We love zinnias! They add a wonderful splash of color throughout the garden and are easy to grow from seed. Learn how to grow them and why we love them so much.
Kay’s nostalgic zinnia bed
Kay Comer says, “This is just a peek at one of our zinnia beds as it was just starting to bloom earlier this summer. I think this bed is about 50 feet long and about 6 feet wide and is absolutely LOADED with zinnias. I love looking out over the zinnia beds and seeing the dozens and dozens of butterflies just flitting around at any given time of the day.”
Kay says, “My grandma Bell Anderson was my inspiration. I write daily on my mostly inspirational or informational blog, Love, Home and Health about living our best life now … but one of my favorite things to write about is my nostalgia stories and growing up in the 1940s and 50s.
Back in the day…
“Back in those days we lived off the land, grew our own veggies, raised our own pork and beef, raised chickens, milked our own cows, churned our own butter, made our own soap and used our imaginations when it was time to play. Granny had a storybook garden out of this world…with paths It was her love of zinnias that gave me MY love of zinnias and gardening that I have today.”
Kay has five huge zinnia beds and literally hundreds and hundreds of zinnias. And when someone stops by unexpectedly, she says … “I have a basket of clean fruit jars on the back porch so they can take a jar and the old scissors in that basket … put in a little sugar water and head to our gardens to cut their own bouquet and take it with them … I love doing that!”
Why we love them:
- Great for cut flowers
- Easy to grow!
- Bold, vibrant colors
- Interesting shapes and sizes
- 8″ to 36” tall
- They look great in rustic containers
Ceasar Lecea says, “I too have a fondness for Zinnias. Growing up in rural NC, my mother had a huge circular bed in the very middle of our spacious yard with a very tall variety of Canna Lilies, Cleomes and thousands and thousand of every color of Zinnias. My sister and I would spent much of our time chasing butterflies in the humid Eastern Carolina summer afternoons. Every time I see Zinnias it reminds me of my sister. Great memories.”
How to grow zinnias from seed
Christy Morrow tells how she grows zinnias “You can collect seeds from the flowers or you can buy them. I buy several envelopes of seeds each year in spring. It’s best if your soil is tilled up a little. After the threat of frost, throw down your seeds and cover just a bit with soil. Spritz with water daily until seedling emerge. Thin them and after a 2-3 weeks and you should have beautiful zinnias. Once they are grown continue to water and don’t let the soil completely dry out.”
- Choose a bright and sunny spot for your zinnias.
- Enrich the soil for the best show
- Cover zinnia seeds with just ¼ inch of soil because they need light to germinate.
- Keep soil moist as the flowers develop.
- When seedlings are 2-3 inches in height, thin to 6-8 inches apart for small varieties and 1 foot apart for large varieties.
- Do not over water the zinnias. 1 inch of water per week is recommended.
- Remove faded or dead flower blooms from the zinnias so that they produce more blooms.
Jeannette Daughtry “My Aunt had large flowerbeds like this on both sides of her house in the yard. From the front sides to the back side of the house. She loved her flowers.”
Teresa O’Connor “Love this! My mother planted 30 foot rows of zinnias across the garden. They were visible from quite a ways away. Brings back memories.”
Diana Folsom “I just discover my love for zinnias this year had 2 volunteers come up and are wonderful. Love the butterflies they attract and the way I can pick and pick and they just keep blooming. I save all the blooms for many more beds next year.
Betsey Perry “Ours seem to be getting bigger as the summer has gone on – they are well over 3′ tall, and look like their trying to get as tall as our sunflowers! Nine feet!”
Sylvia Munoz “They surely brighten my day. I never need to buy flowers for my home or the office. They are lovely!”
Cindy Chambers “My dad’s favorite flower. He passed away in 2004 and I continue to grow his beloved zinnias.”
Jennifer Williams “Zinnias remind me of my grandmother!! I planted some this year.”
We look forward each year to seeing all the pretty colors, white, pink, yellow, orange, and even green. They are tall enough to stand out, and colorful enough to really stand out.