Candy Cane Zinnia – Striped Zinnias in Many Colors

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One of my favorite flowers to grow is the zinnia. With so many different colors and styles, it’s impossible not to find one you love. One you should definitely check out is the Candy Cane Zinnia!

A dazzling display of stripes bedecks each petal. Candy Cane Zinnias come in a variety of colors—most notably, red and white striped!

White and Red Candy Cane Zinnia Blooming in our 2021 Garden
White and Red Candy Cane Zinnia Blooming in our 2021 Garden

You might also see these unique flowers marketed as “Peppermint Stick” zinnias – either way, this sweet flower belongs in your garden!

What are candy cane zinnias?

Candy cane zinnias are a popular flower featuring red or cherry-colored stripes and tiny flecks on the petals. These zinnias come in a variety of colors, but the scarlet stripes on the petals remain constant from one plant to the next. Like all zinnias, these plants are heat-tolerant and prolific with blooms.

What colors are in the zinnia candy cane mix?

The zinnia candy cane mix features red stripes throughout each flower. Background hues range from white, yellow or gold, and even pink. In some cases, you might find a pale lime green zinnia with red stripes as well!

Here's a pink and red Peppermint Stick Zinnia - aka: Candy Cane - in our 2021 Garden
Here’s a pink and red Peppermint Stick Zinnia in our 2021 Garden

Our youngest daughter’s favorite striped zinnia is the pink and red one!

What size are candy cane zinnias?

Zinnia candy cane flowers have beautiful blooms that are typically about 4 inches across. Height of this zinnia is similar to other popular zinnias, reaching about 17 or 18 inches tall.

However, with all of this information coming from the seed packets, I actually went out and measured my zinnia candy cane flowers just to see. It’s pretty amazing actually!

White and red candy cane zinnia blossom that is almost 3.5 inches across
This is the largest striped zinnia blossom I’ve grown and with the most petals! Can’t wait to save seeds from this beauty.

One of the blooms was only 2 and a half inches across while the largest and fullest measured about 3.5 inches across.

However, when it came to checking the candy cane zinnia height, I found that my plants are a far cry from 17 or 18 inches…

My striped zinnias grew to 46 inches in height!

Measuring candy cane zinnia height and it came to 46 inches!
Measuring candy cane zinnia height and it came to 46 inches!

I guess they like the spot I picked for them next to my vegetable garden! 🙂

Are peppermint stick zinnias the same thing as candy cane zinnias?

Yes, the names are used interchangeably for candy cane zinnias and peppermint stick zinnias. Rest assured that you’ll get to enjoy the lovely red stripes on both!

Candy Cane Zinnia Care

Caring for zinnias is easy as they are not demanding plants. Peppermint stick zinnias are treated as annuals in most grow zones, and their care is identical to other zinnia types.

Gold and Red Striped candy cane zinnia in our 2021 garden
Gold and red striped candy cane zinnia in our 2021 garden


Zinnias thrive in hot, sunny locations. Aim to plant them in full sun when possible.


Heat-tolerant zinnias will forgive you even if you don’t water them as much as you should. Care for candy cane zinnias involves watering at the base of the plant when the soil is dry. Do not keep the soil moist at all times and avoid wetting the foliage.

Bee pollinating a striped zinnia in our 2021 garden
Bee pollinating a striped zinnia in our 2021 garden


Zinnias are prone to powdery mildew. When possible, keep ample spacing between them for good airflow. Also avoid wetting the foliage when watering as this can contribute to problems.


Well-draining soil works best for the candy cane zinnia. However, most zinnias will even tolerate poor soils as long as they still receive ample sunlight and adequate water.

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Saving Seeds from Candy Cane Zinnia

The candy cane variety boasts one of the most unique appearances in my humble opinion. Because of the different colors and striping, it can be a really neat experience saving candy cane zinnia seeds to grow next year!

As the pollinators do their thing, you never know quite what you’ll get with the new batch of candy cane zinnias.

(Unless you grow in a controlled environment, and even then, the pretty stripes leave a bit to the imagination.)

Just like any zinnia, you can use these instructions on how to save zinnia seeds for candy canes.

Monarch butterfly sipping nectar from red and white striped zinnia in our 2021 garden
Monarch butterfly sipping nectar from red and white striped zinnia in our 2021 garden

Even Pollinators Love Them!

Even the Monarch butterflies and other pollinators love these striped zinnias! In summer of 2021, I was blessed to witness a lovely Monarch butterfly sipping nectar from a white and red striped zinnia in our garden!

Have you tried growing zinnia candy cane mix? We’d love to hear about your own experiences or any questions you may have.

Shout out in the comments section – we love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

09.21.22 – Edited to add new photos and text discussing zinnia height and bloom size.

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