Why You Should Be Growing Zinnias

Have you been coveting thy neighbor’s zinnias? Well, we can’t blame you there. Zinnias are gorgeous, little pom poms that burst with color and life throughout the summer months. They’re easy to grow and even easier to turn into lovely bouquets or add to decorative vases.

Zinnias are incredibly unfussy flowers. These vivid annuals can be grown from seed in almost any soil, though they prefer good drainage and lots of humus. It is generally best to sow zinnia seeds during late spring and early summer (after the last frost) for spectacular displays of beauty that last all summer long. If you don’t live in the Eugene area, double check when to plant based on your hardiness zone. Zinnias do best in bright sun and warm temperatures, making them the perfect pick-me-ups in the middle of blazing hot Willamette Valley summers.

Deadheading (and even clipping mature flowers for bouquets) will prolong their blooming period and generate more flowers.

If you’ve ever yelled, “Stop the carnage!” after deer devoured your entire tulip crop, you’ll be happy to hear that zinnias are deer-resistant. As a bonus, they’re quite attractive to butterflies, so bring on the pollination!

A vase of brightly colored zinnias will bring joy to your day. To make the most of your zinnias, it’s essential to cut them correctly and at the right time. First, check that the stems are stiff. If they bend easily, they are still immature and will droop once placed in water. Once you’ve determined that your zinnias are ready, cut long, strong stems (at least 8”) and pull away any foliage.

Create an arrangement that’s strictly zinnias or mix them with other seasonal flowers, like gerbera daisies, sunflowers, lavender, hydrangeas, or dahlias for a stunning, untamed effect. Keep vases at room temperature (zinnias don’t like the cold) and out of direct sunlight to lengthen their lives as display flowers. Happy growing!