Are Zinnias Perennials? How to Enjoy Prolific Blooms Over and Over

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Zinnias are a favorite low-maintenance flower to grow in pretty much any gardening zone. As you look for wonderful and easy flowers, you may be wondering, “are zinnias perennials?” – it’s a fair enough question!

Don’t let their commonness and easy accessibility fool you.

The stunning range of color combinations, petal shapes, heights, and other features of zinnias makes them such an exciting flower to grow in the garden. You may find you fall in love with zinnias even during the first year growing them.

Are Zinnias Perennials - Pink and Orange Zinnia Flowers in the Garden
Are Zinnias Perennials – Pink and Orange Zinnia Flowers in the Garden

But will zinnias come back? Are zinnias perennial?

I’ll give you the full scoop on this popular flower.

Are Zinnias Perennials?

In most growing zones, zinnias are annuals, not perennials. These lovely, prolific flowers grow abundantly during the warm season and die back after the big frost.

Are there perennial zinnias?

Zinnias may behave as perennials in warm zones that offer an ideal climate. More specifically, zinnias may be considered perennials in growing zones 9 – 11.

Are Zinnia Perennial - Pink, Orange and Red Zinnias
Lots of Pink, Orange and Red Zinnias

How to Keep Zinnias Blooming Longer

If you love zinnias as much as I do, you’ll likely want to increase the amount of blooms and the blooming season. Now that you know the answer to your question – are zinnia flowers perennials – you can move forward and plan to address your garden’s needs.

While zinnias are unfortunately not perennials in our area (and much of the country for that matter), you can still enjoy tons of blooms over the growing season and beyond.

At the last second before the big frost, we always go out and cut as many flowers as we can for vases indoors. My bff comes over from across the street and we split up whatever’s left in our gardens.

I even got my mom into it! She managed to cut all these zinnias and marigolds before the first frost in her area.

Zinnias in vases indoors before the big frost
Zinnias in vases indoors before the big frost

Here are my best tips for keeping zinnias blooming as long as possible.

  1. Deadhead zinnias for great results. You can also simply pick flowers often. Use this tip to prolong blooming time and increase the number of flowers.
  2. Consider wintering over zinnias indoors in pots. Find a sunny windowsill and give it a whirl!
  3. Try caring for zinnias under grow lights in an indoor growing station. You might even attempt breeding your own zinnias if this goes well!
  4. Plant multiple batches of zinnias. During the regular gardening season, try succession planting zinnias for a more plentiful display of color and blossoms.
  5. Save zinnia seeds for next year and see what wonderful surprises you get! You can generally plant your zinnia seeds outdoors right around the last spring frost. Simply scatter some seeds and scratch them into the soil. Mother Nature should do the rest.
Hot Pink Cactus Zinnia we grew in 2021
Hot Pink Cactus Zinnia we grew in 2021

Loving Zinnias Even Though They Aren’t Perennials

Don’t worry too much about the fact that zinnias aren’t perennials. With a few moments of care here and there, you can easily grow zinnias in your garden no matter what your age or ability.

It’s so easy to replant them every year and let the course of nature do the rest.

Little Daughter in the Zinnia Garden
Little Daughter in the Annual Zinnia Garden

Perennial zinnias would be an amazing addition to the garden, but these quick growing annuals make it possible to breed more than one generation of zinnias per season if you’re into that sort of thing. One day I will be. 🙂

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Do you have any tips or fun stories about growing zinnias or increasing the blooms? Questions are always welcome, too.

We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Happy Gardening!

05.06.22 – Updated to include extra photo of indoor vases with zinnias and added section on cutting zinnias before the big frost.

10.03.22 – Edited to add suggested zinnia varieties.

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  1. We have grown zinnia for over firty years. We replant every year. There is one spot on our yard, near our patio where a group of volunteer zinnias appeared several years ago and must reseed themselves every year. They’re strong and beautiful. In the zinnia bed that never happens, no volunteers. We live near the NC/SC border

    1. Hi Rebecca, that’s amazing to hear of your legacy zinnias! I love them so much. I do wonder if perhaps your climate is warm enough that the zinnias can be perennial in your zone. Mine here in PA succumb to the frost, but perhaps yours can survive in your climate or maybe they do a fantastic job reseeding! Either way, I am so happy you get to enjoy them year after year! Do you ever notice birds picking at the seeds or anything in that bed? I wonder which it is! Either way, lovely that you have them and thanks for sharing this sweet story.

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