Zinnia elegans is an annual flowering plant native to Mexico. The uncultivated form grows to a height of 75cm and has a solitary, daisy-type flower head.
There are now many cultivated forms, which are grown as bushy annual bedding plants in vivid shades of red, orange and deep pink.
Single-flowered varieties are much valued by pollinating insects, particularly hoverflies, and all make wonderful cut flowers. Grow zinnias in well-drained soil in a sunny border – they thrive in hot, dry conditions.
Here are 10 beautiful zinnias to grow.
Zinnia ‘Pop Art’
‘Pop Art’ bears large, golden flowers flecked with red, on tall stems. Flowers last well in water and make an excellent cut flower.
Zinnia ‘Sprite Mix’
‘Sprite Mix’ is well suited to growing in the UK climate. Plants bear semi-double flowers in pink, red and orange-yellow. They make excellent cut flowers.
Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’
‘Purple Prince’ is a very tall-growing zinnia, bearing striking double flowers in magenta with a lime green centre. It’s perfect for growing in informal, naturalistic situations with grasses and other tall-growing annuals, and can also be used to fill gaps in a sunny border.
Zinnia ‘Queen Red Lime’
‘Queen Red Lime’ is a lovely zinnia with unusual with red flowers with lime tips to each petal edge. Growing to a height of 60cm, it’s ideal for using to fill gaps in the border, and also works well in container displays. It makes an excellent cut flower.
‘Swizzle’ is a series of zinnias in a variety of different colours. ‘Swizzle Scarlet and Yellow’ bears large, bicoloured flowers in red and yellow, on dwarf, bushy plants. Plants are well suited to growing at the front of a sunny border, or in containers on the patio.
‘Soleado’ bears masses of single orange flowers on strong, stems. Plants are easy to grow, resistant to rain and will flower until the first frosts.
Zinnia ‘Aztec Sunset’
‘Aztec Sunset’ bears masses of double flowers in a variety of colours, on dwarf, bushy plants. Plants have excellent weather resistance and are ideal for dotting around a sunny border or planting in pots for a patio display.
Zinnia ‘Red Spider’
The red spider zinnia, Zinnia tenuifolia, is a delicate, spider-like zinnia. Plans are neat and compact, and bear dainty, spider-like, scalloped flowers in a luscious red.
Zinnia ‘Early Wonder’
‘Early Wonder’ is a lovely mix of single and semi-double zinnias in colours ranging from bright pink and yellow to red. Growing to a height of 75cm, they’re perfect for using to fill gaps in the border, and also work well in container displays.
Zinnia ‘Queen Lime’
‘Queen Lime’ bears unusual lime green petals. It works well with white or pale colours and looks good with orange, crimson or cerise flowers.
When to sow zinnias
Zinnias can be started off indoors from February to April, or outdoors in May and June – follow the links for full instructions on where and how to sow them.