Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

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Cornell University

Zinnia angustifolia
(zin-ee-ah an-gus-ta-fole-ee-ah)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

Zinnia is an annual and a member of the Compositae Family. It is named after Johann G. Zinn, a professor of Botany who taught at the University of Gottigen in the 1700's. It grows up to 20" and has long (2-3") but narrow leaves in an opposite arrangement. The orange, yellow, red, or gold flower heads are 2-6" across.

What is it used for?

Zinnia has a long blooming period and grows easily. It is a broad-spreading, many branched plant. Depending on the variety chosen, plants may fit in the mid- or background of a flower border.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

Zinnias grow well in moist, fertile, well-drained soil. They need full sunlight and should be spaced 12" apart. Faded flower heads should be removed.

What are its primary problems?

Zinnia is often bothered by powdery mildew and Japanese beetles.

How do we propagate it?

Sow seeds indoors 46 weeks before the last frost or outdoors when night temperatures remain above 50 degrees F. Pinch after a second set of true leaves have formed.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.