Zinnia Fast Facts


Zinnias are annual and perennial plants native to Mexico and the southwestern United States. They are popular in gardens across North America, providing continuous color season after season.


Zinnias are named for the German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn. They were originally planted as wildflowers in the southwestern United States and Mexico. (see Reference 1)


There are 20 species of zinnias. They can be annual or perennial plants depending on the climate. They produce single-stem flowers that come in a variety of bright colors. (see Reference 1)


Zinnias are available in more than 100 cultivars and can grow from 6 inches to 4 feet tall, with one bloom per stem. They will reseed themselves every year. (see Reference 2)


Seeds can be sown directly into garden beds or started indoors six weeks before the last frost. Zinnias should be spaced 4 to 12 inches apart depending on the variety. Taller plants need to be staked. (see Reference 2)


Zinnias are often used in gardens to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. (see Reference 2)

Fun Fact

In their native Mexico, zinnias are called mal de ojos because of their small blooms. They are considered ugly. (see Reference 3)


  • Zinnia Overview
  • Growth and Care
  • A-Z of Zinnia Flowers

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Vikki McMahon attended the College of New Jersey before experiencing a variety of career choices, including the pharmaceutical research field, the real estate industry and the Insurance industry. She has been a freelance writer since 2008 and shares her enthusiasm for parenting and home and garden topics, with published articles appearing on stressfreeliving.com and thebabybin.com.