If you’ve felt like your home garden could use rejuvenation, a brightly colored flower might do the trick.
In that case, consider introducing Mexican zinnias to your other plants. With their vivid red and yellow petals, they easily make their surroundings feel more jovial. If you’re not sure they would be the right addition, read on!
Interesting Facts About Mexican Zinnias
As their name implies, Mexican zinnias are native to the hot and dry parts of Mexico, likely originating in the Aztec empire during the 16th century. Back then, they were often considered ugly for their bright colors!
Though European explorers took some seeds back to their homes in the mid-18th century, zinnias didn’t make their way to the United States until the 1860s. In contrast to their early reception, zinnias become became popular everywhere they went for their lush and striking appearance.
Like most flowers, zinnias gradually gained an association with certain concepts and values. Today, they symbolize remembrance, endurance, goodness, friendship, love, and affection. This makes them an appropriate flower to give to both romantic partners and platonic friends or family members. They’re suited for a variety of occasions, too, including birthdays, anniversaries, and even funerals or grave visits.
Can You Grow Your Own Mexican Zinnias?
Some flowers are high-maintenance and best grown by professional gardeners. Fortunately, Mexican zinnias are not one of those! While not the hardiest flower, they are a widely loved choice among casual gardeners who enjoy rich colors with minimal maintenance. To help them flourish in your garden, we’ll give you some advice.
Mexican Zinnias don’t just tolerate hot temperatures; they thrive in it. Choose a spot in your garden that gets plenty of direct sunlight at least six hours per day. The soil should be fertile and well-drained.
Plant the seeds in springtime so that they’ll bloom through summer and early fall. Deposit each of them about a quarter of an inch beneath the soil. Also, to prevent overcrowding, space them about a foot apart.
Though Mexican zinnias are mostly self-sufficient, they grow best with a gardener’s attention. Water them in every morning, when the cool air lets the roots absorb the moisture before it can be evaporated. Apply compost, slow-releasing fertilizer, or liquid plant food every couple of weeks to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.
Mexican zinnias typically remain in bloom for two to five months, but their lifespan could become shortened if sick or wilting blossoms are left on their stems. Dead blossoms negatively affect the zinnias’ health and appearance; removing them encourages better water and nutrient distribution so that the remaining flowers can flourish.
Examine your zinnias daily and use a pair of pinch pruners, such as this one from Amazon, to deadhead any blossoms that have begun to fade.
All plants are vulnerable to certain diseases. Bacterial leaf spot, Alternaria leaf spot, and powdery mildew are the most common for Mexican zinnias. They’re also frequently targeted by spider mites, aphids, and four-lined plant bugs, which feed on the flowers’ water and nutrients. Spray the zinnias with natural pesticides, insecticide soap, or neem oil to deter both pests and diseases.
Ways to Use Them
Once they bloom, you’ll find that their stunning beauty is more than enough reason to grow Mexican zinnias. You can also share their charm with friends and family by cutting them and placing them in vases of water. However, they have other uses besides decorating homes and gardens, in case you’d like to optimize the work you put into them.
Have you had trouble drawing pollinator insects to your garden? Mexican zinnias can help with that; the bright colors are attractive to many butterflies and the occasional bee.
If you like studying natural medicines, consider using zinnias to make antifungal, antiparasitic, and antibacterial medicines. They may alleviate stomach aches as well. Even if you’re not feeling sick, zinnias contain antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and other serious illnesses.
Of course, if you’re interested in using zinnias medicinally, consult your doctor first. With their expertise, they can tell you whether it’s a sensible decision for your body.
Known for a slightly bitter taste, some people also like to use zinnias in their food. Use the blossoms to brew tea, embellish a salad, garnish a pastry, or flavor a glass of water. As long as you have a taste for floral ingredients, there are plenty of ideas that you may enjoy!
No matter how you use your Mexican zinnias, you’ll likely want more the following year. The surest way to grow new flowers is to plant new seeds, but the shoots may respond well to replanting as well. Find shoots with at least one node, cut them off the stems, and remove all but two leaves. Make two-inch holes in the soil and then plant the shoots there.
Where to Buy Mexican Zinnias
If you’re ready to plant some Mexican zinnias, look for the seeds in your local gardening supply stores. You can also order them from several online retailers. Hoss Tools offers seeds for a similar zinnia native to Mexico.
Of course, if you’d rather skip the process of growing them yourself, check for bouquets of Mexican zinnias in local grocery stores and flower shops. They can spruce up your home or make lovely gifts for your loved ones’ happy occasions!
Wrapping Up the Mexican Zinnia
Beginner gardeners will appreciate the easy practice they can get with nurturing Mexican zinnias. No matter your gardening experience, you’ll also love all their aesthetic and practical benefits. All you have to do is buy some seeds and plant them! For more about zinnias, check out the Five Zinnia Growth Stages.
Of course, zinnias grow wonderfully alongside other flowers, so we’re delighted to offer more advice about other species, like daisies and roses. With our help, you’ll soon be the proud owner of a healthy, diverse, and impressive garden!
Interested in more zinnia content? Visit my zinnia page for more growing tips, care guides, bouquet suggestions, and more!