Zinnia Zinnia elegans Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner Zinnia (Zinnia elegans) ZIN-ee-ah EL-eh-ganz Genus: Zinnia This upright, 30-inch-tall, bushy annual cloaks itself all summer in purple blossoms up to 2 inches across. But more important, it is the forebear of scores of varieties that can be found in almost any place you can buy seeds. There's the Whirligig Series, the California Giants, the Profusion Series, the State Fair Series—the list goes on and on. Noteworthy Characteristics: These old-fashioned annuals from Mexico produce upright, long-stemmed blossoms in a range of forms (single, semi-double, and double), making them indispensible as cut flowers, as well as in annual displays, herb and cottage gardens, and mixed borders. The smaller flowered cultivars are perfect for edging and naturalized areas. Care: Provide fertile, well-drained soil in full sun with good air circulation. Deadhead spent blossoms to continue flowering. Propagation: Sow seed (preferably in succession for a longer flowering period) where it is to grow in late spring or at 55°F to 65°F in early spring. Problems: Bacterial and fungal spots, bacterial wilt, powdery mildew, Southern blight, stem rots, caterpillars, mealybugs, spider mites. Overview Height 1 ft. to 3 ft. Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft. Growth Habit Clumps Growth Pace Fast Grower Light Full Sun Only Moisture Dry to Medium Maintenance Moderate Characteristics Attracts Beneficial Bugs, Attracts Butterflies, Attracts Hummingbirds, Attracts Song Birds, Showy Flowers Bloom Time Early Summer, Late Summer, Summer Flower Color Pink, Purple, Yellow Uses Beds and Borders, Container, Cut Flower, Edging, Suitable as Annual Style Cottage Garden, Formal Garden, Herb Garden, Meadow Garden Seasonal Interest Summer Interest Tolerance Deer Tolerant, Drought Tolerant Type Annuals Zinnia elegansView the discussion thread.