Louisiana Super Plants: Zesty Zinnia

Damon Abdi, Fields, Jeb S.

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Zesty Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)

  • Common Name: Zesty Zinnia.
  • Recommended Use: Warm-season annual beds, container plantings, cut flowers.
  • Exposure: Full sun.
  • Size: 1.5 to 2 feet height and width.
  • Habit: Mounded form.
  • Bloom Time: Blooms can be seen from late spring throughout summer until first frost.
  • Maintenance Category: Low-medium. Won’t require extensive maintenance.
  • Water Use: Average to low.
  • Highlights: Vibrant flowers offer a range of colors to add excitement to the landscape. A favorite of pollinators. Handles extreme heat and low moisture particularly well.


The Zesty Zinnia series from Ball Horticulture boasts bountiful blooms, where the large flowers are available in a spectrum of colors including purples, yellows, oranges, fuchsia, pink and white. These zinnias maintain their majestic color from late spring, throughout the summer months, and into early fall, capably performing in the exceptional heat and occasional drought conditions observed at the Hammond Research Station. This annual is remarkably robust, with the foliage suffering very little damage to leaf spot or insect injury. It is one of the most prolific zinnias on the market. The vibrant double flowers are excellent additions to warm-season annual beds or containers, brightening up the landscape with a range of showy colors. Planted as a mass, selecting a single color can create a powerful yet simple look. Developing a planting bed by mixing a variety of different colors in the Zesty Zinnia series together can create a uniquely exciting feature in the landscape. The manageable size (up to 2 feet in height and width) allows this plant to maintain a low profile that suits it well in landscape beds or containers on well-lit balconies, offering a profuse source of color all summer long. Though it is fairly low maintenance, removing spent blooms encourages encore performances and extends the aesthetics of this plant a little bit longer, at least until the colder temperatures arrive. Furthermore, Zesty Zinnias are a great choice for those interested in sustaining a source for cut flowers in their own gardens. Orange, purple and yellow are the absolute best colors for our area, but we think you can stick with purple and yellow for your LSU themed flower arrangements or garden beds. For these reasons and more, Zesty Zinnia is a Louisiana Super Plant for 2024.


  • Full sun is recommended to for best quality plants.
  • Soil should be well-drained but retain adequate moisture.
  • Avoid overhead watering to support peak performance.

Growth Habit

  • Mounding habit of individual plants contributes to a pleasing design when used in a mass planting or in a container.
  • Plant in bunches. Space approximately 1 foot apart for annual beds.
  • Deadheading or removal of spent blooms to supports reblooming.

Closeup of purple Zesty Zinnias in a pot.

Removing spent blooms on Zesty Zinnia will support reblooming. Photo by Ashley Hickman

Closeup of purple Zesty Zinnias.

Zesty Zinnia can be found in a variety of colors with orange, purple and yellow performing best in our area. Photo by Ashley Hickman

4/22/2024 5:03:48 PM
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