the newer cactus or scabiosa varieties or Queen Lime has been something that I’ve had my eye one for a while now. Thanks for this great reminder!

    1. Carole says:

      Here is a funny thing too because they will cross pollinate which is something I forgot to mention some of my harvested seeds last year produced this amazing salmon color that was perfect for fall. Have fun with it and I agree there are to many varieties it’s hard to choose. Do try a variety you’ll be glad you did.. Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy a pretty Tuesday.

  3. mickie mclaughlin says:

    These photos are so pretty….good photography. How do you keep your zinnas from getting mildew? HELP!!! Never thought of planting two crops.

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you Mickie -Sounds like you live in a moist area so think about planting in an area that receives full sun all day with good drainage and make sure that soil is fertilized naturally. Maybe wait to plant in May instead of April to detour all the rainfall. Also space your plants further apart and avoid watering the foilage. Also if you get a lot of fog or just moisture in your area you may want to water in the morning instead of the evening. Hope that helps.

  4. Cecilia says:

    Zinnias are one of my favorite annual flowers. I love the vibrant colors and ease of growing them plus the fact they attract bees and butterflies is a huge bonus. I’ve got my seed packets and the beds ready to go! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Carole says:

      The vibrant colors are amazing and the bees love them… all the bees!

  5. mickie mclaughlin says:

    Thanks Carole….we deal with high humidity in July and August in Maryland…..Will pay attention to the drainage as you suggested.

    1. Carole says:

      I thought you might have humidity up there spacing them further apart will also be wise. Glad I could help and hope you have a great week.

  6. Jane says:

    beautiful pictures! I had no idea about planting again in June and love that they attract butterflies. I have been busy with my flowers and may need to look at adding a few of these. Love the colors!

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you Jane – Oh yes I do this with a lot of my flowers because our summers can be pretty harsh. Well I’m excited to see what your doing – hope you’ll be sharing on your blog.

  7. Kim says:

    Zinnias are my favorite summer flower. I am no gardener and somehow they grow for me. Off to pin your tips!!

    1. Carole says:

      That’s why I love Zinnias – anybody can grow them and they help build confidence with is fantastic! Thanks for pinning Kim..

  8. Karen says:

    Zinnias are a favorite of mine too. I’ve got a little line of them in one of my raised beds – they’re about 6″ tall now. I always forget about successive sowing, but since you’ve reminded me, I’m definitely going to do that this year. They do get pretty tired-looking long before the season runs out, but I just can’t bear to pull them out. A second, fresher crop is just what I need.
    Your zinnias are gorgeous and so inspiring.

    1. Carole says:

      I love extending my planting and this year well my planting will be incredibly off but I’m thinking I may learn something new during the process so I’m making the most of it and just embracing things as they come. Thanks for sharing Karen always nice to have you stop by.. Looking forward to seeing your zinnias incorporated with some kind of fun upcycled project this summer.

  9. Thanks, Carole. So helpful. I used to plant zinnias all the time and then somehow didn’t for years. I fell back in love with them last year and enjoy their faithful blooms.

    1. Carole says:

      You’re very welcome – they are wonderful – They have kind of a vintage appearance.. and as you know can handle the heat perfectly.. Try Jade Sunflowers too – they are amazing – like a bright yellow lemon color. I feel in love with them this year.

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