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Zinnia elegans

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • common zinnia, elegant zinnia
Phonetic Spelling
ZIN-ee-ah el-eh-GANZ
Description

Zinnia elegans, known as common zinnia, is an old garden favorite with may cultivars available. They are bushy, leafy annuals that typically grow 1-3’ (less frequently to 4’) tall on upright, hairy, branching stems. They feature continuous summer to fall bloom in cool summer climates, but may slow down some at the peak of summer, particularly if attacked by fungal diseases. Plant disease-resistant varieties in hot and humid summer climates.  Good air circulation helps prevent onset of fungal leaf diseases. Z. elegans is susceptible to powdery mildew, leaf spots, root rots and blights.  Easily grown in humusy, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Sow seed directly in the ground after last frost date and, if desired, at 2-3 week intervals thereafter until the end of June to insure a good season-long bloom. 

Trend towards reducing height of plants to become more compact; midsummer to early fall (Sept.) is peak blooming season; fungal blooms common in shaded or moist conditions in south.

Moderate drought tolerance.

Wildlife Value: This plant is seldom damaged by deer.

Quick ID

  • Imbricated, obtuse, broad involucral bracts
  • Opposite, broad clasping leaves
  • Larger leaves 2-4" broad, 5 palmate veins
  • Heads large to gigantic, variously colored
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Point Purple'
  • 'Crystal White'
  • 'Magellan Starburst Mix'
  • 'Profusion Blanc'
  • 'Profusion Cherry'
  • 'Profusion Orange'
  • 'Profusion White'
  • 'Star Gold'
  • 'Star Orange'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#red#white#butterflies#pink#sun#yellow#annual#summer#drought tolerant#orange#spring#white flowers#pink flowers#red flowers#yellow flowers#orange flowers#fall interest#specialized bees#cpp#deer damage#deer resistant#pollinator plant#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Point Purple'
  • 'Crystal White'
  • 'Magellan Starburst Mix'
  • 'Profusion Blanc'
  • 'Profusion Cherry'
  • 'Profusion Orange'
  • 'Profusion White'
  • 'Star Gold'
  • 'Star Orange'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#red#white#butterflies#pink#sun#yellow#annual#summer#drought tolerant#orange#spring#white flowers#pink flowers#red flowers#yellow flowers#orange flowers#fall interest#specialized bees#cpp#deer damage#deer resistant#pollinator plant#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Zinnia
    Species:
    elegans
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico
    Distribution:
    South and Central America, the West Indies, the United States, Australia, and Italy
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and pollinators
    Play Value:
    Colorful
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    moderately drought tolerant; deer damage
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2b, 2a, 3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Dome
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Inflorescence is a head-on terminal elongated peduncle; heads large to gigantic, 4-8" in diameter; involucral bracts imbricated, broadly obtuse, bicolored. Flowers are typically semidouble to double, of various anthocyanin or cartenoid colors except blue; ray flowers showy, conspicuous, to 8" long, reflexed with age; disc flowers few, inconspicuous, or lacking.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are opposite, sessile, clasping, ovate to elliptic, entire, acute to subacuminate, cordate; larger leaves towards base broad, 2-4" wide with 5 palmate veins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Recreational Play Area
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought