How Do I Use Zinnias As Companion Plants In The Garden?

How Do I Use Zinnias As Companion Plants In The Garden?

As a Flower Gardening expert, I’m often asked about the best plants for companion planting in the garden. A great choice for many gardens is the zinnia, as this beautiful bloom is both colorful and easy to grow. In this article, I’ll explain why zinnias make such great companion plants, along with my top tips on how to use them in your garden.

I’ll also outline the key benefits of companion planting, and provide some of my favorite companion plant combinations involving zinnias. So grab your trowel and gloves and let’s get growing!

How to Use Zinnias as Companion Plants

Using zinnias as companion plants in the garden is an excellent way to enhance the beauty of your flowers and bring an extra splash of color.

When planting zinnias, it is important to create a border of these beautiful flowers along the perimeter of the garden, ensuring that the tallest plants are planted furthest from the center. This will create a beautiful backdrop of blooms to frame your garden.

In addition to providing a stunning border, companion planting with zinnias can be beneficial in other ways. Zinnias attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees that are essential for the success of many flowers.

Zinnias also contain compounds in their leaves that can deter certain pests, such as aphids and caterpillars, from damaging other plants in the garden.

It is also important to take into account the soil and nutrient needs of zinnias when planning companion planting. Zinnias thrive in moist, well-drained, nutrient-rich soil and should be planted in areas that receive full sun. When combining flowers and plants in close proximity, it is important to consider their soil and nutrient requirements.

Companion planting with zinnias can be a creative and rewarding experience. When paired with other plants and flowers, zinnias can enhance the beauty of any garden. With the correct plant placement, a beautiful and vibrant landscape can be achieved.


When planting zinnias as companion plants in the garden, it is important to consider their space requirements. Zinnias can grow both in clumps or in rows depending on the effect desired.

Zinnias prefer full sun, so choose an area of the garden that receives plenty of sunlight. When planting zinnias in rows, space them 12-18 inches apart and place the rows 18-24 inches apart. For clumps, space plants 18-24 inches apart.

To ensure the best results and healthy plants, use high-quality soil, amend with compost if desired, and keep the soil moist and well-draining. Zinnias prefer an average soil pH of 6.0-7.0 and a soil temperature above 65°F.

When planting, ensure that the roots are spread out evenly and covered with soil. If planting in rows, use a garden hoe to draw a shallow furrow and press the soil down lightly. Water the newly planted zinnias deeply to help them establish.

For best results, deadhead spent flowers regularly to encourage new blooms. This will also help prevent the zinnias from self-seeding.


When planning to use zinnias as companion plants in the garden, the location of the zinnias is of utmost importance. Zinnias prefer full sun and well-draining soil. To maximize the bloom of the zinnias, place them in an area that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

If the soil is particularly heavy or does not drain well, consider amending it with perlite or sand to improve drainage. Additionally, avoid planting zinnias near trees or shrubs, as the roots of these plants will compete for the same water and nutrients the zinnias need to thrive.

Soil Preparation

Before you plant your zinnias as companion plants in the garden, it is important to prepare the soil in order to ensure that the plants thrive. The soil should be given a good tilth, which means it should be well worked, free from stones and clods, and of a suitable texture.

The soil should also be enriched by adding compost or manure to provide the necessary nutrients. If you are planting in an area which has been used for vegetable growing, a soil test is recommended to identify any potential nutrient deficiencies.

You should also consider the pH of the soil, as this will affect how well the plants will grow. Zinnias prefer slightly acidic to neutral soils with a pH of 6-7. If the pH is too high or too low, you can amend the soil with lime or sulfur to create the correct pH balance.

Finally, it is important to ensure that the soil is well-draining. Too much water can cause the roots to become waterlogged, which can lead to disease and other problems. If your soil does not drain well, consider raised beds or raised rows as an alternative.

Sunlight Requirements

Zinnias are a particularly versatile plant in terms of sunlight requirements, as they are able to thrive in both full sun and partial shade. These plants are best suited for a spot in your garden that receives at least six hours of sunlight a day, although full sun is generally preferred.

In addition, zinnias need protection from temperatures that dip below 32°F, as otherwise, they can freeze and die. Keep in mind that although they are able to tolerate some shade, they are not as tolerant to lower light levels as some other companion plants, such as Impatiens or Begonias.

As such, it’s best to choose a spot in your garden that receives the right amount of sunlight for your zinnias in order to get the most out of their growth and flowering potential.


Watering is essential for successful companion planting with zinnias. For optimal growth, it is important to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Zinnias require regular watering, especially during dry periods and while they are flowering.

Watering should be done in the morning and early evening, as watering in the heat of the day can cause wilting and decrease flower production.

If you are experiencing a prolonged dry period, it is recommended to water 1- 2 times a week, deeply and thoroughly, to ensure that the entire root system is getting adequate moisture. It is also important to ensure that the soil is well drained to prevent root rot. Mulching around the zinnias will help to retain moisture and discourage weeds.


Maintaining zinnias as companion plants in the garden requires some work, but the benefit of a beautiful and vibrant display is worth the effort. It is important to deadhead the flowers regularly to prevent the plants from seeding, as this will help keep them flowering for longer. When it comes to pruning, zinnias should be cut back in late winter to encourage new growth.

Depending on the variety, some zinnias may benefit from staking in order to support the taller, heavier flower heads. To avoid disease, it is important to avoid getting the foliage wet when watering, as this can promote mould and fungus.

Ensure that the soil is kept moist during periods of drought, as this can be beneficial for the health of the zinnia plants. Finally, regular fertilisation with a balanced flower food is essential for the health of your zinnias, as this will provide essential nutrients for the plants.


When it comes to fertilizing, zinnias are pretty adaptable and don’t require an abundance of fertilization in order to thrive. However, if you’d like to give them an extra boost, then you should fertilize them in the spring and early summer with a balanced fertilizer mix.

Aim to spread the fertilizer lightly and evenly over the soil, and then water it in well. Zinnias, being a flowering plant, will benefit from fertilizer that is high in phosphorus.

This is the nutrient that encourages blooming, so look for a fertilizer that has a higher middle number (phosphorus). If you’d like to use an organic fertilizer, consider choosing a well-aged compost or manure, compost tea, or fish emulsion. All of these will help to maintain the soil’s health and fertility, which is essential for strong, healthy zinnias.


In order to keep your zinnias looking their best and encourage healthy blooms, it is important to occasionally prune them. Pruning can help keep your zinnias from becoming too leggy, promote bushier growth and encourage more blooming. The best time to prune your zinnias is after the first flush of blooms, which will generally be in late spring or early summer.

When pruning, make sure to remove any dead or damaged stems, as well as any that are too leggy. Prune the stems back to about 1/3 of their original height, making sure to use sharp pruning shears or scissors to make clean cuts. The blooms of your zinnias will look their best if you deadhead the spent blooms throughout the summer.

Deadheading is simply the process of removing the browned and wilted blooms to make way for new ones. This will ensure that you are always able to enjoy the vibrant colors of your zinnias, and that your garden is looking its best!

Pest Control

Zinnias are an attractive addition to any garden, but you may need to take extra steps to protect them from damaging pests. Common garden pests such as aphids and mites may feed on zinnias, reducing their growth and causing discoloration. The good news is that there are numerous ways to keep these pests under control.

One of the best natural methods to keep pests away is to plant companion crops alongside your zinnias. This can be done by including certain insect-repelling plants such as chives, garlic, and onions. These will help to ward off pests that would otherwise prey on your zinnias.

In addition to companion planting, it’s important to keep your garden clean and tidy, paying particular attention to removing dead leaves and plant debris which can harbour pests. Maintaining a healthy garden through regular pruning and weeding will also help to reduce the risk of attack.

Finally, if your zinnias are plagued by pests, you may need to resort to organic pest control methods. These include the use of beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps, which will feed on the pests and help to reduce their numbers.

Sprays containing neem oil and insecticidal soap are also effective at controlling aphids and mites, but should only be used as a last resort.

Tips for Successful Companion Planting

When it comes to companion planting with Zinnias, there are a few key tips to keep in mind.

Firstly, when planting Zinnias, be sure to give the plants enough space between them. Zinnias need plenty of room to grow and expand, so allow for a good amount of space between plants. This will help to promote healthy growth and avoid overcrowding.

Secondly, consider companion plants that will thrive in similar conditions to Zinnias. Zinnias do best in full sun and need a good amount of water, so consider planting companion plants that are also drought-tolerant or can handle dry spells. Some good companion plants for Zinnias include Sunflowers, Cosmos, Marigolds, and Nasturtiums.

Finally, it is important to pay attention to the soil conditions and pH. Zinnias prefer slightly alkaline soil with a pH range between 6.5 and 7.5. While most companion plants can handle a wider range of pH levels, it is still important to keep soil quality in mind.

By following these tips for successful companion planting with Zinnias, gardeners can create a vibrant and healthy garden that will promote lush growth and plenty of blooms.

Planting in Groups

When planting zinnias as companion plants in the garden, it is best to plant them in groups to ensure that the zinnias receive adequate sunlight and nutrients.

Grouping zinnias together also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the garden as the vibrant flowers will add a beautiful splash of color to the landscape.

It is also important to ensure that the zinnias are planted at least 4 inches apart from one another to allow for proper air circulation and better growth of the plants.

Additionally, when planting in groups, it is ideal to select zinnias of the same size, color, and variety for a more uniform look. To ensure that the groupings have the best chance of thriving, be sure to enrich the soil with organic matter and fertilizer.

Planting in Succession

Succession planting of zinnias is a great way to ensure a continuous bloom of color throughout the gardening season. To do this, simply select different varieties of zinnias that flower at different times and plant the appropriate seeds in batches throughout the spring and summer months.

This will ensure you have flowers blooming in your garden from early spring to late autumn. Additionally, this will extend the bloom time of the flowers since some of the earlier varieties will continue to flower for some time after being planted.

When planting in succession, it is important to plan ahead. Make sure you are familiar with the growing habits of the specific varieties of zinnias you have chosen, as this will help you to pick the best time to plant each batch of seed.

It is also important to plan for the future and consider how much space the plants will need once they are fully grown.

Be sure to space the seeds accordingly and provide adequate room for the plants to spread out and grow. Proper spacing is especially important when companion planting with other flowers or vegetables.

Planting in Containers

Zinnias are perfect for use as companion plants in containers, as they are easy to grow and provide a vibrant display of colour. When planting in containers, you should use a quality potting soil that is well-draining and rich in organic matter.

Plant them in groupings of three or more, making sure to leave enough space for the plants to grow. Water regularly, but do not over water, and fertilize to promote healthy growth.

When choosing containers for your zinnias, make sure they are large enough to accommodate their healthy root system. As zinnias reach maturity, they will need to be supported with a stake or trellis for the best display.

Summary: How do I use zinnias as companion plants in the garden?

Zinnias are a beautiful and versatile flower that make excellent companion plants for many other garden varieties. When used in combination with other plants, zinnias can provide a range of benefits to the garden, including attracting pollinators, improving soil fertility and helping to reduce the risk of disease.

Zinnias should be planted in full sun, in well-drained soil and should be spaced appropriately to ensure successful growth. To maximize their effectiveness as companion plants, they should be planted near vegetables, herbs, and other flowering plants.

Proper maintenance and care should be taken to ensure that zinnias remain healthy and vibrant throughout the season. As a Flower Gardening expert, I highly recommend zinnias as companion plants for gardens of all sizes and layouts.


What pests and diseases should I watch out for when companion planting with zinnias?

When companion planting with zinnias, gardeners should be especially careful to look out for any pests and diseases that may affect the health of their plants.

Common pests to watch out for include aphids, thrips, and cutworms, while some of the more common diseases that may affect zinnias include powdery mildew, rust, and Verticillium wilt.

Aphids are small, pear-shaped pests that can be found on the leaves, stems, and flowers of a zinnia plant. Thrips are small, slender insects that can cause discoloration or scarring on the petals of the flower. Cutworms are the larvae of several species of moths and can chew through the stems of young zinnias.

The most common fungal diseases that may affect zinnias are powdery mildew and rust. Powdery mildew is characterized by a white or grayish powdery substance on the leaves and stems of the plant, while rust is identified by reddish-brown spots on the foliage. Both of these diseases can reduce the vigor of the plant and should be treated immediately to prevent further damage.

Lastly, Verticillium wilt is a fungal disease that can cause the stems of the zinnia to wilt and collapse. This disease is difficult to treat and can severely affect the health of the plant.

Overall, gardeners should be aware of these common pests and diseases when companion planting with zinnias and take the necessary steps to protect their plants. By doing so, they can ensure that their zinnias remain healthy and beautiful in the garden.

How can I encourage beneficial insects to my garden when companion planting with zinnias?

If you want to encourage beneficial insects to your garden when companion planting with zinnias, there are several strategies you can use. Firstly, it’s important to choose the right varieties of zinnias to encourage beneficial insects.

Planting zinnias with different bloom shapes and sizes will attract a wide variety of beneficial insects. Similarly, planting multiple colors of zinnias will also attract a wider range of beneficial insects. Secondly, you should consider planting zinnias with other plants that the beneficial insects are attracted to.

For example, planting zinnias near herbs such as dill, fennel, and cilantro will attract beneficial predatory insects such as lacewings, ladybugs, and hoverflies. Thirdly, companion planting with native wildflowers will also attract beneficial insects and help create a more diverse and vibrant ecosystem in your garden.

Finally, you can use organic fertilizers and pest controls to create a healthy environment for beneficial insects. This will help to keep your plants healthy and free of disease, while also providing beneficial insects with the nutrients they need. By implementing these strategies, you can encourage beneficial insects to your garden when companion planting with zinnias.

What other tips should I keep in mind when companion planting with zinnias?

When companion planting with zinnias, there are a few key tips to keep in mind.

Firstly, zinnias are quite versatile and can be planted with a variety of other plants, including vegetables, herbs, and other flowers. It is important to choose companion plants that have similar soil, water, and light requirements as zinnias in order to ensure optimal growth.

Secondly, it is important to avoid overcrowding when planting with zinnias. Zinnias prefer to have plenty of space to grow and overcrowded gardens can stunt their growth and reduce their blooming potential.

Thirdly, it is important to avoid planting zinnias in close proximity to other plants known to attract pests, such as tomatoes and cucumbers. This will help to protect the zinnias from any potential damage caused by pests.

Finally, it is important to ensure that zinnias are planted in an area that receives adequate sunlight. Zinnias are sun-loving plants and require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day in order to thrive.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your zinnias will grow and bloom successfully when companion planted in your garden.

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