Discover 20 common types of Zinnias for your stunning garden

Discover 20 commom types of Zinnias for your stunning garden

All types of Zinnias are living examples of low-maintenance flowers. This is why they are so appealing to new hobbyists. Do you fall in love with them and want to grow them in your garden? However, knowing the different types of Zinnias is essential for them to grow properly. So, how many different kinds of Zinnias are there? There are several Zinnia varieties that are popular among gardeners. Each Zinnia has a distinct appearance and captivating color, but they are simple to grow. This article from Garden How will go over everything you need to know about Zinnia varieties. So keep reading to learn something interesting about this flower.

Characteristics of Zinnias

The types of Zinnias are close relatives of the daisy and belong to the Asteraceae family. Zinnias are grown as annuals because of their bright colors and easy growth habits. Zinnia leaves are typically densely covered with short hairs, giving them a rough texture. They are roughly triangular in shape and sit directly opposite the flower stalk. A terminal flower form at the end of each stem and can be double or single. Flowering in a variety of colors, including rich reds and deep purples, as well as pale corals and white. However, strong colors fade quite quickly in strong sunlight. The flowering period of Zinnias extends from July to September, occasionally into October. 

Although native to Mexico, some types of Zinnias have been discovered growing in the wilds of Guatemala and Colorado. Following its introduction to Europe in the 16th century, the Zinnia was gradually bred and cultivated into the large, bright flowers that we know today.

These large, bright plants are now a dependable addition to the summer flower garden. There are over 20 classified varieties of Zinnias, including types of Zinnias like elegans, Hybrid, and angustifolia, which are easy to grow in a variety of situations. For instance, many of the more popular Zinnia varieties, including the majority of garden plants, are cultivars of the Zinnia elegans variety.


Types of Zinnias based on the rows of petals

There are four common types of Zinnias. These are also classified based on how the petals are arranged. Pink, red, purple, orange, yellow, lavender, white, and even green Zinnia flowers are available. Besides, blue is the only color that Zinnia flowers do not come in.

Single Flowered

This type of flower has multiple rows of petals. However, the center of each flower is exposed and visible. Single flowers in a variety of colors, including brick red, yellow, and bronze, are found on the heirloom Z. peruviana and Z. tenuiflora species. Another example is the “Crystal” (Z. angustifolia) series, which can reach a height of 18 inches and has 1 1/2-inch orange, yellow, or white flowers with orange centers. It is one of the more heat-tolerant Zinnia varieties.

Single-flowered Zinnia
Single-flowered Zinnia

Semi-Double Flowered

Semi-double flowers have multiple rows of petals with a visible center, such as the lime-colored “Envy” (Z. elegans). Beehive Zinnias are double-flowered Zinnias with petals stacked in a beehive shape, and button-type flowers resemble flattened beehive flowers.

Semi-Double Flowered Zinnia - "Lime-colored "Envy" Zinnia"
Semi-Double Flowered Zinnia – “Lime-colored “Envy” Zinnia”

Fully Double Flowered

French collectors introduced double-flowered Zinnias in 1856. The flowers in fully double-flowered Zinnias have several rows of petals, and the center of each flower is not visible; it is also hidden in the petals. Each flower’s center is exposed and visible. Zinnia elegans can reach a height of 24 inches and has 3-inch wide double flowers. Its color schemes range from white with bronze streaks to yellow with pink undertones. Zinnia ‘Profusion Double Red’ (Z. hybrid) also has abundant double red flowers and was introduced for the 2022 growing season.

Fully Double Flowered Zinnia - Zinnia 'Profusion Double Red'
Fully Double Flowered Zinnia – Zinnia ‘Profusion Double Red’

Cactus Flowered

Cactus Zinnias have double or semi-double flowers with twisting and curling petals. Their large blooms, which can reach five inches in diameter, make them stand out in cut flower arrangements. For example, “Cut and Come Again” (Z. elegans), an heirloom cultivar, can grow up to 42 inches tall and has 3-inch-wide flowers in shades ranging from cream to magenta. In humid conditions, this cultivar is susceptible to fungal diseases. Other cactus-type Zinnia color mixes are available, such as the pink, orange, and yellow “Raggedy Ann” (Z. elegans) mix.

Cactus Flowered Zinnia
Cactus Flowered Zinnia

Types of Zinnias based on their size and spread

Zinnias are classified according to their size and spread. They range in size from compact miniature to tall cutting. So, there are three types of Zinnias: those that grow upright and tall with large flowers and those that spread with small flowers. There is also a third type that is a hybrid of the first two.

Zinnia elegans (Garden Zinnia)

Garden Zinnias, which are the most common types of Zinnias, are susceptible to disease. They are the parents of several lovely varieties. This type of Zinnia is well-known for producing an abundance of large flowers. Zinnia plants in the garden can grow to be 6 to 60 inches tall. The leaves of these plants are bristly and oval.

Garden Zinnia includes the following flower varieties:


Thumbelina Zinnias are the smallest Zinnias that can be grown. Because they only grow and spread 6 inches, they are useful as an edging plant. The 1 ½ inch fully double flowers come in a variety of colors. Cute is an understatement for these tiny plants. These early bloomers begin blooming when they are only 3 inches tall and continue until the fall.

  • USDA Zones: 3 – 10
  • Size: 10 -16 inches tall, 8 – 10 inches wide
  • Exposure: full sun
  • Bloom period: spring to summer
  • Flower color: pink, red, yellow, and orange
  • Spacing: 10 cm
Thumbelina Zinnia
Thumbelina Zinnia

Ruffles Series

Ruffles have heavily ruffled, fully double flowerheads in a rainbow of colors. Outstanding, prized annual for its profusion of stunning summer flowers. The leaves are narrow to broad, bright green, and up to 3 inches long. Blooms up to 5 inches across in brilliant pink, yellow, white, and peach hues, with many small petals. This type of Zinnia thrives in bright sunlight. They also are ideal for annual for the novice.

  • USDA Zones: 3 – 10
  • Light range: sun to full sun  
  • pH range: 5.5 to 8  
  • Soil range: Some Sand to Clay Loam  
  • Water Range: Dry to Normal  
  • Flower Characteristics: long lasting, showy,  
  • Flower Color: creams, greens, oranges, pinks, purples, reds, whites, yellows
Ruffles Series Zinnia
Ruffles Series Zinnia

Sunbow Mix

From July until frost, 2½-3 ft. tall Zinnias are covered in neat, fully-double 1-2 in. flowers. Sunbow Mix Zinnia has scarlet, golden yellow, pink, rose, purple, orange, and white blooms. Flowers have perfect shape and are held on long, strong, and wiry stems. One of the best cut flower Zinnias.

  • USDA Zones: 3 – 10
  • Height: 60 – 75 cm
  • Sunlight: full sun
  • Flower season: from mid summer to mid autumn
  • Soil pH: acid, neutral
  • Soil type: free draining

Lilliput Mix

The semi-dwarf ‘Lilliput Mix’, which is one of the vibrant types of Zinnias, comes in pink, purple, red, orange, white, and yellow. The pom-pom flowers are fully doubled and measure about 1.5 inches across. This type of Zinnia is native to Mexico, and it is fast-growing and long-blooming. Zinnias are excellent pollinator plants that are particularly appealing to butterflies.

  • USDA Zones: 3 – 10
  • Colors: mixed colors
  • Sunlight: full sun
  • Moisture: dry, moderate
  • Height: 18-24 inches
  • Bloom period: summer, fall
Lilliput Mix Zinnia
Lilliput Mix Zinnia

Giant Flower Mix

Zinnia Giant Flower Mix is an annual plant that grows to be 50-60cm tall with very large double flowers that are suitable for cutting or beds. After the danger of frost has passed, it is simple to sow directly outside. In particular, plant seedlings indoors in early April for transplants. Plants will bloom 6 to 8 weeks after planting. This type of Zinnia grows best in well-drained soil in sunny locations where summers are cooler, and in partly shaded locations (4-6 hours of sun) in hot summer areas. After the first flush of blooms has finished, a gentle shearing of the plants will stimulate a second flush of blooms.

  • USDA Zones: 3 – 10
  • Bloom time: summer to fall
  • Color: multicolor
  • Sunlight: full sun
  • Spacing: 9 – 12 inches
  • Soil pH: 6.3-6.8
Giant Flower Mix Zinnia
Giant Flower Mix Zinnia

Spreading Zinnia (Zinnia augustifolia)

With small 1 to 2 inch wide flowers, these Zinnias will sprawl along the ground at only 8 to 18 inches tall. Yellow or orange flowers with dark centers. This type of Zinnia doesn’t have as much variety as garden Zinnias, but they’re much more drought and heat tolerant, and they can withstand foliar diseases much better. Their leaves are lance-shaped and slim. Zinnias of this type can be hung in baskets. They can be planted as attractive annual ground covers or at the front of a border.

Spreading Zinnia comes in the following varieties:

Star Orange

From late spring to late summer, Star Orange Zinnia blooms with stunning orange daisy flowers with gold eyes at the ends of the stems. The flowers make excellent cut flowers. Throughout the season, its narrow leaves remain emerald green in color.

Star Orange Zinnia is a herbaceous annual that grows in an upright spreading habit. Its medium texture blends into the garden but can be balanced with a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This type of Zinnia requires little maintenance. Trim off the faded and dying flower heads to encourage more blooms later in the season. It is an excellent choice for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. It does not have any significant drawbacks.

  • USDA Zones: 3 – 10
  • Height: 14 inches
  • Plant  spacing: 8 – 10 inches
  • Sunlight: full sun
  • Bloom season: summer
  • Bloom color: orange
  • Environment: full sun
  • Soil type: well-drained, pH 6.0 – 6.5
Star Orange Zinnia
Star Orange Zinnia

Crystal White

This cheerful little Zinnia will brighten your summer with an abundance of bright white flowers. The lush, dense habit fills in a garden spot quickly and requires little maintenance.

Start indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost and transplant after the last frost, spacing 8-12 inches apart. Furthermore, if the soil temperature is above 70oF after the last frost, you can sow seeds outside. Sow a few seeds every 8-12 weeks.

  • USDA Zones: 3 – 10
  • Height and width: 8-12 inches
  • Light needs: full sun, part shade in hot climates
  • Soil needs: loose, rich, well-drained
  • Spacing: 6-10 inches
  • Bloom time: summer, summer to frost
  • Bloom color: white
Crystal White Zinnia
Crystal White Zinnia

Star Gold

From late spring to late summer, Star Gold Zinnia blooms with stunning yellow daisy flowers with gold eyes and gold edges at the ends of the stems. The flowers make excellent cut flowers. Throughout the season, its narrow leaves remain emerald green in color.

This type of Zinnia will reach a mature height of 14 inches and a spread of 8 inches. Individual plants should be spaced approximately 6 inches apart when grown in masses or as a bedding plant.

Only grow this plant in direct sunlight. It thrives in average to evenly moist conditions but cannot tolerate standing water. This type of Zinnia is not sensitive to soil type or pH. It is extremely resistant to urban pollution and can even thrive in densely populated areas. This is a selection of North American native species.

Star Gold Zinnia is an excellent choice for the garden, but it is also suitable for use in outdoor containers and hanging baskets.

  • USDA Zones: 3 – 10
  • Height:  14 inches
  • Spacing:  6 inches
  • Sunlight:  full sun 
  • Bloom time: from late spring to late summer
  • Bloom color: yellow
Star Gold Zinnia
Star Gold Zinnia

Hybrids (Interspecific Crosses)

Garden Zinnias and Spreading Zinnias crossbreed to produce interspecific crosses. They have the flower variety of Garden Zinnias as well as the hardiness of Spreading Zinnias. They are one of the low-maintenance types of Zinnias. Some of the popular varieties of this type of Zinnia are as follow:

  • Rose Pinwheel is the most common variety of this type of Zinnia. It is resistant to mildew. The single flowered flowers are approximately 3.5inches wide. The plant grows to be about 12 inches tall. The Pinwheel series flowers come in a variety of colors, including white, pink on white, and gold.
  • The flowers in the Profusion Series are about 2 inches wide. The plant stands about 15 inches tall. There is no need to deadhead these plants because the new leaves and buds naturally cover the old flowers.

Some popular Zinnia varieties – Types of Zinnias

Zahara Zinnia

  • Height : 12 – 20 inches (41 – 51 cm)
  • Width : 16 – 20 inches (41 – 51 cm)
  • Exposure : full sun
  • Spacing : 8 – 10 inches (20 – 25 cm)
  • Blooming season: from spring to autumn

Zahara Zinnias, which are derived from Zinnia marylandica, can bloom all the way through the Dog Days of summer, even in the deep south. The compact plants grow to be 12 to 18 inches tall and almost as wide. Flowers are 2 ½ inches wide and completely cover the plant in color. The plants can bloom in five to six weeks from seed, so you won’t have to wait long for results. The foliage of all Zinnias is the most disease-resistant. The Zahara Zinnias made their public debut at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. These are the ones you should experiment with in your garden.

  • Zahara Starlight Rose – One of the coolest Zinnias ever, with rose centers radiating out into white outer petals.
  • Zahara Sunburst – Expect a profusion of bicolor flowers in gold, orange, red, and red-orange; thrives on reflected heat from pavement or walls.
  • Zahara Double Raspberry Ripple – fully double flowers with a raspberry-red center and creamy-white stripes down the center of each petal.

Big Red

They may not taste like cinnamon (though they are edible), but ‘Big Red’ flowers provide a visual experience similar to the burst of spicy flavor I recall from the chewing gum of the same name.

This Zinnia elegans cultivar is well-known for its large, six-inch scarlet blossoms. Under ideal conditions, these bloom in just 35 days after germination. For added interest, the flowers fade to a deep orange color over time.

The blossoms are supported by 36-inch stems, and the plants spread 10 to 12 inches. This dahlia-flowered variety has many layers of petals.

  • USDA Zones: 3 – 10
  • Sunlight: full sun
  • Spacing: 9 – 12 inches
  • Height: 36 inches
  • Bloom color: red
Big Red Zinnia
Big Red Zinnia

Queeny Lime Orange

‘Queeny Lime Orange,’ a newer Z. elegans variety that was an All-America Selections winner in 2018 and a Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner, was a must-grow from the moment it hit the market.

You’ll adore the big and extraordinarily colorful blossoms in shades that can only be described as “rainbow sherbet-esque,” with unique tricolor flowers that grow to be the largest and most vibrant in full sun conditions.

Tall plants can grow to be 2 to 4 inches tall, making this a great cut flower, and the coral, peach, and lime flowers grow to be about three inches across.

  • USDA Zones: 2 – 11
  • Sunlight: full sun
  • Height: 30 – 40 inches
  • Spacing: 16 inches
  • Bloom time: summer, fall
  • Bloom color: soft orange

Peppermint Stick

Fans of stripes and speckles will adore ‘Peppermint Stick,’ a vibrant mix of flowers streaked with red and white, as well as pink, scarlet, crimson, orange, and yellow in a variety of shades.

No two flowers are alike, adding a whimsical touch to garden beds and arrangements. This Z. elegans cultivar grows to be 24 to 36 inches tall, with blooms measuring two to four inches across.

  • USDA Zones: 2 – 11
  • Sunlight: full sun
  • Spread: 18 – 20 inches
  • Height: 28 inches
  • Maturation days: 60-80 days
  • Bloom color: multicolor

Raspberry Lemonade Mix

In landscapes and containers, these Zinnias put on a carefree, season-long show. The colors are fade-resistant, and the flowers are 30% larger than the Profusion series. So, Zahara is an excellent choice for the home garden due to its high disease resistance and ability to withstand heat and drought.

  • Hardiness degree: 40°F (4.4°C)
  • Spacing: 8 – 10 inches (20 – 25 cm)
  • Height: 12 – 18 inches (30 – 46 cm)
  • Width: 12 – 18 inches (30 – 46 cm
  • Exposure: sun
  • Blooming season: late spring, spring, summer

Dahlia Flowered Mix

If you like dahlias but are hesitant to commit to the work required to keep them healthy through the winter each year, this may be the Zinnia for you.

On long 40-inch stems, this heirloom type, a variety of Z. elegans developed in 1919, produces blooms packed with petals that curve downward slightly around the perimeter. The flowers are also quite large, measuring about four to five inches in diameter.

  • USDA Zones: 2 – 11
  • Colors: mixed colors
  • Sunlight: full sun
  • Height: 30 – 40 inches 
  • Bloom time: summer, fall

Q&A on types of Zinnias

Do hummingbirds like types of Zinnias?

Zinnias are among the simplest annual flowers to grow, with bright bloom colors that attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. The majority of garden Zinnias are cultivars of a few species of the Zinnia genus, particularly Z. elegans, the common Zinnia. There are literally hundreds of cultivars available, divided into groups based on growth habit and flower shape.

Flower heights range from six inches to about four feet, and flower colors come in nearly every color. After the hummingbirds have finished their nectar, seeds will form as the flowers mature, attracting finches and other seed-loving birds. Besides, Zinnias also make excellent cut flowers.

Why should you plant types of Zinnia in your garden?

There are numerous plant options for your garden, so why should you choose Zinnias over others? The following are some of the reasons why types of Zinnias should be in your garden:

  • Zinnias are very simple to grow. They require little upkeep. They can grow to produce beautiful flowers in a variety of colors with little time and attention.
  • Zinnias provide nectar to pollinators such as butterflies and honeybees. They are a favorite of butterflies.
  • Zinnias are an excellent companion plant. You can grow them in conjunction with zucchini, dwarf beans, and chard.
  • Because they are cut flowers, they last a long time.
  • The vibrant, edible petals brighten up any salad.

Final Thoughts on types of Zinnias

In a nutshell, Garden How provided you with types of Zinnias as well as some features of them. With so many flowers to choose from, hopefully one has jumped out at you as the one to try. There are dozens of different flowers to try, whether you like the spiky cactus bloom shape or a smattering of smaller Mexican Zinnias. Read the following articles on our blog to learn more about growing Zinnias in the garden.

Related posts:
Do Zinnias self-seed? The factors that affect Zinnia’s self-seed
When to plant Zinnia seeds?
Harvesting Zinnia seeds: How to harvest and save Zinnia seeds
Zinnia companion plants: Best options for your dream garden
How to plant Zinnia seed?

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