We all know zinnia flowers are beautiful, but are zinnia edible? We have all been scrolling through Instagram or TikTok to see these stunning desserts sprinkled with edible flowers. Or the process of using edible flowers in baked loaves of bread and as food colorings.
Not only do the foods look mouthwateringly amazing, but they are so beautiful. So I’m sure you are itching to know more about cooking and baking with Zinnia petals, so let’s dive in.
What are Zinnias?
Zinnias are stunning annual flowers that grow up to eighteen inches tall and twelve inches wide. They consist of singular or double rows of petals with leafy green foliage.
Their blooms can reach up to two to three inches wide, depending on the variety. Zinnias are easy to care for and require little maintenance making them widely popular for flower beds and pots.
Edible Zinnias are not only fun to cook and bake with, but they also make beautiful cut flowers. So you can use Zinnias in many applications.
Are Zinnia Edible for Humans and Pets?
If you are a pet owner, one of your biggest fears when planting new flowers may be that they could be toxic to your beloved pets.
I know it is something I have googled many times with my more than curious Pomeranian, but you will be glad to learn that Zinnias are edible and safe for humans and our pet cats and dogs.
Cooking With Zinnias
Using these beautiful flowers in your cooking and baking can transform a dish and make it look like a five-star chef prepared the dish.
So I am sure you are now thinking, great, so I can use my edible Zinnias for eating, but what do I put them in?
The answer is many things. You may go straight to bread and baking applications, cake toppers, or cupcake decor.
But did you know you can toss the petals on top of your toast in the morning? Or, use them to add even more freshness to your summer salad?
The possibilities are endless when it comes to eating Zinnia petals. We’ll go over even more recipes further on in this post.
Where to Buy Edible Zinnias
Zinnias are a popular annual flower and can typically be found at your local flower nursery in spring or even at a hardware store with a garden department.
But if you’re looking to get a jump on starting your edible flower garden you can always purchase seeds at Botanical Interests. This online store provides you with high-quality seeds and you’ll be getting more of a bang for your buck.
Growing Edible Zinnias
It’s no secret that there has been a vast rise in using homegrown ingredients in your cooking, especially with grocery prices rising.
Growing your garden and flowers can be very time-consuming, but it can also be extremely rewarding.
That being said, growing Zinnias are beginner friendly and easy even if you haven’t planted or cared for any other type of flower in the past.
If you’re interested in learning more about Zinnia care, check out our Zinnia Care Page, it has everything you need to know about growing these edible Zinnias easily and right at home.
But for now, here are some pro tips for even more advice.
Zinnia Growing Tips
1. Plant Your Edible Zinnias in the Right Location
Zinnias need full sunlight to bloom their incredible blooms. So when thinking of growing and eating the beautiful petals, you will want them to be as big and plump as possible.
2. Prune Edible Zinnias for Optimal Blooms
Because Zinnias are annuals, they must be deadheaded or pruned often; meaning have their spent blooms clipped to promote more flower growth.
If you leave the blooms to die on the plant without clipping them off, the plant will cease to bloom any more flowers. So no longer will you be eating Zinnia petals.
3. Harvest Flowers to Encourage More Growth
Like deadheading and pruning, harvesting your edible blooms creates more space and energy for the plant to grow even more flowers. Which in turn means more edible Zinnia petals.
Safely Enjoying Edible Zinnia Petals
To enjoy their petals in cooking and baking, you’ll want to follow a few safety guidelines when growing Zinnias.
Do Not Use Chemicals on or Near Plants
Even though Zinnias are edible and non-toxic, you must take some precautions. For example, never treat your Zinnias with any chemicals if you’re planning on consuming them.
This includes any chemical pesticides and herbicides. This is also true when looking into compost or mulches.
Many of these include harmful pathogens, so it’s safer to use regular potting soil without manure to make it extra safe for consumption.
Properly Cleaning Zinnias for Consumption Preparation
When harvesting the Zinnias, it is recommended to rinse them thoroughly with cool water and shake them upside down to dry.
Check in-between petals for any little stowaway bugs or critters. Then pluck off the petals and let them air dry on a tea towel or paper towel thoroughly before using them.
Edible Zinnia Petal Recipes and Ideas
The best thing about edible flowers is how they can elevate a dish from plain to stunning. With their bright colors and fancy feel, you’ll feel like a five-star chef in your kitchen.
One extremely common application for edible Zinnias is turning them into tea. You can either add them to existing teas or create your very own. The possibilities are endless.
Liven up a boring salad with edible Zinnias. The pop of color it will add is perfect for any spring or summer buffet.
The apparent use for any edible flower is a garnish. Whether you put them on cakes, cupcakes, atop a freshly baked loaf of bread, or on cheese platters, you can put these edible zinnias anywhere.
Zinnia Simple Syrup
Another fantastic idea regarding edible Zinnias is turning them into a simple syrup for your summer cocktails.
Simple syrup is so simple to make as well. You only need sugar, water, and your edible Zinnias. Next thing you know, you’ll be serving the best cocktails in town.
Wrapping Up Edible Zinnias
So are Zinnias edible? Yes, they are, and there are many creative and fun ways to use them. Interested in more zinnia content? Visit my zinnia page for more growing tips, care guides, bouquet suggestions, and more! Get all the use out of your garden space and plant some edible Zinnias this season.