Zinnia elegans Waist-high stems bear striking 3–4" single blaze-orange blooms with showy little yellow doodads (disk florets) in the center. Long stems for cutting. Flowered fluorescently from July to October at Donna Dyrek’s trial. One of the easiest flowers to grow from seed and a favorite for bright color in Maine summers. Annual. ~120 seeds/g. ③
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~110 seeds/g. except where noted.
Annual. Known as Youth and Old Age in the 1800s, this showy genus was named for German botany professor Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727-1759). Easy to grow from seed and a favorite for bright color in Maine summers. Zinnia flower essence is used to bring out playfulness and lightheartedness.
Culture: Sow in a sunny spot after last frost, or start indoors for earlier blooms. Germinates 3–5 days at 80–85°, more slowly at cooler temperatures. Grow on at 70° days, 60–65° at night. Temperatures below 60° delay flowering and may induce chlorosis. Space at 9–12".
They need good drainage and like heat. Market grower Jason Kafka says zinnias perform better in tunnels than in the field. With the extra heat they get so big that “they think they are in New Jersey.” Cut when flowers are almost fully mature, just before pollen starts to form. Deadhead to continue production.
All flowers are open-pollinated except where noted.
Days in parentheses after a variety indicate days to first bloom.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.