If you like zinnias, you’ll definitely want to learn about the stunning state fair zinnia! This large zinnia variety is resistant to disease and comes in several beautiful colors.
Keep reading to learn all about the state fair zinnia including tips for growing your own, where to get seeds, plants, and flowers, and ideas for using them in bouquets.
Characteristics of the State Fair Zinnia
State fair zinnias are some of the biggest zinnias you can get. The blooms are huge at four to six inches across. Plants grow to be up to three feet tall.
They come in several different colors including red, orange, yellow, white, purple, and pink.
State fair zinnias have full double blooms. They have several rows of long, thin petals and a small, visible center.
They are vigorous and disease resistant, especially to powdery mildew which makes them a good choice for home gardeners.
Like many other flowers, state fair zinnias are excellent for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies to the garden. Hummingbirds like zinnias too so you may even attract some of those as well!
Where to Get State Fair Zinnias
You can often find potted zinnias at nurseries and garden centers, especially during the spring and summer months. These are excellent for planting in the ground or keeping in containers.
A pot of colorful zinnias is the perfect way to brighten up your front porch in the summer.
If you’re looking for fresh-cut flowers for a bouquet, check with your local farmer’s market or florist.
Some farms offer cut-your-own zinnias and other flowers during the summer. Check around with your local farms to see what’s available in your area.
Growing State Fair Zinnias at Home
Zinnia flowers are easy and fast to grow and the state fair variety is no exception! Even if you don’t have a lot of experience growing flowers, you can have a colorful garden full of state fair zinnias in no time.
Zinnias start blooming early and keep going all the way to the first frost in the fall.
Where Can You Grow Them?
Zinnias grow as an annual in USDA hardiness zones 3-10.
They won’t come back each year like perennials, but if you leave some flowers on the plant at the end of the season, they may self-sow.
Self-sowing is when plants drop their seeds and new plants grow from those seeds the following spring.
Zinnias can be started indoors or direct sowed into the garden. Plant them in spring once the last danger of frost has passed.
They prefer slightly sandy, well-draining soil with a pH between 5.5-7.5. They do best in full sun.
Once the plant is established, state fair zinnias don’t require much care. They are fairly drought tolerant so rainfall is usually enough to keep them healthy.
Harvesting zinnias actually encourages them to produce even more blooms. When you cut one, two more will grow. They’re the perfect cut and come again flower!
For the longest-lasting blooms, harvest flowers when the outer petals have opened but some of the interior petals are still closed. The stem should be sturdy and strong. If it’s still floppy, wait a little longer to cut it.
Even if you’re not cutting flowers for bouquets, it’s a good idea to remove spent blooms regularly to keep the plant healthy and encourage more blooms.
When cutting, use pruning shears, scissors, or a sharp knife to make a cut right above the spot where the stem branches off. New flowers will grow from those offshoots.
Where to Get Seeds and Plants
Zinnias are a popular garden flower so it’s usually not hard to find plants and seeds. You may be able to find young plants at your local nursery or garden center in spring and summer.
Seeds are available at nursery and garden centers as well or you can order them from TrueLeafMarket.Com to make things easy.
State fair zinnia seeds often come in a mix of colors. You can get a colorful display with just one pack of seeds. It’s always a fun surprise to see what color the first flowers will be!
With their long, sturdy stems and big, colorful blooms, state fair zinnias are perfect for bouquets.
If you’re growing your own zinnias, one of the best parts is having plentiful flowers to make bouquets all through the growing season.
If you have an abundance of flowers, you can easily brighten the day of a friend or neighbor by sharing a bouquet.
State fair zinnias look beautiful all on their own in a multicolored or monochrome bouquet. Gather a handful of zinnias and set them in a mason jar for a handpicked, country look.
For a monochromatic look, choose similar shades like reds and pinks or multiple shades of a single color.
For some added interest while still keeping it simple, mix different varieties of zinnias in a bouquet and add some greenery.
Pairing State Fair Zinnias With Other Flowers
Zinnias pair well with many other flowers including sunflowers, daisies, lilies, lantanas, cosmos, and more.
To add contrast to bouquets, pair state fair zinnias with long, skinny flowers like larkspur, snapdragons, or salvia.
Tips for Making Bouquets Last Longer
Whether you grew your own or purchased them, we’d all like our bouquets to last as long as possible! Here are some tips for getting the most out of your cut flowers.
When putting bouquets in water, remove all leaves that fall below the water line.
Make a fresh cut to trim the ends off of the flowers every time you change the water. Water should be changed every day or every other day.
History of the State Fair Zinnia
Zinnias are native to Mexico and other parts of Central and South America. Seeds were sent to Europe in the 1800s but it wasn’t until the late 1800s that people began breeding zinnias for certain qualities.
The state fair zinnia was bred in the USA in the 1950s for size and vigor. It has more disease resistance than many other zinnias and it’s one of the biggest zinnia varieties available.
Wrapping up the State Fair Zinnia
Zinnias are such bright and cheery flowers. They’re perfect for creating bouquets or adding color to the garden. Whether you want to grow your own or just enjoy some fresh-cut flowers from the farmer’s market, the state fair zinnia is the perfect choice for any flower lover.
Interested in more zinnia content? Visit my zinnia page for more growing tips, care guides, bouquet suggestions, and more!