The Wonderful Zinderella Zinnia Plant

Zinnias are one of the more popular summer annual flowers. Zinnias have the ability to thrive in nearly every USDA hardiness zone and are available in many different colors with long-lasting blooms of different shapes and sizes. Whether sowing from seed or planting in the ground, Zinnias are a great addition to your garden.

The Zinderella Zinnia is highly sought after among Zinnias for its large numbers of double-flowered blooms and ease of care. The Zinderella Zinnia is also one of the best annuals to grow for those of us who like to have cut flowers from our garden or collect seeds from the plant for the next growing season.

A red zinderella zinnia flower with a yellow center.
A red zinderella zinnia flower with a yellow center.

Are Zinnias perennials?

With a mature plant being just over two feet tall and about one and a half feet wide, the Zinderella Zinnia is a good mid-sized summer annual that can fill a lot of space in the garden with dense groups of blooms. The Zinderella Zinnia should be planted outside after there is no risk of frost and the plant will bloom until the first frost. The Zinderella Zinnia is an excellent choice for the garden either as a landscape border or as a group of plants in the garden bed.

The blooms on the Zinderella Zinnia are unique when compared to other Zinnias. These double-blooms are sometimes called “a flower within a flower” meaning that the flower has a pom-pom shape.

The stems of the Zinderella Zinnia are fairly straight and strong which makes them perfect for cut flower arrangements. The Zinderella Zinnia is a cut-and-come-again flower that produces bouquets of cut flowers for the whole season.

As an ornamental annual for the summer garden, the Zinderalla Zinnia has no unusual issues or special care required to enjoy the plant at its best. In my garden I give it a location where it gets a lot of sun and where it can get enough water and air circulation and it looks great.

How should the Zinderella Zinnia be planted?

The Zinderella Zinnia can be either grown from seed or from live plants. When planted from seed sown in the garden it will take 10-12 weeks for the plant to reach its mature size. Live plants will usually reach their mature size faster but how that plant was cared for as a seedling can greatly affect your experience with the Zinderella Zinnia.

Zinderella Zinnias must not be planted when frost is possible or they will die. I live in Zone 7 where it is usually safe for me to plant seeds or live plants outside in mid-May. Planting outside after Mother’s Day is a good guideline to follow for planting the Zinderella Zinnia and avoiding the possibility of frost.

The Zinderella Zinnia should be planted in a location that gets “full sun.” As a guideline this means at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. The sun requirement is best measured in the spring or fall months because if the plant gets full sun at those times of the year it should really do well in the summer months when the days are longest.

For each plant I put 2 seeds about 1/4″ deep in the soil and allow about 18″ of space between each plant. The soil should drain well. If both seeds germinate I either relocate the extra seedling to a spot where the seeds failed or toss the extra seedling. When planting seeds I leave the soil exposed. I add enough mulch to cover the ground near the plant after the seedling looks well established which usually takes 3-4 weeks.

I recently started growing some of my annuals from seed indoors in my own trays. I start the seeds in early April and by the middle of May I have gone through the process of getting the seedlings ready to be planted outside.

Whether starting the Zinderella Zinnia indoors or buying a live plant, be careful with the root ball when planting in the garden. Damaging or stressing the plant by mishandling the root ball may prevent the plant from growing the double-blooms that make it so popular.

In my experience, live annual plants that are root bound do not reach their full potential. I’d recommend that before buying a Zinderella Zinnia plant the root ball be checked. If there is a tangled mess of roots in the root ball then it is likely the plant will only produce single blooms or look like any other Zinnia.

A close up of a zinderella zinnia flower.
A close up of a brown zinderella zinnia flower that is ready to be deadheaded.

How do you care for the Zinderella Zinnia?

Zinderella Zinnias look their best with occasional deadheading. When a flower starts to look wilted or starts turning brown it should be removed from the plant. Doing so tells the plant to produce more flowers. Deadheading when the flower still has some color left in it appears to create the fastest reproduction of flowers on my plants.

If a group of Zinderella Zinnias are planted together they may need to be pruned to create some space between the plants. Some airflow around the entire plant is needed to keep the plant healthy, especially in regions with extreme humidity.

During the hot summer months, and assuming no rain, the Zinderella Zinnia will need to be watered twice a week. Although this plant does well in the heat, my plants only look their best with regular watering. My watering routine for the Zinderella Zinnia is the same as it is for my other full sun annuals. The foliage should not be watered because that can cause fungus. A drip-line or a tall watering can work best to get the water on the ground and to the roots.

When provided a location with a lot of sunlight, good draining soil, adequate space, and proper watering I haven’t needed fertilizer for the Zinderella Zinnia. It is a robust plant.

Although I’ve had some diseased Zinderella Zinnias in the past, these were summers with record amounts of rain or record high temperatures and extreme drought that harmed all of my outdoor plants. Diseased plants should be removed from the garden.

What else is there to know about the Zinderella Zinnia?

  • When dead flowers have completely dried out, pick out the seeds, save in a paper envelope, and plant in the next season
  • Cut flowers will last longer when their water is changed daily
  • Plants spaced a minimum of 12″ apart, 18″ for best results in ideal conditions
  • USDA Hardiness Zones 3-10, easily killed by frost
  • Blooms mid-summer to early fall when provided full sun
  • Mature plant size is 25″ to 30″ tall and 12″ to 15″ wide
  • Mature bloom size is 2″ to 2.5″

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