Zinnia Varieties: 21 Different Types of Zinnias
There are many different types of Zinnia varieties, so picking just one type to plant can be extremely difficult to do! These easy to grow annuals are a favorite amongst many flower gardeners. In this article, gardening expert and cut flower farm owner Taylor Sievers looks at over 20 different zinnia varieties you can plant this season.
Zinnias are heat-loving herbaceous annual flowers native to Mexico. They are part of the Asteraceae family, which includes other popular flowers like sunflowers and asters, and yes, even dandelions. The main characteristic of this family is that the flowers you see are actually multiple tiny flowers that are lumped together in what we call a “composite flower”. The tiny flowers, or florets, can either be ray flowers (usually the “petals”) or disk flowers, which usually adorn the center of the flower.
Most of the zinnia varieties you’ll come across are of the species Zinnia elegans, which are naturally taller plants with bigger blooms (for the most part). However, there are a few other species you may see pop up in this list, namely Z. haageana and Z. marylandica. These two species are usually more compact or they have smaller blooms than the Z. elegans varieties. Breeders have also crossed species or varieties to make hybrid zinnias, and these often have the best disease resistance and large double blooms.
To get you started on your zinnia growing adventure, we’ve compiled a list of 21 different zinnia varieties that are popular for the cut flower garden, landscape, or even a simple patio pot. There’s no doubt that each one of these varieties has something to offer for the home gardener!
‘Benary’s Giant’ Series
The Benary’s Giant zinnias are a staple in my cut flower garden. Big, beautiful, and productive, these zinnias are considered premium! Benary’s Giant zinnias are actually recommended by the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers.
Sturdy stems proudly display 4 to 6-inch diameter fully double blooms. The blooms are considered dahlia-like. This series has low susceptibility to powdery mildew and holds up well in the summer heat. The plant will reach maturity in about 75 to 90 days, topping out in height to about 40 to 50 inches.
You can purchase this series as a mix or as individual colors. The series includes colors of bright pink, carmine rose, coral, purple, lime, salmon rose, wine, creamy yellow, deep red, golden yellow, orange, scarlet, and white.
‘Queen Lime Red’
A list of popular zinnia varieties would not be complete without mentioning the stunning, all-the-rage ‘Queen’ series, and ‘Queen Lime Red’ is one of the favorites! This zinnia blooms with colors ranging from dusty rose to hazy eggplant with lime undertones. The flowers are of medium size and produce many double blooms.
If you love these flowers with their dusty color and hint of lime, you may also like other members of the ‘Queen’ series, including Queen Lime, Lime with Blush, Lime Orange, and Lime Peach.
‘Double Zahara Cherry’
This PanAmerican Seed Co. variety of Zinnia marylandica was a 2010 All-America Selections (AAS) bedding plant winner. The cherry-red fully double flowers bloom abundantly for an excellent summer and fall display. Mature plants reach 14 inches tall with healthy green leaves.
The plant’s compact nature and low water needs makes it an excellent choice for a patio pot. The blooms average 2 ½ inches in diameter. The ‘Double Zahara’ series also sports colors named Fire, Bright Orange, Raspberry Ripple, Salmon, White, and Yellow.
Huge, stunning blooms are what make this hybrid zinnia variety stand out in the garden. The flowers can be as large as 4 to 5 inches across. The flowers are full and very uniform. The plant will reach about 30 to 36 inches tall in height and will achieve maturity between 75 and 85 days. These giant rose-colored blooms make excellent cut flowers.
‘Queeny Lime Orange’
This uniquely colored variety bred by Hugo Dittmar is a 2018 All-America Selections (AAS) winner! These healthy and vigorous plants grow 1 ½ to 2 feet tall with dark green leaves and beautiful blooms that reach 2 to 4 inches across. The flowers start as a deeper orange color that fade to yellow inwards, with a dark peach center. As the blooms age, they become varying shades between darker orange to a more coral color. A bonus for this plant is that it continues to bloom even without deadheading!
This zinnia mix is adorable! These plants are prolific with double and semi-double blooms. The flowers are smaller, ranging from 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter. The plant reaches about 30 to 40 inches in height, and the long, strong stems are excellent as cut flowers.
You can also grow this variety in containers! It takes about 75 to 90 days for these zinnias to mature. The Oklahoma series has a low susceptibility to powdery mildew. You can purchase seeds as a mix or purchase individual colors. The colors in this series are white, salmon, scarlet, carmine, golden yellow, and pink. The salmon color is my personal favorite!
‘Cactus Flowered’ Mix
‘Cactus Flowered’ zinnias are a unique spin on the “traditional”-looking zinnia. The petals are quilled, meaning they have a distinctive curled or twisting appearance. The blooms range in size from 3 to 6 inches in diameter and come in shades of pink, orange, red, yellow, peach, and white. The plant reaches maturity between 75 and 90 days at a height of 28 to 40 inches. The cactus zinnias make excellent cut flowers and attract beneficial insects to the garden.
Buttery yellow blooms top this heirloom variety of zinnia. The flowers can be single or double, and they make excellent cut flowers, blending nicely with white and pastel-hued flowers. Plants usually grow up to 2 ½ to 4 feet tall and produce long, strong stems.
This stunning mix of sherbert-colored flowers was bred by Erin Benzakein of the renowned Floret Flower Farm. This mix is still a work-in-progress as Erin continues to develop the mix through her plant breeding and selection process.
Plants grow from 3 to 4 feet tall and reach maturity between 75 to 90 days. The blooms are considered of medium size and range in color from raspberry, magenta, tangerine, lemon, apricot, dusty lilac, and blush with lavender centers. This mix is highly sought after by many flower farmers and often sells out quickly on the farm’s website.
This variety of Zinnia haageana is more petite, growing to a size of 20 to 26 inches in height and displaying blooms 1 to 2 inches in size. The flowers are bright and, dare I say, “jazzy”!
Colors range from burgundy red, red, yellow, and orange, and all with tips of a different color such as cream, red, or yellow. The plants are highly productive and the blooms are often fully double or semidouble. These compact pants will provide pizazz to the garden, no doubt!
‘Zowie!™ Yellow Flame’
This zinnia variety is an All-America Selection (AAS) winner. The semidouble blooms grow up to 4 inches in diameter and are bicolored, with a fiery reddish-magenta color at the center and golden yellow petal tips. The plants grow up to 2 feet tall and wide, and for that reason they are considered excellent for growing in a pot as an eye-catching centerpiece or in the garden.
‘Peppermint Stick’ Mix
Irresistible is a term of endearment for this heirloom variety of zinnia, and once you see them you’ll see why! Cream or golden blooms are streaked and splotched with shades of scarlet, rose, orange, carmine, and purple to give these blooms a peppermint stick-like appearance.
The flowers reach 2 inches in diameter and the plant will grow 2 to 3 feet in height. This mix makes a perfect addition to a patio pot or in the garden as well. They’ll be a conversation piece for sure!
This hybrid variety was bred by Ameriseed, and it was a 2019 All-America Selections (AAS) winner. The fully double deep scarlet blooms reach 3 inches in diameter. The really neat characteristic about this plant is how compact it is, making it excellent for border edges or pots.
It only reaches 6 to 8 inches in height! The foliage is bright green and the plant is highly disease resistant. The color of these blooms is so vibrant that one AAS judge commented, “I would love a lipstick in this color!”
Deemed one of the best white zinnias for quite some time, this heirloom variety of zinnia would make a welcome addition to cut flower bouquets any day of the week. The blooms are pure white, fully double, and reach up to 4 inches in diameter. At maturity, ‘Polar Bear’ will reach 3 to 3 ½ feet tall. Long stems of this variety make them an excellent cut flower variety.
‘Profusion Red Yellow Bicolor’
This 2021 All-America Selections (AAS) and Fleuroselect winner is often described using one word: “Wow!” Blooms begin with golden petal tips and a bright red ring around the center, and then gradually they fade to apricot, salmon, or dusty rose as they age.
The plant is compact, reaching only 8 to 14 inches in height at maturity with 2 ½ inch diameter blooms. Profusion series zinnias are highly disease resistant also.
Other AAS winning colors in the series are Cherry, Red, Orange, and White. You can also try out the other colors like Apricot, Cherry Bicolor, Deep Apricot, Fire, Lemon, and Yellow.
This delightful series boasts vibrant bicolor flowers on a compact plant reaching only 10 inches in height. Large, double blooms perform great in the garden and are sure to cause impulse buys at plant nurseries and garden centers.
This series has two bicolor patterns: 1) Cherry and Ivory, and 2) Scarlet and Yellow. Cherry and Ivory has ivory petal tips with a cherry ring around the center, while Scarlet and Yellow boasts golden yellow tips with a magenta-scarlet ring around center.
You can also purchase seed packets with a mix of the two varieties. If you’re looking for a showstopping container zinnia, then the Swizzle™ series may be just for you.
‘Benary’s Giant Lime’
Although we’ve listed ‘Benary’s Giant’ mix already in this list, a zinnia variety list wouldn’t be complete without specifically mentioning a dependable variety in a brilliant shade of lime green. Fully double, dahlia-like blooms that are 4 to 6 inches across top this dependable variety is part of a series recommended by the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers.
‘Benary’s Giant Lime’ has low susceptibility to powdery mildew, and at maturity, it will reach around 32 to 40 inches. The more you cut or deadhead the flowers, the more this plant will bloom. Also, it’s a showstopper in a bouquet for sure!
Ruby to cherry red petals are sharply contrasted by white tips on this Fleuroselect Winner zinnia variety. The flowers are described as “very vibrant”, and the blooms are fairly moderate in size, reaching 3 inches in diameter.
‘Mazurkia’ is improved, compared to similar varieties, in its likelihood of double blooms. Grow this variety in a cut flower garden, in a pot, or as a landscape border plant. The plant will reach 30 inches at maturity. ‘Mazurkia’ is a companion to the variety ‘Macarenia’, which is a bicolor variety with scarlet petals and golden tips.
‘Sunbow’ is a delightfully adorable mix with 1 to 2-inch blooms that are fully double. The mix includes colors of rose, purple, golden yellow, scarlet, orange, pink, and white. The stems are long and wiry, with the plant reaching 24 to 30 inches in height. ‘Sunbow Mix’ is an excellent addition to the cut flower garden.
By the breeder Goldsmith Seeds, this hybrid zinnia variety was a 2005 All-America Selections (AAS) winner! Said to “illuminate” the garden, the flower blooms are a lovely brilliant coral color and reach 5 to 6 inches in diameter. The flowers are fully double and dahlia-flowered.
Consistent flower production and earliness to bloom are two major characteristics of this variety. You’ll see the first flower in just 6 to 9 weeks after sowing. This variety is adaptable for pot planting as it reaches only 15 to 17 inches in height at maturity.
Last but not least, we have the lovely ‘Zinderella’ zinnias, a truly princess-like zinnia with their lovely ‘tutus’ around short, fluffy centers. These zinnias are often referred to as “scabiosa-like”. If you’re unfamiliar with the popular cut flower scabiosa, then you may also like to know that another name for that flower is “pincushion flower”, because the flower looks like a pincushion, and the ‘Zinderella’ series has a similar appearance.
A dark purple eye is at the center of these flower blooms with shorter fluffy florets around the center and then a single row of longer and larger petals make up the “skirt”.
The ‘Zinderella’ series boasts several colors, namely lilac, orange, peach, purple, red, white, and yellow. These plants are quite tall, reaching 25 to 32 inches tall at maturity. Be aware that not all blooms will be double and semidouble in this mix. There may be some blooms that are singles (meaning there is only one row of petals instead of multiple).
There is no doubt in my mind that you’ll fall in love with at least one of the zinnia varieties on this list! Whatever you are looking for, be it a landscape border plant, a cut flower candidate, a pollinator-attractor, or even a filler for a patio pot in a bright, sunny location, a carefully chosen zinnia will have your back. These lovely flowers are a staple in my garden every year!