Zinnias defy the Texas heat. They seem to shout, “You can’t get too hot for us!”

I prefer planting zinnia seeds straight into rich, well-drained soil. Not only do they do better than transplants, but you’re not limited to what only the nursery and every other gardener has. I plant everything from the short, bushy variety to the California giants.

The shorter, smaller blooms in the series called, “Profusion,” are a bit more resistant to powdery mildew. These low growing clumping type are perfect for edging or fillers in pots.

I have a strip in my front yard that is designated for cutting flowers. After the poppies and larkspurs are spent, I harvest their seeds, pull them up, and plant a variety of the California Giant Zinnias. To support their tall heavy-duty stalks, I place tomatoe cages over the tiny seedlings to accommodate and coral the tall blooms.

All varieties of zinnias benefit from consistent dead heading, which isn’t a problem for me since I’m constantly cutting these beauties for flower arrangements. My community knows that if they need a special occasion arrangement or a “just because” arrangement, they can give me one day’s notice and my cutting garden can deliver even during the hottest months because of these heat-loving beauties.

I plant zinnia seeds in succestion all the way through the end of summer. Consequently, I always have a fresh batch to harvest from June through October and even into November depending on the fickle Texas weather!

What are you waiting for? Pick up a packet of zinnia seeds today!

Zinnias, stout and stiff,

Stand no nonsense: their colors

Stare, their leaves

Grow straight out, their petals

Just like clipped cardboard,

Round, in neat flat rings.

Even cut and bunched

Arranged to please us

In the house, in the water, they 

Will hardly wilt – I know

Someone like zinnias: I wish

I were like zinnias


Valerie Worth

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