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Common zinnia     

Zinnia elegans

Common zinnia is a member of the Zinnia family. Its botanical name is Zinnia elegans.

Zinnia elegans is the best known of the Zinnias and comes in a kaleidoscope of different colours. Cultivars produce either striped, speckled or bi-coloured blooms and are usually grown as annuals. They are in the same family as sunflowers and daisies2.

These make excellent cut flower arrangements. Most species have upright stems with a single flower2. The flowers have a range of appearances, from a single row of petals, to a dome shape, with the colors white, chartreuse, yellow, orange, red, purple, and lilac2. This species has flowers about 5cm across3. It has a long flowering period, from spring through to autumn3.

Easy for beginner seed-savers.

Blooms normally display as a colour very similar to   Blaze orange and   Flamingo pink and   Cream. Leaves usually appear in   Grade 1 Paint Green

It is a flower and is treated mainly as an annual, so it grows best over the course of a single year.

Normally growing to a mature height of 75.0 cm (2.44 feet), Common zinnia grows with a erect habit. This plant tends to bloom in mid summer.

If you would like to attract butterflies and bees to your garden, consider growing this plant.

Some varieties of Common zinnia you may like to consider growing are: California Giant, Mixed, Lilliput, Envy and Giant Cactus Flowered Mix.

Mexico is believed to be where Common zinnia originates from.

Common zinnia is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Common zinnia have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Common zinnia

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Sun

  • Medium

Powdery mildew can be a common problem3 – don’t wet the foliage when watering, or water early in the morning to allow the leaves time to dry off before nightfall.

When zinnia seedlings reach about 4 inches/10 cm tall (indoors or outdoors), give plants a quarter strength application of a 5-10-5 liquid fertilizer1.

Zinnias like to be well watered especially when young; but do not like waterlogged soil. As a rule of thumb, plants like about 1 inch of water per week1

To have bushier-shaped zinnia plants, pinch off an inch or so from the tips of the main stems while plants are still young1. Regularly deadhead or remove old flowers to keep plants attractive and encourage more blooms1.

If taller zinnia varieties begin to flop, stake with y-shaped branches or metal hoop staking around the plants1.

A second application of a 5-10-5 fertilizer in mid season will help to keep zinnia plants growing strongly1.

Position in a full sun / partial sun location and remember to water moderately. Zone 3 to 10 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Common zinnia needs a loamy and sandy soil with a ph of 5.5 to 7.5 (weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil). Common zinnia is generally regarded as a tender plant, so remember to ensure that temperatures are mild before moving outdoors.

See our list of companion Plants for Common zinnia to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Common zinnia from seed

Sow in succession for a longer flowering display. Only cover lightly (about 1/4 inch of soil) since Zinnias need light to germinate1. Keep moist until established.

Aim to sow 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) deep and try to ensure a gap of at least 11.7 inches (30.0 cm).

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Common zinnia about 21 days before your last frost date .

Transplanting Common zinnia

Zinnias do not like to be transplanted. Either sow directly in place, or sow in degradable pots that can be transplanted whole without disturbing the roots. Thin out once seedlings have reached 1 inch/2.5 cm in height if starting indoors, or 2-3 inches/5-7 cm if starting outdoors1. When thinning, gently pluck up seedlings or cut them off with a scissors at soil level so the remaining seedlings’ tender root systems aren’t disturbed1.

Common zinnia is tender, so ensure you wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area before considering planting outside.

Seed Saving Common zinnia

Cut flowers, or allow them to dry on the plant. When the flower head is completely dry, pull the petals off. The base of each petal has a seed.

Seed viability is ten years.

How long does Common zinnia take to grow?

These estimates for how long Common zinnia takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Common zinnia to germinate?
6 days

Average 6 days | Min 2 days | Max 18 days (267)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Common zinnia?
+ 32 days

Average 32 days | Min 22 days | Max 69 days (7)

Days to Maturity How long until Common zinnia is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 56 days

Average 56 days | Min 39 days | Max 126 days (7)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Common zinnia?
= 94 days

When should I plant Common zinnia?

Our when to plant Common zinnia estimates are relative to your last frost date.

Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!

When to sow The number of days to sow Common zinnia before or after your last frost date.
21 days before Last Frost Date

Common zinnia Etymology

The botanical epithet is from the Latin elegans meaning “elegant”. The genus Zinnia is named after Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727-1759), a German professor of botany who grew the plant after it was “discovered” in the New World and brought back to Europe1. Zinnias are native to Mexico, Central America, and the southwestern United States1.

Other names for Common zinnia

elegant zinnia, youth-and-old-age, Zinnia

Zinnia violacea

Misspellings: Zinna, Zinna elegans

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