Zinnias: A Great Way to Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies

Even though Zinnias begin with the letter “Z” they shouldn’t be your last thought for your garden. I’ve found that zinnias rival any other flower for attractive hummingbirds and butterflies. Hummingbirds love them, so much so that feeders are unnecessary. They are easy to grow, just sprinkle some seed where you want them and keep them watered to make them happy.

Zinnias come in all kinds of colors.

Here’s a nice big red zinnia, a butterfly favorite as you can tell from the above photo.

This red zinnia has faint tinges of orange on its petals. Strangely there are no orange zinnias in our gardens. I suspect that it is because these zinnias were raised from open pollinated seeds from last years crop. When you have a plants that are open pollinated you have very little control over what you get. That’s a fun part of gardening, the unexpected!

Here’s a yellow zinnia from my daughter’s little garden.

This purple zinnia almost glows with the morning light in our rain garden.

Here’s a close-up of the same zinnia.

Here’s a different yellow zinnia. You can see the wilting of the zinnia foliage in the background. We just haven’t had enough rain to satisfy them. Hopefully we’ll get some soon but all I need to do is water them a little and they’ll pop right back. Zinnias are very forgiving!

They even come in brown! I like to let the zinnias go to seed. When they look like this just clip the head off and let it dry for a day or two longer to ensure that it is completely dried out. Then save it for next year, or plant them in the ground for some late fall color. They will get hammered by any frosts that may come so it is best to get any seed started quickly.

Do you want more zinnias?  Here are some available from American Meadows
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19 thoughts on “Zinnias: A Great Way to Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies

  1. Gardening By Mistake

    I’ve been slowly warming to zinnias and your post here has pushed me over the top. Attracting butterflies and hummingbirds sounds lovely and the zinnias would be a good addition to the bird and butterfly attracting plants I already have. If they reseed, that’s even better! Thanks for sharing!

  2. lola

    Great looking zinnias Dave. I've thought about planting some but seeing yours I will plant next yr. some may fit in my front garden that I'm working on now. I think a couple in there in back will look nice & add color.

  3. Skeeter

    My two grandmothers always had the most beautiful Zinnias in their gardens. I have not had any luck with them but the 3-year drought may be the problem. I did not plant any this year. But next year I am planning a seed garden so maybe they will pop up for me if we have a wetter year…

    How is your daughters garden doing?

  4. Gail

    I have warmed up to Zinnias since blogging! I don’t know how I have been without them! This humble flower is as you say, forgiving and easy! I was a perennial plant snob! Not anymore! Beautiful photo of the zinnia in her closeup! All girly girl dark pink with her tiara of gold!


  5. Rhonda

    So glad you did a whole post on Zinnias..I just love them. I have had people mention mildew problems, but I’ve never experienced this problem. You got some great photos of them too.

  6. Eve

    I was going to make a post on these beautiful flowers but then I saw everyone else had posted their wonderful pics nd I chickened out. Mine are okay but nothing to write about. They are a lttle brown around the edges here and there and that is my fault. I ignored them too much. I took them for granted.

  7. m

    hi…..i have huge beds of zinnias and i can't seem to stop planting them…they are the perfect flower in my humble opinion…perfect for cutting and perfect in their variety of colors…i read somewhere that zinnias like to be water near their roots, not sprayed…this can create mildew and i know we all hate mildew!!!!!…what i love most about them is that they flower from june to late october…again the perfect flower..i'm partial to the california giants….enjoy

  8. Laurie

    Love, love, love zinnias! Today I even saw a hummingbird (love them too) in my zinnias. Zinnias are bright, colorful and cheerful. Anybody know of a good source for seeds other than the usual?

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