Zinnias come with so many benefits. It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with them! Great for beginners, they are incredibly easy to grow and don’t require much attention to look their best. There are a multitude of colorful and exciting zinnia varieties.
Many are disease-resistant, drought-resistant, and even heat-resistant, adapting well to changing conditions. From single daisy-like flowers to ruffled double blooms, the range in texture and color between types is impressive.
While many zinnias are on the market, these are some of our absolute favorites for home gardeners.
These flowers feature massive heads reaching 5-6 inches.
Dating back almost 100 years to 1926, ‘California Giants’ are tried and tested in the garden. This heirloom earned its name from the massive flower heads that can reach an impressive five to six inches in diameter.
This variety is a favorite among gardeners for its long-lasting blooms and tall, sturdy stems, perfect for cutting and bringing their beauty indoors. Purchasing a packet of blend seeds will deliver a range of unique colors, from soft lavenders to eye-catching oranges and reds. The plant itself is quite large, reaching an impressive 4 feet in height to easily fill out empty spaces in garden beds.
To make these giants truly giant, give them plenty of summer sun and plant them in well-draining soil. They prefer a somewhat dry environment and are prone to root rot, so it’s vital not to overwater.
Giant Purple zinnias offer stunning, disease-resistant, heat-tolerant purple blooms for diverse gardens.
Sticking with another giant, ‘Giant Purple’ is a great option for purple fans. The massive blooms, growing up to 6 inches in diameter, have tons of overlapping petals in a delicate purple that suits many different garden designs.
Gardeners often choose ‘Giant Purple’ for its radiant color and impressive size, but this variety has more benefits than meets the eye. This zinnia is also resilient in the garden, with high resistance to diseases such as powdery mildew. It is also heat tolerant, great for regions with harsh summers.
Overwatering can lead to root rot as with California Giants and other varieties. Water sparingly and at soil level to keep their foliage dry. However, if some moisture accidentally splashes on the leaves, the disease resistance of ‘Giant Purple’ will be a great help.
Cactus Flower zinnias offer unique spiked petals in vibrant colors.
I typically associate cactus flowers – beyond the flowers on an actual cactus – with dahlias. The spiked petals are a personal favorite that looks unique in the garden. So if you love cactus dahlias like me, you’re bound to love the ‘Cactus Flower’ zinnia.
This unconventional yet striking zinnia produces massive double and semi-double blooms in a wide array of eye-catching colors, from deep red to sunny yellow. These bright flowers also last slightly longer in a vase than cactus dahlia flowers, suitable for cut flower gardens.
Regular deadheading encourages ‘Cactus Flower’ zinnias to produce more blooms and extend their blooming period, giving you far more to harvest and bring indoors.
Thumbelina is a compact zinnia with adorable 1-inch flowers, producing masses of warm-colored blooms.
On the other side of the size spectrum, ‘Thumbelina’ is a much more compact zinnia with adorable 1-inch flowers. Even though the plant is smaller, it still produces masses of flowers in various warm colors. The phrase ‘dynamite comes in small packages’ certainly applies here.
‘Thumbelina’ is also known for impressive adaptability and versatility, along with its adorable size. Whether you’ve got a small garden, want to grow in containers, or need a more compact plant for your beds, Thumbelina fits the bill.
Planting in rich, well-draining soil and full sun will deliver the most blooms throughout the season. When planting in containers, you’ll need to water a little more often as the soil in most pots dries out much quicker.
Cut and Come Again
This variety continuously blooms through regular cutting.
‘Cut and Come Again’ zinnias are the perfect choice for those who love to always have fresh flowers in their home. As the name implies, these plants flower profusely with regular cutting, producing more blooms as the season progresses.
The flowers are around 2.5 inches in diameter and come in many warm and bright colors to uplift your garden. The blooms are also great pollinator attractors, adding a buzz of life and a pop of color wherever the plants are placed.
‘Cut and Come Again’ zinnias appreciate well-draining soil with enough nutrients to support blooming into fall. As evident in the name, regular cutting is not only recommended but encouraged to help extend the season of this variety.
The White Wedding zinnia features large white flowers with frilly petals.
Look no further than the’ White Wedding’ zinnia for something a little more muted compared to the riotous color of the previous options. The bright white flowers are large (around 5 inches in diameter), with tons of white frilly petals to enjoy throughout summer.
The crisp white blooms contrast sharply against the green foliage, ideal for planting in monochromatic gardens. The large flowers are also great centerpieces for bouquets, especially bridal bouquets (as the name suggests).
Plenty of sunshine will keep the flowers happy and fresh from summer into fall. Remaining under 2 feet in height, this compact plant is suitable for planting in small gardens.
This variety features captivating yellow-green flowers that stand out in gardens.
You can probably guess the ‘Envy’ zinnia’s flower color from its name without ever seeing it. This variety certainly stands out amongst others (and blends into the garden) with its captivating yellow-green flowers, offering a refreshing departure from the more traditional zinnia colors.
This unique green color makes ‘Envy’ one of the most versatile zinnias in design. Envy will blend in seamlessly if you have monochromatic beds filled with green foliage. If you want a pop of unique color to stand out amongst typical flower colors, it’s also ideal.
‘Envy‘ doesn’t just describe the color of this variety, but also what your neighbors are bound to feel when they spot these interesting blooms in summer.
‘Tequila Lime’ zinnias are vibrant citrusy flowers that are easy to grow for all gardeners.
Continuing the trend of green zinnias, ‘Tequila Lime’ is a fresh variety known for its bright, citrusy color. Named after the famous cocktail, the Tequila Lime offers large 3-inch flowers that will make a statement.
Besides color, this zinnia’s high yield and vigorous growth make it a hit among gardeners. Even if you’re new to growing zinnias or to gardening in general, you should have plenty of success with this variety.
As always, the right environment is key to success. Well-draining soil enriched with organic matter will provide the right foundations for strong root growth. Add regular watering and deadheading to your care schedule, and you’ll enjoy these fresh cocktail-inspired flowers throughout the summer.
‘Old Mexico’ zinnias thrive in full sun or containers for flexible bloom.
The trends of the 1970s have made a comeback in recent years, influencing not only interior color trends but garden trends too. I have fully embraced the new love of retro mahogany, ochre, and avocado green, which is why ‘Old Mexico’ is high on my list of must-have zinnias.
‘Old Mexico’ is an heirloom Mexican zinnia (Zinnia haageana) and the 1962 All-America Selections winner. It is known for its warm tones on delicate bicolored petals, adding instant charm to beds or containers. Rustic or vintage are words that come to mind, whether you enjoy their beauty in the garden or a vase.
To bring out their gorgeous color, ‘Old Mexico’ zinnias appreciate a full day of direct sun. If you don’t have the right position, plant this compact variety in containers to move the pot throughout the day, boosting the bloom count.
These blooms boast unique layered petals resembling scabiosa flowers.
‘Zinderella’ zinnias are a truly unique type known for their layered petals on double blooms that form a shape similar to scabiosa flowers. Of all the colors available, Peach is the variety that has stolen the hearts of gardeners. The frills are a warm cream, peach, and pink mixture with a contrasting warm mahogany center.
Of the many great options on this list, I think ‘Zinderella Peach’ is one of the most suitable for cut flower gardens. While all zinnias look great in bouquets, there is something about the soft shape and color of this particular variety that looks distinct from any other option, especially when stems are placed in large groups.
‘Zinderella Peach’ grows to about 2.5 feet in height. When planting multiple ‘Zinderellas,’ space each one around 12 inches apart to give them space to fill out.
This variety has cute daisy-like flowers with vibrant petals.
Peruvian zinnias, known scientifically as Zinnia peruviana, are a distinctive species grown for their cute daisy-like flowers. Although the flowers aren’t as complex in shape as other varieties (particularly ‘Zinderella’), this simple shape allows the color of the petals to really shine.
Like other zinnias, Zinnia peruviana is tough and adapts to different environments well. If you’re dealing with tricky soil conditions or unpredictable climates, you can grow this species confident that it will continue to bloom without trouble.
They appreciate full sun, but these zinnias can also tolerate some partial shade (although they won’t produce as many blooms). Peruvian zinnias are also slightly more drought-resistant than other varieties, great for arid climates or forgetful waterers.
These vibrant, pollinator-friendly flowers enhance gardens and attract butterflies.
‘Persian Carpet‘ is another Mexican zinnia (Zinnia haageana) with a similar charm and flair to ‘Old Mexico.’ The flowers sport warm golds, reds, oranges, and yellows with intricate patterns that resemble a traditional Persian rug blended into your backyard.
But the colors aren’t the only thing to enjoy about this heirloom. The bright flowers also attract pollinators, particularly butterflies, to your garden. Add a water source nearby, and you’ll see activity and life all season long.
To bring the beauty of this variety indoors, it’s best to cut in the early morning before the day’s heat sets in. Trim early before small yellow flowers emerge between petals to extend their vase life.
Pinwheel zinnias are compact, colorful flowers ideal for gardens and bouquets.
The ‘Pinwheel’ zinnia is a cheerful variety sporting masses of single daisy-like flowers in an amazing array of bright colors. The flowers are about 3.5 inches in diameter, but the plants are wonderfully compact, ideal for squeezing into smaller gardens or containers.
Where ‘Pinwheel’ truly stands out is in disease resistance. This variety is resistant to powdery mildew, a common issue plaguing growers in humid climates. Luckily, you won’t need to worry about this pesky disease when growing ‘Pinwheels.’
With regular deadheading, you’ll enjoy this variety’s adorable blooms for far longer. Combine different colors in a vase for the perfect eye-catching summer bouquet.
Zesty zinnias are double-flowered plants that bring energy and color to gardens.
Gardeners with a zest for life will be instantly drawn to the ‘Zesty’ zinnia, a variety known for its vivid colors and large double flowers. The bright blooms inject much-needed color and energy into the garden, whether nestled among other plants in beds or kept in containers to remain the star of the show.
The dense petals of ‘Zesty’ blooms create a great visual impact in the garden, standing tall amongst the base of lush green leaves. Choose a seed mix for various colors, or focus on your favorite if you’re after a specific color palette.
Regular watering and timely deadheading will keep these plants refreshingly vibrant throughout the season. While they tolerate heat well, it’s important to keep up with watering when temperatures are high to help the flowers last as long as possible.
Señora zinnia offers elegant, toned-down salmon-colored blooms with ruffled petals.
Zinnias are often grown for their impressive vivid colors. But some gardeners prefer their colors a little more toned-down. Fans of soft blush pinks will be delighted with the ‘Señora’ zinnia, sporting salmon-colored blooms with ruffled narrow petals.
Elegance is the first word to come to mind when looking at these zinnia flowers. The soft and warm tones of the petals and their unique texture are the highlight of any bouquet and look just as good out in the garden.
Water consistently, but avoid waterlogging the soil to keep the delicate petals looking their best. While they are drought tolerant, lack of water for too long will cause the flowers to wilt quickly.
Queeny Lime Orange
Quirky and captivating, Queeny Lime Orange zinnia boasts multicolored blooms in a striking gradient.
‘Queeny Lime Orange‘ is a 2018 All-America Selections winner and Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner. This royal variety commands attention. The unique blend of colors starts with fiery orange on the bottom, fading to yellow and then lime green surrounding a bright red center.
The multi-toned blooms are a standout that you don’t see on other zinnias, especially considering the size of the flowers. This interesting look, combined with robust growth and long-lasting blossoms, quickly makes this variety a must-have in colorful gardens.
To make the most of the flowers, I recommend planting Queeny Lime Orange in a prime spot in your backyard. Areas in front of windows are ideal so you can enjoy the blooms from indoors and out all summer.
Fireball Blend zinnias produce large fiery red and orange flowers.
A fiery combination that certainly lives up to its name, ‘Fireball’ blend zinnias produce large flowers around 5 inches in diameter, covered in fiery red and orange hues. They echo the heat of summer and can withstand these summer temperatures, even in harsher climates.
The plants grow to around 3 feet tall and bloom vigorously until temperatures drop. You’ll be surprised how vivid the flowers are, retaining their charm when cut often and brought indoors to decorate your home.
If their name or color wasn’t enough of a hint, full sun is best for ‘Fireball’ zinnias. The petals or whole flowers are also edible and can be used as decoration or garnish, although they don’t add much flavor.
The Polar Bear zinnia boasts striking white petals with gold stamens.
To contrast the fiery colors of the previous entry, next on the list is the Polar Bear zinnia. An established heirloom, ‘Polar Bear’ features layers of crisp white petals, topped off by the gold stamens in the center. This stark color stands out above the green leaves and demands attention in the garden.
Like ‘White Wedding,’ ‘Polar Bear’ is a popular choice for cut flower gardens and looks amazing in any bouquet. But even if you’re happy to leave them in the garden, the fresh white flowers will still catch your eye.
The plants grow to about 4 feet in height and need a little extra space to grow to their full potential. Space them around 12 inches apart when sowing directly in the garden; they will fill out in no time.
These whimsical striped flowers are ideal for festive decorations and long-lasting bouquets.
‘Peppermint Stick‘ zinnias add more whimsy to the garden with their striped and spotted petals. This variety features striking petals in various color combinations, striped with red, to create wonderful contrast. Each flower becomes more intricate the more you look at it, with no two options looking the same.
‘Peppermint Stick’ is a fun, festive option and a great décor for a ‘Christmas in July’ party. The flowers are between 2 and 4 inches in diameter and last wonderfully long in a vase.
As they grow best in warmer temperatures, wait until the soil is warm after your last frost before directly sowing into the garden or in containers. You can also sow early if the seeds are protected, but be careful with the delicate root systems when transplanting.
‘Candy Cane’ zinnia features bicolored, easy-growing flowers resembling holiday sweets.
Staying on the sweet theme, we come to the ‘Candy Cane’ zinnia. Similar to Peppermint Stick, the flowers are also bicolored with interesting stripes. Similar to the iconic holiday sweet, it’s easy to see why white and red are the most popular combination.
The festive atmosphere this variety creates is heightened by the activity of pollinators during the summer. If you want to help out the butterflies in your area across the warmer months and into fall, planting ‘Candy Cane’ is a great way to do it.
Despite their intricate look, these zinnias are not difficult to grow. Plant in rich and well-draining soil in a full sun position, and they will reward you with gorgeous flowers to enjoy in just a few weeks.
Benary’s Giant boasts stunning, 6-inch diameter flowers in various colors.
Back to the giants, ‘Benary’s Giant’ is a showstopper in any garden, with flowers growing up to 6 inches in diameter. The petals are dense and come in a range of stunning colors. You can choose a specific color to suit your existing design or opt for a blend for an explosion of color.
‘Benary’s Giant’ has earned accolades for its large double flowers, named Cut Flower of the Year in 1999 by The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. You don’t have to put much effort in to reap the rewards of these massive flowers, making them ideal choices for beginner gardeners.
‘Benary’s Giant’ can be quite thirsty, so maintain a steady watering schedule without overwatering to prevent rot. Deadhead often to keep the massive flowers coming all summer.
Lilliput zinnias have colorful flowers with dense petals, ideal for containers or borders.
If you prefer something more compact, ‘Lilliput’ is a great colorful alternative. The flowers are only about an inch in diameter but continue to catch the eye with their bright colors. The double blooms sport dense petals that hold their own in a combined bouquet.
As the name implies, these petite beauties deliver a big impact in a small package. They are great for containers or window boxes but look just as good when planted in a border. Despite their small stature, the plants are robust and don’t trouble their owners.
‘Lilliput’ zinnias can tolerate some dryness but grow best with regular watering. The bright colors will attract a range of pollinators to your garden, improving the overall biodiversity of your backyard.
Zahara zinnias provide disease-resistant, vibrant flowers in a range of colors.
A zinnia list is incomplete without mentioning ‘Zahara,’ an award-winning variety known for its disease resistance and enduring blooms. These sturdy flowers are wonderfully adaptable and come in an impressive range of colors to suit all gardeners.
While classic colors like white, yellow, and red are available, one of the benefits of growing ‘Zahara’ zinnias is their unique color combinations. ‘Raspberry Lemonade’ has single and bicolored blooms, or you could opt for the bright ‘Zahara Fire’ with a stunning stripy mix of orange and red.
The standard zinnia care essentials apply to ‘Zahara’ too, but this variety is quite tough. Don’t neglect them, but also don’t worry too much if you miss a watering session (or two).
Mazurkia is a striking bicolored flower with reddish-pink and white petals.
Last but certainly not least, we have ‘Mazurkia,’ a stunning bicolored variety with reddish-pink petals edged in white. The dramatic contrast between the two colors will surely be a standout feature in any garden – and in the vase too.
‘Mazurkia’ plants grow around 2 feet tall and feature masses of 3-inch flowers. The more you cut the blooms to bring indoors or share with your neighbors, the more flowers they will produce for you to enjoy.
Select a spot in your garden with plenty of sunshine and well-draining soil when sowing. Water often while establishing, lessening watering later in the season to prevent rot.
From beginners to experienced cut-flower gardeners, there is something for everyone when growing zinnias. With so much to love, try out a few varieties this season to find your favorites.