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Do Zinnias Come Back Every Year? Are Zinnias Perennials?

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Zinnias’ presence in any garden can cause it to brighten up the place, thanks to the plethora of colors it provides. This makes zinnias such a staple for many people’s gardens but do zinnias come back the year after they have bloomed?

Do zinnias come back every year? Are zinnias perennials?

Zinnias are annuals, not perennials, as they cannot survive the cold and frost in winter. The zinnia flowers will bloom for one season only. The same plant will not bloom in the following years. Instead, they produce and leave behind seeds that can be easily collected and replanted next year.

Zinnia plants thrive during the summer months and bloom better in places with warmer climates. But are unable to stay alive and bloom the following year once the frost arrives in winter. 

Therefore, in order to plant the zinnias the following year, the seeds need to be extracted. This process of collecting seed is very effortless and anyone can do it.

Gaint zinnias:

Giant zinnias complete their entire life cycle in one year and don’t bloom the year after. During that year, they fill the place they are planted with bursts of exquisite colors and bring it to life. 

And the maintenance for this beautiful display is surprisingly minimal but unfortunately, the giant zinnia plants will be unable to come the next year, unless the seeds are taken out and replanted. 

And as the process of planting the new seed is so easy, most florists suggest people take the extra step in order to enjoy the zinnia blooms year after year.

Profusion zinnias:

Profusion zinnias can come back every year if they are saved before the frost comes in winter. Because zinnia is a plant that is tender and sensitive to excessively cold temperatures and frost. 

Therefore, once the frost sets it stops the zinnia plant from blooming and being alive. This is why it is crucial to collect the zinnia seeds before the frost arrives. 

You can do this by checking the local frost date and predicted time but try not to wait too long before collecting the seeds. And once the winter and frost pass, the zinnia seeds can be planted at the beginning of spring.

Magellan zinnias:

Magellan zinnias do not survive more than a year and are unlikely to come back the following year as the first hard frost of winter will put them down completely. 

But fortunately, like the other plants in the zinnia family, Magellan zinnias can also be planted the next year. 

In order for them to bloom the next year, the flowers should be allowed to dry completely to reach the seeds within and extract them and plant the seeds for the subsequent year.

Zahara zinnias:

Zahara zinnias go from seed to flower back to seed in a matter of one year. The seed produced at the end needs to be collected before winter arrives and deprives them of life and planted at the beginning of spring the following year. 

Thankfully, this process isn’t complicated or time-consuming. And the best part is the new Zahara blooms will be identical to their parents. The seed from the second year of blooms can be planted again and the Zahara zinnias can be enjoyed for many years.

Do zinnias self-seed & multiply? Are zinnias self-seeding?

Zinnias can not self-seed or multiply without human or animal help. So, when zinnia seeds are planted for the very first time, the blossoms will begin to emerge late into summer and once the temperature begins to drop, the zinnia plant should be allowed to dry out completely. 

Wait till the leaves on the stem turn dry and brown. After that, the seeds can be collected from the flowers by giving them a good shake by holding them inside a bag. This seed can be stored for the next year and planted again. 

Therefore, the zinnia may not be able to self-seed on their own but the seed from the plant can be used again and again to get newer zinnia blossoms.

And in order to multiply zinnia plants, just cut a few leaves from the top of a branch with about 2” of stem attached to the bottom. 

You can take off a few extra leaves and just leave the 4 or 5 leaves at the top and plant it in a small pot or plastic bottle, that contains well-fertilized soil and also make sure the pot or bottle has a hole underneath for better drainage, this will allow it to take root more easily. 

Then, move it to a place with humidity and wait for a few weeks. This will give it time to grow, you can then transfer it with the root to a patch in your garden or field. It will start blossoming just like the parent plant in no time.

What is the lifespan of a zinnia?

Zinnias are commonly annual plants, which means they survive for one full year in places with colder climates accompanied by snow and frost. 

But there are a variety of zinnias that can last up to more than two years but that only happens if they are planted somewhere with a hotter climate where there is no frost even in the coldest days of the winter season. 

Therefore, depending on the type of zinnia and also the temperature of the place, their lifespan would be up to a year or more than two years.

If you cut zinnia flowers and place them inside a vase, then their lifespan in the vase can be anywhere between seven to almost twelve days. A zinnia plant’s lifespan will increase drastically if they are provided with the right amount of nutrients and water.

How do zinnias reseed?

It is not surprising that most people want zinnias to return every year because the colorful blossoms can turn even the dullest looking garden into a magical space worthy of fairies and pixies. 

And fortunately, that is possible without the hassle and cost of buying new zinnia plants or seeds every year.

Here is how zinnia can be reseeded year after year:

Open pollution:

Heirloom varieties of zinnias reseed by open pollution. This results in new zinnia plants that are completely identical to the parent plants.

Collect, crush and spread:

Another easy and effective process of reseeding is waiting for the last flowers of the zinnia plant to mature fully. Then, collect the leaves and seeds, then crush them using the palm of both hands, spread them on the ground, and protect them by covering them with departed leaves.

Collect and store:

The seeds can also be collected from the dried flowers and stored till spring arrives the next year.

Are zinnias perennials?

Zinnias are not commonly perennials. The plants usually live and bloom for only one year before they mature and leave only their seeds behind. However, there are a few rare varieties of zinnias that can live up to two or more years if planted in places that have warmer climates all year round.

The type of zinnia and the climate of the place plays a very important role in determining whether a zinnia plant will be perennial or annual. Both are easy to maintain and reseed for the next year.

Gaint zinnias:

Giant zinnia plants are annual, not perennials. They can not live more than one year. If people want them in their gardens for longer than one year, the giant zinnias can be easily reseeded the following year by collecting their seeds.

Profusion zinnias:

Profusion zinnias are uniquely shaped flowers that can only be enjoyed for one summer as they are annuals.

Magellan zinnias:

Magellan zinnias are not annuals. They begin to bloom during late summer but by the time winter approaches the flowers have matured and dry out, leaving behind only seeds.

Zahara zinnias:

Zahara zinnias are a result of hybridization between two different types of zinnias and live for one year, making them annuals. But they are still able to produce big and brightly colored flowers within that year.

What happens to zinnias in winter?

Zinnias are plants that are originally from tropical countries with warm temperatures which makes them inapt to continue living once winter arrives in full force with snow, ice, and frost.

Some things that will likely happen to zinnias as winter approaches are:

Stop producing new blossoms:

When the weather begins to cool down, zinnia flowers will stop producing new blossoms and only some matured and dried flowers and leaves will be left.

Won’t be possible to revive:

When the first frost sets in, it won’t be possible to revive the zinnia plant. The plant will have to be taken out of the ground and thrown away.

Final thoughts:

The same zinnia plant won’t be able to survive and come back the next year. However, if the seeds are saved, it is possible to replant them for the next summer. The whole process of collecting, storing, and replanting the seeds is easy even for people who aren’t born with a green thumb.

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