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Zinnia

Phonetic Spelling
ZIN-ya
Description

Zinnia is a warm-season flowering upright growing annual in the Asteraceae (daisy) family. They are native to southern North America and South America, and there are many cultivars, colors, and a range of sizes available—from 8 inches to 4 feet tall. Zinnia is named in honor of Johann Gottfried Zinn, a German botanist.

Zinnia is showy, low maintenance, and easy to grow. Plant them in average, well-drained garden soil in full sun and allow good air circulation. Keep them moist until established. Deadhead to encourage more blooms but leave some seed heads for the birds.

Zinnia comes in various shapes, including beehive, button, and cactus. Before the flowers open, the bracts appear as overlapping fish scales. As the flower opens the bracts are visible on the undersides of the flower. The inflorescence is a composite head. The petals appear as ray flowers, and they may have star-shaped disc flowers. The ratio of ray flowers to disc flowers is variable. Their blooms may be described as single (single row of petals and a visible center), double (numerous rows of petals, centers not visible), or semi-double (numerous rows of petals with visible centers). The leaves are ovate to lanceolate with some plants having more linear leaves. The leaves have no petioles and are sessile, clasping, and opposite in arrangement.

There are multiple varieties or cultivars of zinnia, including the hybrid 'Profusion' Series. A cross between Zinnia angustifolia (disease resistance) and Zinnia elegans (larger flowers), ‘Profusion’ combines the best traits of both, including tolerance to drought, heat, and humidity. The strong, durable foliage resists insects.

Depending on the size, zinnias can be used in the front or the back border, in a meadow, in containers, and a cutting or pollinator garden. Massed or in small groups, they add season-long color to the landscape. Zinnia is deer and rabbit resistant and attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and songbirds. 

Seasons of Interest:

Bloom:  Spring, Summer, and Fall    Foliage: Spring, Summer, and Fall

Quick ID:

  • upright growing from 8 inches to 4 feet tall
  • ovate to lanceolate leaves with some cultivars having linear leaves
  • sessile, clasping and opposite leaves
  • bracts appear in an overlapping fish scale pattern before the flower blooms
  • flowers have a composite head, ray flowers, and star-shaped disc flowers
  • ratio of ray and disc flowers is variable

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Susceptible to powdery mildew. 

 VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Mostly Native Vegetable, Herb and Pollinator Garden Vegetable Garden and Pollinator Plants Mostly Native Vegetable, Herb and Pollinator Garden Deck Garden Pond Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Candy Cane'
    Double-petaled
  • 'Dreamland Pink'
    Large, long-lasting blooms
  • 'Green Envy'
    Vivid green color
  • 'Persian Carpet'
    Narrow leafed
  • 'Pop Art'
    White or yellow blooms with red streaks
  • 'Profusion Apricot'
    Apricot color, compact habit
  • 'Profusion Cherry'
    Single cherry rose blooms
  • 'Profusion Coral Pink'
    Bushy, dwarf plants 12 in. - 15 in.
  • 'Profusion Double Cherry'
    Red, 2.5 in. -3 in. blooms, 24 in. tall
  • 'Profusion Double Golden'
    Double, golden blooms
  • 'Profusion Fire'
    Bushy, dwarf plants 12 in. - 15 in.
  • 'Profusion Orange'
    Single orange blooms, 18 in.
  • 'Profusion White'
    White flowers
  • 'Zahara Fire'
    Double flowers, orange flowers
'Candy Cane', 'Dreamland Pink', 'Green Envy', 'Persian Carpet', 'Pop Art', 'Profusion Apricot', 'Profusion Cherry', 'Profusion Coral Pink', 'Profusion Double Cherry', 'Profusion Double Golden', 'Profusion Fire', 'Profusion Orange', 'Profusion White', 'Zahara Fire'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#wildlife plant#nectar plant#apvg#rabbit resistant#flower arrangements#long-lasting flowers#deer resistant#long bloom time#cutting garden#pollinator plant#food source summer#food source fall#butterfly friendly#apvg-a#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#disease problems#stormwater demo garden orange co#wilson mg plant sale 2021
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Candy Cane'
    Double-petaled
  • 'Dreamland Pink'
    Large, long-lasting blooms
  • 'Green Envy'
    Vivid green color
  • 'Persian Carpet'
    Narrow leafed
  • 'Pop Art'
    White or yellow blooms with red streaks
  • 'Profusion Apricot'
    Apricot color, compact habit
  • 'Profusion Cherry'
    Single cherry rose blooms
  • 'Profusion Coral Pink'
    Bushy, dwarf plants 12 in. - 15 in.
  • 'Profusion Double Cherry'
    Red, 2.5 in. -3 in. blooms, 24 in. tall
  • 'Profusion Double Golden'
    Double, golden blooms
  • 'Profusion Fire'
    Bushy, dwarf plants 12 in. - 15 in.
  • 'Profusion Orange'
    Single orange blooms, 18 in.
  • 'Profusion White'
    White flowers
  • 'Zahara Fire'
    Double flowers, orange flowers
'Candy Cane', 'Dreamland Pink', 'Green Envy', 'Persian Carpet', 'Pop Art', 'Profusion Apricot', 'Profusion Cherry', 'Profusion Coral Pink', 'Profusion Double Cherry', 'Profusion Double Golden', 'Profusion Fire', 'Profusion Orange', 'Profusion White', 'Zahara Fire'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#wildlife plant#nectar plant#apvg#rabbit resistant#flower arrangements#long-lasting flowers#deer resistant#long bloom time#cutting garden#pollinator plant#food source summer#food source fall#butterfly friendly#apvg-a#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#disease problems#stormwater demo garden orange co#wilson mg plant sale 2021
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Zinnia
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern North America, South America
    Wildlife Value:
    Nectar from the flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds. Songbirds enjoy the seeds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Defines Paths
    Easy to Grow
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long Bloom Season
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    Bracts
    more than 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Before the flowers open, bracts are arranged as overlapping fish scales. As the flower opens, the bracts appear on the undersides of the bloom. The flowers have a composite head. Colorful rays surround star-shaped disc flowers. The ratio of ray flowers to disc flowers is variable. They bloom in multiple colors from early summer to frost.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are ovate to lanceolate with some cultivars having more linear leaves. They have a sandpaper-like in texture. The leaves have no petioles, and they are sessile, clasping, and opposite in arrangement.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems are erect green and herbaceous
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Meadow
    Patio
    Pond
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Rabbits