Last year I experimented with the idea of “companion gardening”. It is a concept that certain plants enjoy growing near each other. In fact many people swear their plants do better during the growing season when they are planted with their companion friend. Zinnias were something I started both from seed and direct sowed into my garden beds. I learn so much and want to share all of my tips, tricks and flops!
Enjoy this Beginners guide to growing Zinnias in the hopes in encourages you to start growing them in your gardens.
These gorgeous Zinnias I photographed were from a my quick trip to Breezewood/Bedford in Pennsylvania. I fell head over heels and went out and bought a zillion different types to fill in my garden. A zinnia is a annual flower, meaning it only blooms for one season and must be replanted. They have tall versions and dwarf versions. They come is so many different colors as well. I got the tall versions to try along my sweet corn.
What I learned was they do amazing next to Sweet corn. I did not have a ton of space to grow corn so I needed some help in keeping the stalks up when we had high winds. The Zinnias did this without really training them to do so. By the way I had the best luck with the Zinnia seeds from the Dollar Tree. I am not sure why but they germinated super easily and the plants were very hardy.
I also learned that zinnias will push out more that one bloom if you cut it. This is called snipping, dead heading and a few other things. Basically you just snip off the top flower bloom and the plant will push out more stalks with flowers on it.
This year I will be growing them again along side of my corn and the dwarf versions around some other veggies. I love the idea of flowers encouraging pollinators to help the veggies out. Not only does the flowers look beautiful but they are super easy to grow. The Zinnias I direct sowed came up with no issues and trust me that is a feet in my zone 5b climate!