While named “creeping zinnia,” these flowers are actually not related to the zinnia you are probably thinking about at all!
They are called that because the petals are a similar size and shape, but few other similarities exist.
That does not mean these flowers are any less beautiful! In fact, these gorgeous flowers offer completely different qualities to a garden.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about creeping zinnias, including where they came from and how to grow your very own!
Creeping Zinnia 101
Characteristics of the Creeping Zinnia
Creeping zinnias are annual plants, meaning they die completely at the end of each season. They have a low profile and are regularly used as ground cover.
The flowers are small and yellow, sometimes compared to a miniature version of a sunflower.
Each plant stays low to the ground and thrives in full sun. Their height is typically no taller than six inches. They will stretch out to cover eighteen inches of space when planted in a nice, sunny spot.
History of the Creeping Zinnia
The Creeping Zinnia flower originated in Central America and Southwest North America.
Another name for them is “Sanvitalia” which can be loosely translated to “lust for life,” which is fitting for this joyful-looking flower!
Growing a Creeping Zinnia at Home
Creeping Zinnia are incredibly easy plants to grow. Because they are native to dry, rocky places, they are hardy and can grow in many different conditions.
Can They Be Grown at Home?
Absolutely, yes! These are a fantastic choice for your garden, a hanging basket, or anywhere you need some bright color.
They are very heat resistant, able to withstand incredibly high temperatures and sun exposure with the correct watering.
Why Should You Grow it at Home?
Creeping Zinnias are an amazing plant to have at your home because they are easy to grow. A lot of times, plants can be incredibly finicky and difficult to have success with. Sometimes, you just need a win under your belt and that is exactly what you will get with these flowers.
This plant does not just produce an abundance of gorgeous blooms, but it is also very self sufficient. Water it and leave it alone. There is no pruning, tending, or other chores necessary to help it thrive.
It is a low-maintenance, high-reward kind of plant. Definitely one you will love having at your house!
How to Grow a Creeping Zinnia at Home
While they are easy to grow, there are still some specifics you need to know to successfully grow Creeping Zinnia at home.
In this section, we are going to go into detail on how to sow seeds directly in the ground because this type of plant does not do well with transplants more often than not.
When you are planning out where you want your Creeping Zinnias to grow, it is important you choose a place with a lot of sunlight.
These plants can survive and do alright in partial shade, but if you want the abundance of blooms the plant has to offer, they are going to need to be in full sunlight.
Full sunlight is considered six to eight hours of direct sunlight every single day.
Partial shade is more like four to six hours of direct sunlight every day.
Again, these plants can grow in partial shade, but they’re much happier and more beautiful in a nice, sunny spot.
Gardeners, rejoice! These hardy plants can handle almost any soil conditions. How nice will it be to just put seeds in soil and not have to worry about pH levels, organic material, or anything else?
The one thing to keep in mind when it comes to soil for these plants is they need well-draining soil. If soil stays waterlogged, they’re going to struggle. Remember, they grow naturally in rocky hillsides.
When planting the seeds, wait until all the freeze warnings have passed and soil is warmed up to at least 60°F.
Dig up the soil in the sunny location you’ve chosen, add any sort of organic material you’d like, and then you’re ready to sow the seeds.
These seeds need sunlight in order to germinate, so don’t dig deep into the soil to plant them. Instead, gently press them into the surface of the ground.
The seeds should germinate and start to sprout within a couple of weeks.
Just because these plants can go a little while without water doesn’t mean you can completely neglect them or trust nature to give them enough water.
Creeping Zinnias need moderately moist soil that doesn’t stay soaking wet in order to thrive. It’s good to let it dry out a little between waterings, but make sure to not let the soil get hard and crumb-like on the surface.
If you’ve chosen to plant your Zinnias in a container, which is a great choice, make sure the container has adequate drainage holes.
This plant’s roots can easily rot if the soil stays too wet for too long.
These plants will have bountiful blooms all the way through the summer season!
While they’re incredibly heat-tolerant, they don’t do well in cool temperatures and will start to die off once the temperatures consistently dip below 50°F at night.
Thankfully, Creeping Zinnias are essentially self-pruning!
While you can clip off leggy stems to encourage a bushier growth pattern, there’s no need to prune or trim off flowers to encourage more blooms to grow.
The plants naturally shed off old blooms to make space for new ones.
Creeping Zinnias are a great plant to use as beautiful ground cover in any flower bed. It is low-maintenance and beautiful. What more could you ask for?
This plant is also a gorgeous addition to hanging baskets or window baskets. They’ll cover the bottom of the basket with bright yellow and orange blooms and naturally start spilling over the sides.
The clipped vibrant flowers will also be great additions to any floral arrangements you want to make for your home or to give to someone you love!
Where to Buy Creeping Zinnias
Nature Hills has Creeping Zinnia seeds for you to purchase online.
You can also check local nurseries for other varieties of the flower.
Wrapping up the Creeping Zinnia
Whether you’re just beginning or a master gardener, because of their ease of care and beautiful flowers, Creeping Zinnias are absolutely a flower you should consider adding to your garden!
Interested in more zinnia content? Visit my zinnia page for more growing tips, care guides, bouquet suggestions, and more!
- About the Author
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Stephanie Lamberth is a writer who gained most of what she knows about gardening from summers spent on her family’s farm tending, picking, and storing the produce they grew.
Her family started and ran a thriving farm that fed hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the community with fresh, naturally grown produce. She learned the effort and the reward of growing your own food!
Stephanie now lives in Tennessee with her husband and three kids. Their schedules don’t allow for a large garden, but she loves incorporating herbs from their flowerbeds in her kitchen and using her knowledge to help others.
Stephanie can be reached at email@example.com