Are Zinnias Perennials or Annuals? Plus Growing Tips

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Is Zinnia A Perennial

Zinnia flowers are so beautiful, and one of the easiest flowers to grow. But is a zinnia a perennial or are they annual flowers? Together we are going to look at all things related to zinnia flowers, as well as a guide on how to easily grow zinnia flowers, which are perfect for beginner gardeners. 

hot pink layered zinnias

These beautiful flowers are so fun, they come in all different shades, and varieties of zinnia plants. Some have double blooms, whereas others are single-layer flowers. They are one of the easiest plants to care for and grow. Plus, they provide such cheerful flowers that are gorgeous to enjoy all season long. 

Annual Vs Perennial

Perennial plants are a type of plant, which you can usually plant once, and it will continue to regrow year after year. Many perennial plants, will expand, and thrive year after year.

Annual plants on the other hand are a type of plant that will grow and thrive during the warmer months, then die out, and not regrow again the next year. 

The location you are in may determine whether some plants are annuals or perennials. For instance, some plants need warmer climates in order for them to continue flowering year after year. 

These plants cannot endure cold temperatures, so if they are planted in the northern United States, they will only grow one season, but if planted in warmer climates, such as in southern states, they may continue to grow year after year. 

This idea can apply to plants located around the world in addition to just the North American climate. 

Are Zinnias Annuals or Perennials?

Zinnia flowers in general, are types of annual plants. This means that the plants will grow and thrive during the growing season one year but will not regrow again next year. However, you can save the dried flower heads of zinnias, to harvest the seeds, then save them for one year, to enjoy the following year.

This is true of most garden varieties of zinnias. Most types of zinnias that are grown in gardens or flower gardens are annuals and not perennials. 

zinnias growing

Varieties of Zinnias

Zinnia flowers in general come in a wide variety of types, colors, sizes, and shapes. The wide range of colors, that you can often find in the garden plant, is typically great colors, such as pink, yellow, red, and orange. The plant has also been bred to come in lighter colors such as pastels, including peach, white, and green. 

Although most zinnias are usually tall plants, some zinnias can be found in dwarf varieties as well, which do not grow to be as tall. 

Zinnia elegans is the name for a common zinnia variety. This type of zinnia is also known as the elegant zinnia. Another annual type of zinnia is the zinnia angustifolia, which is part of the aster family. This flower very much resembles an aster flower. 

Another type of zinnia flower is the rocky mountain zinnia. This is a type of wild zinnia that is usually found growing wild in the western United States. This specific type of zinnia is a perennial wildflower and will continue growing year after year. 

Zinnias Make Excellent Cut Flowers

One of the reasons why zinnia flowers are so sought after is that they make a perfect addition to your cut flower garden. This is because when they are cut, they have a long vase life, and when you cut flowers off the plants, it also encourages the plants to bloom even more. 

These showy flowers, have a long season of growing, in which you can enjoy the continual blooms. In most locations, zinnias will continue flowering until the early fall, or until the first frost kills them off. This means you get to enjoy the beautiful blooms, that continue to flower all summer long. 

pink and white zinnia flowers

Growing Zinnia Plants

You can find a zinnia seed packet available in many different varieties and styles. You can purchase them at your local grocery store, hardware store, greenhouse, or even other little shops that have seen displays. 

Usually, the best way to start zinnias is from seed on your own. On some occasions, you might be able to find zinnia plants available for purchase, from a local greenhouse.

Zinnia flowers are typically started by directly sowing zinnia seeds in your garden or flower bed. Zinnia seedlings will appear within a week or two after they have been planted. 

It’s not necessary to give them an early start by starting them indoors before planting them outside. There are actually several concerns about starting the seeds indoors and then trying to transplant them. Usually, the best way to plant zinnias is to sow the seeds directly in the soil. 

You want to check to see what hardiness zone you live in, to see when it is safe to start these flowers. You will want to wait until the danger of frost has passed for the year. The last frost date will depend on where you are specifically located. In a lot of locations, it will be late spring before it is safe to plant the seed outside. 

You will want to wait to plant the zinnias until the soil temperatures have warmed. Ideally, the soil temperature should be at least in the 60°F range, but preferably in the 70°F range. You will want to wait until there is no more chance of frost before planting them outside. 

Most zinnia varieties also need to be planted in the full sun, so that they can have many hours of sunlight during the day. These sun-loving flowers will thrive when they are planted in the full sun.

Zinnias will also need to be on a regular watering schedule. This way they still get plenty of water but will also want to be planted in well-drained soil, so that they do not retain excess moisture, only keeping what they need. Make sure to water the zinnias regularly throughout the growing season so that they have plenty of water to thrive.

bright pink flowers

You can plant zinnia seeds in a sunny spot in garden beds, or flowerbeds. I like to create flower beds specifically for annual flowers, especially zinnias as well as other annual flowers that make great cut flowers so that I don’t have to worry about working around perennial flowers. 

Throughout the growing season, you want to make sure that the zinnia plants are getting plenty of water, but not too much to drown the plant. They also do well when they have good air circulation around the base of the plants. 

Zinnia plants can be started in the late spring months, and they will continue flowering all summer long. These flowers make great additions to your flower bouquets because they do well when cut, and cutting the flowers encourages more flowers to grow on your plants. It’s a win-win all the way around. Zinnias will continue to grow and flower until the first frost kills the plants for the season. 

Zinnias are a great annual plant to save the seeds from, to enjoy the following year. To do this, you simply save the flower heads from healthy plants. Then peel back the petals to find the seeds you can save to grow new plants next year. Saving seeds from your zinnias is a great way to enjoy secession planting year after year, with little to no cost. 

One thing to point out is that if you are growing different varieties of zinnias, you will want to be careful to protect the zinnias and self-pollinate them so that the bees don’t cross your seeds or revert them back to the originals. 

If you are growing special varieties of zinnia, saving the seeds after they have been pollinated by bees, may cause your seeds to revert to the original zinnia varieties, rather than the specialized ones you grew this year.

Once your seeds are dried, you can store them in a warm dry location to enjoy planting in your flower garden next year! 

pink and white zinnias

Diseases and Pests 

Zinnia plants in general are disease resistant plants and usually don’t have many problems. However, there are a few problems you may encounter with pests and fungal diseases. 

Powdery Mildew. Powdery mildew may be found on the plant’s leaves, especially in a humid climate, or if you have experienced a lot of humid weather. The leaves will look like they have a white or grayish tint to them, and you may see the leaves begin to curl up. A good way to solve this is to make sure that the plants have plenty of air circulation so that the humidity does not get trapped and create mildew growth.

Fungal Diseases. Some zinnia plants may be susceptible to other fungal diseases, depending on your climate conditions. Make sure to watch the plants, and their leaves, to make sure the plants stay nice and healthy. 

Pests. Most zinnias don’t have trouble with pests, however like all other outdoor plants, they are at risk of spider mites, Japanese beetles, leafhoppers, and aphids.  

Zinnia Flowers

Zinnia Flowers 

Flowering zinnia plants are mostly annual plants. These beautiful vivid colors make the perfect accent to your flower garden. Throughout the summer months, even in the summer heat, zinnias are a great choice for gorgeous flowers, but you can enjoy beautiful blooms all year long. 

Now, it’s time to get planning, planting, and enjoy your beautiful zinnia flowers in your flower garden! I hope you enjoy them! 

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About the author

Hi! My name is Faith, I am the creator behind My Sweet and Saucy. I have so many different things that I enjoy doing, and this is my space to share them all with you. I really hope you enjoy it! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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