How to Grow Zinnias in Your Garden

By: Julie Day

flower bed

If you’re looking for low-maintenance, easy color that will knock your socks off all summer long, then make sure you’ve planted some zinnias in your yard! These flowers are among the easiest to grow, and the blossoms just won’t quit. Here’s what you need to know about growing zinnias in your garden.

About Zinnias

Zinnias are annual flowers, so they’re planted every spring for enjoyment from midsummer all the way up until the first hard frost of fall. They are fairly low-maintenance, insect and disease resistant, and drought-tolerant, and you’ll love filling your home with the fresh bouquets! There are many colors and varieties of zinnias to choose from, including:

  • Single or double blossoms in a variety of sizes.
  • Many colors, including multicolored blooms.
  • A range of plant sizes, from foot-tall miniatures to waist-high showstoppers.

How to Plant and Grow Zinnias

Zinnias are very easy to grow from seed, which makes them a very economical choice in the garden. Plant seeds outdoors after the last frost in spring, or get a head start by starting the seeds indoors in late winter.

Follow these planting and growing tips for zinnias:

  1. Choose a spot with full sun and rich, well-draining soil for zinnias, that’s easily accessible with a garden hose. Although zinnias are drought-tolerant, it’s best if you can keep the seedlings moist until they’re established.
  2. Till or loosen the top 6” to 12” of soil and mix in plenty of compost. Zinnias tolerate most any type of soil (as long as it isn’t soggy), but the richer the soil, the better the flowers!
  3. Plant zinnia seeds according to package instructions. Spacing depends on the variety – smaller zinnias are usually planted about 6” apart while the giant types should be spaced every 12” apart.
  4. Zinnia seeds will germinate pretty quickly, and the plants should bloom in about 2 months.
  5. Keep zinnia plants regularly watered, but not soaked.
  6. Feed zinnia plants about once a month with a balanced organic fertilizer.
  7. Deadhead spent zinnia blossoms to produce more blooms. If you’d like, you can leave a few flowers to set seeds to save for next year.
  8. Keep leggy stems on zinnia’s pinched back. Don’t prune too heavily, or the plants won’t have time to recover. However, feel free to cut fresh flowers to bring indoors – they’ll keep blooming!
  9. After the zinnia stems are killed by fall frost, pull them up and add to your compost pile.

Further Information

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