Zinnias are famous for being among the easiest annuals to grow. The seeds are cheap and they readily come up if planted in warm or even hot weather. They are very drought tolerant, come in all colors, come in all sizes, and attract tons of butterflies. The blooms are long lasting for bouquets and vases. The only problem is that some of the older varieties can get mildew in the humid summers of the Southeast. Newer varieties are nearly immune to mildew and stay healthy and nice all the way till frost. Above is Zahara Double Fire, one of the new varieties.
The Zahara series is a shorter variety that doesn't get tall and floppy like many of the older zinnias. I'm trying these out for the first time this year. Thus far, I love them. They are bushy and short with none of the floppiness of many other zinnias. Plus, they easily germinated from seeds. The double type makes the normal pom-pom flowers that typify most zinnias. I'm thinking of using these instead of the Profusions because they have shown themselves more easy to grow from seed. I've had to purchase plants for Profusions, which gets costly.
This is another variety of zinnia called Lilliput. I mistakenly thought because of the name that these would be a shorter variety. They get tall and become floppy, which is my one gripe against them. However, they bloom prolifically and readily reseed themselves all over the place. I didn't plant any of them this year and they are just coming up voluntarily all over one of my butterfly beds. They are so happy and healthy that I don't have the heart to chop them all down. Plus, the butterflies adore them.
As you can see, this variety comes in many colors. I have a fondness for the peachy-orange ones. They look nice in bouquets and brighten up the flowerbed beautifully. The flowers aren't huge and full like the Bennary's Giant series, but there are far more of them. I haven't noticed any disease on this variety at all.
Zinnias should be a staple of the summer landscape. They love hot, sunny locations and seem to never stop blooming. They are so easy to grow that everyone should have some of them. I especially love them because of all the butterflies they attract. The many colors available make it easy to match them in any color scheme. They thrive in drought conditions, make good potted plants, and need almost no care. Need I say more?