The Creeping Zinnia: A Cheerful Year-Round Plant

Creeping Zinnia

The creeping Zinnia is a cheerful year-round plant that is related to the zinnia. It has a long flowering period with vibrant flowers that have the same daisy-like form as all members of the Asteraceae family.

This small, 6 inch plant is ideal for groundcovers or planting in containers to be used as trailers.

The lush green leaves are distinctive in their own right, but the tiny yellow flowers have the most impact.

Common Name Creeping zinnia, Mexican creeping zinnia
Botanical Name Sanvitalia procumbens
Family Asteraceae
Plant Type Herbaceous annual
Mature Size 4-6 in. tall, 12-18 in. wide
Sun Exposure Full to part sun
Soil Type Well-drained
Soil pH Acidic to slightly alkaline (5.5–7.5)
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color Yellow, orange
Hardiness Zones 2-11 (true annual, grown in all USDA zones)
Native Area Central America (Mexico, Guatemala)

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • When it comes to keeping your plants healthy, there are a few basic things you can do to help them along.
  • First, make sure they’re getting enough light. Creeping zinnias need at least six hours of sunlight per day, so if you’re growing them indoors, place them near a south- or west-facing window. Second, water them regularly.
  • The soil should be moist but not soggy; water about once a week or as needed. And finally, fertilize every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20.
  • With just a little care, your creeping zinnias will thrive and provide color all year long!

Lighting and Temperature

This plant does best in full sun but can tolerate some shade. It is heat-tolerant and does not require a lot of water, making it an ideal plant for hot, dry climates.

In cooler climates, it will die back in the winter but will return in the spring.


Soil, water, and light requirements are minimal for this little plant. It’s tolerant of a wide range of soils as long as they’re well-drained, including clay.

It also doesn’t mind periodic drought once it’s established. The ideal situation is full sun, but it will also do quite well in partial shade.


Fertilizer needs are low, and the plant will do best in full sun with well-drained soil. If you live in a hot climate, part shade is appreciated to prevent the leaves from burning.

The plant can become leggy if not pinched back, so it’s best to keep it compact by regularly removing spent flowers and stems.


Pruning is important to keep the plant tidy and promote new growth. Creeping Zinnias can be aggressive spreaders, so it’s best to contain them by edging or using a container.

Be sure to deadhead spent flowers regularly to encourage more blooms. The Creeping Zinnia is a drought tolerant plant, but it will perform best with regular watering during dry periods.


The plant does best in moist, well-drained soil. It should be watered regularly, especially during dry spells.


Size and shape make the creeping zinnia a perfect plant for small spaces and areas where you want to add color without overwhelming the landscape.

The flowers are only about an inch wide, but they’re produced in such profusion that they cover the plant completely.


Flowering from early summer until the first frost, the creeping zinnia is one of those plants that just keep on giving.

It’s also a plant that attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, so if you’re looking to add a little more pollinator activity to your garden, this is a great plant to consider.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

The creeping zinnia is a small, hardy plant that is native to North America. Unlike many other garden plants, it does not require a lot of care and can even tolerate some neglect.

However, there are a few things that gardeners should keep in mind in order to keep their plants healthy. First, creeping zinnias can suffer from fungal leaf spots or powdery mildew if they are not properly watered.

To avoid this, gardeners should water the plants at ground level rather than overhead. Second, the plants can also be susceptible to pests such as aphids and caterpillars.

Gardeners can reduce the risk of infestation by regularly inspecting the plants and removing any pests that are found. By following these simple tips, gardeners can enjoy beautiful, healthy creeping zinnias all season long.

Propagating Creeping Zinnia

Creeping zinnia is propagated in a variety of ways, including collecting seeds from flower heads, splitting the root ball into distinct sections to be replanted, and inserting stem clippings into a growing medium to establish roots.

Because it dislikes being transferred, it is usually propagated commercially through seeds.

However, home gardeners frequently use the stem-cutting method to propagate new plants indoors in the winter, allowing them to keep their favorite plants alive. Here’s how it’s done:

As the weather begins to cool in autumn, Cut 68 to 8-inch stems from vigorously growing, healthy plants with sharp pruning tools. Remove any flowers or flower buds before removing all leaves from the lower two inches of each cut.

Dip the leafless portion of the stem in rooting hormone powder and tap off any excess.

Fill a planting pot with a sterile soilless mix, and make a hole in the center with your finger.

Gently insert the hormone-coated end of the stem into the hole, and press the mix gently around it to secure. Water lightly to moisten the mix without disturbing the stem.

Types of Creeping Zinnia

There are over 12 cultivars of creeping zinnias, which are typically bred to have minor differences in flower shape and color, as well as differences in foliage.

The Creeping Zinnia is an annual that is good for beds, borders, containers, edging, ground cover, mass planting, and rock gardens. They are heat tolerant and attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Some of the more popular cultivars include the “Sprite” series, “Gold Braid”, “Irish Eyes”, and “Mandarin Orange”. The “Sprite” series features semi-double blooms with yellow, orange, and dark brown centers. The plants range in height from 10 to 12 inches.

“Gold Braid” is a large flowering plant that has golden yellow flowers with deep dark brown centers. The flowers of “Irish Eyes” are yellow-orange with green centers.

The plants are only 6 inches tall. “Mandarin Orange” has deep rich orange double flowers with dark brown central disks that resemble miniature sunflowers.

Whatever your preference, there is sure to be a cultivar of creeping zinnia that will suit your needs.

Do zinnias need a trellis?

Zinnias are a bright and cheerful addition to any garden, and they are relatively easy to grow. One question that many gardeners have is whether zinnias need a trellis.

The answer is that they can benefit from some kind of support, but a trellis is not strictly necessary. Any kind of stake, metal or wooden, will work just fine.

As the plants expand, they will push upwards through the netting grid and receive the support they require. Zinnias are fond of hot sun, so it’s crucial to plant them in full sunlight. With a little care, you can enjoy a vibrant display of zinnias all summer long.

Is creeping zinnia invasive?

Creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens) is a fast-growing, heat-tolerant annual that produces an abundance of small, bright flowers from summer until fall.

While it can make a beautiful addition to the garden, it is important to be aware that this plant can be quite invasive. If left unchecked, it will quickly spread and crowd out other plants.

Creeping zinnia is best suited to growing in containers or hanging baskets where it can be controlled more easily.

If you do choose to plant it in the ground, be sure to keep a close eye on it and remove any stray seedlings that appear.

With a little care, you can enjoy the colorful flowers of creeping zinnia without worrying about its invasive nature.

How do you propagate creeping zinnia?

Creeping zinnia is a fast-growing plant that produces masses of colorful flowers. It is easily propagated from stem cuttings, and this can be done in early autumn when the weather starts to cool.

To take the cuttings, use sharp pruning tools to trim 6-8 inch stems from vigorously growing, healthy plants.

Remove any flowers and buds, and then remove all leaves from the lower 2 inches of every cutting.

Dip the end of each cutting into rooting hormone, and then plant them in moistened potting mix. Keep the cuttings moist and warm, and they should develop roots within two weeks.

Once they have rooted, pot them up into individual containers and give them regular waterings. With a little care, you will soon have a whole new crop of creeping zinnias.

Are creeping zinnias annuals?

Creeping zinnias are annuals, meaning they will only last one growing season. However, they are hardy plants that can thrive in a wide range of conditions.

They prefer full sun but will also do well in partial shade. Once established, they are drought-tolerant and can handle long periods of dry weather.

Creeping zinnias are low-maintenance plants that don’t require a lot of fertilizer or water.

They will self-seed, so you may see new plants popping up in your garden the following year. But if you want to guarantee flower production, it’s best to start with fresh seed each spring.

With a little care, you can enjoy the cheerful blooms of creeping zinnias for many seasons to come.

Why are my zinnias bending?

If you’re wondering why your zinnias are bending, there are a few possible explanations. First, it could be due to the plant’s natural biology.

Some zinnia varieties are more prone to bending than others, and this trait is often exaggerated in hot weather. Second, it could be the result of your gardening habits.

Zinnias need to be well-watered, but too much water can cause the stems to become weak and floppy. Third, heavy rains can also cause zinnias to bend.

When rainwater weighs down the stems, they can start to droop and curl. Thankfully, there’s no need to worry – your zinnias will likely recover on their own once the weather improves.

How do you root a zinnia?

Zinnias are annual flowers that come in a wide range of colors and sizes. They are native to Mexico and Central America, and they have been cultivated for centuries.

Zinnias are easy to grow from seed, and they are relatively tolerant of poor soil. Rooting a zinnia is a simple process that can be done with a piece of stem or a leaf.

First, fill a pot with well-drained potting mix. Next, take a sharp knife and cut a one-inch piece of stem from the zinnia plant, making sure to include at least two sets of leaves.

Alternatively, you can use a zinnia leaf. Place the cutting in the potting mix, making sure that the leaves are above the soil line. Cover the pot with plastic wrap or a clear lid, and place it in a bright, warm location.

Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and within two weeks you should see new growth. Once the roots have established themselves, you can transplant the zinnia into your garden or into a larger container.

How do I keep zinnia seeds for next year?

Zinnias are one of the most rewarding annual flowers to grow, providing a long season of bloom with very little effort.

Once you have enjoyed a bountiful zinnia harvest, you may want to know how to keep zinnia seeds for next year. Fortunately, it is quite easy to do.

The first step is to wait for the zinnia flowers to dry before harvesting. Let the flower heads dry completely in the pot. This can take a week or more, depending on the humidity and temperature.

Once the flower heads are dry, gently rub them between your fingers or use a small paintbrush to release the seeds. Spread some paper towels on an even, clean surface and begin collecting the seeds.

You can also place the dried flower heads in a paper bag and shake them gently to release the seeds.

Once all of the seeds have been collected, let them dry completely before storing them. Store the zinnia seeds in a cool, dark place in an airtight container.

With proper care, they should remain viable for at least four years. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy fresh zinnias year after year.

Does creeping zinnia reseed?

Creeping zinnias are heat tolerant and low maintenance, they’re a fast-growing plant that provides color all summer long until the first frost.

They attract hummingbirds and butterflies and they’re deer resistant. They’re also a sturdy plant to use in hanging baskets, window boxes as well as large deck or patio containers.

Are creeping zinnias self-seeding when planted in the yard? Yes If the flower heads remain at the top of the plants, the small seeds usually fall into the soil and grow.

To encourage more flowers, you may need to snip off some of the older flower heads. Left unchecked, many self-seeding annuals can become invasive. I

f you have pets or children that play in the yard, you may want to avoid self-seeding annuals as some can be poisonous if ingested.

When choosing plants for your garden, it’s always best to do your research to make sure they are a good fit for your yard and gardening style.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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