Commonly known as the Mexican Zinnia, Zinnia haageana [ZIN-ya, hag-ee-AH-nuh] is an annual flowering plant.
The species is known for its brilliantly colored flowers which bloom all season long and look spectacular spilling over window boxes and containers.
The plants belong to the Asteraceae family along with:
- Bellis perennis (English Daisy)
- Bidens Flower
- Gazania rigens
… and are considered a member of the sunflower tribe within the daisy family.
This particular species of the Zinnia genus is called the Mexican Zinnia and native to Mexico.
However, you will find the plants in Southwestern USA and other countries in South America.
They are incredibly easy to grow and look gorgeous among other flowering annuals planted alongside them.
This is why many people use them as cut flowers to add to bouquets.
You may also hear it called by another common name, narrow-leaved zinnia.
Mexican Zinnia Plant Care
Size & Growth
Mexican Zinnia are some of the easiest annuals to grow.
When planted in a sunny location with good airflow and enriched, moist, and well-drained soil, they can grow up to 12” – 18” inches.
They are also known for their growth and can spread around 6″ – 12″ inches wide.
The plants are annuals, meaning they grow and flower for one season and produce seeds.
The original plant doesn’t come back once it has completed its life cycle.
Flowering and Fragrance
These plants are loved because of their summery blooms.
These flowers are easy and quick to grow and bloom heavily, adding a burst of bright colors in your garden.
The plants produce bright solitary flowers resembling daisies.
The flowers grow in single, erect stems, making them perfect for cutting.
The flowers come in a range of shades of different colors, including red, bronze, orange, and yellow.
In some varieties, you will find bicolor single or double flowers.
The bloom time of the plants is during the spring to late summer.
Light & Temperature
Zinnia haageana thrives under full sun.
While planting Mexican Zinnia seeds, choose a location getting at least 6 hours of full sunlight during the day.
The plants don’t tend to do well when planted in shaded areas.
So choosing a sunny location is critical to their growth.
Being extremely easy to grow and care for, the plants are also heat-resistant.
In the daytime, they can tolerate a minimum temperature of 60° degrees Fahrenheit (16° C).
However, somewhere between 74° – 84° degrees Fahrenheit (23° C – 29° C) is the preferred temperature.
They are hardy in USDA zones 11 and 12.
Watering and Feeding
The Mexican Zinnia species has average water needs.
Like various other annuals, the plants prefer regular watering and moist soil.
So make sure to water the plant every other day or so in the warmer months.
However, increase the frequency of watering if the season is particularly hot or dry.
In the colder months, reduce the frequency of watering to avoid overwatering and drowning the roots.
As for feeding, use a slow-releasing fertilizer and organic compost to enrich the soil every few weeks, depending on the quality of your soil.
Soil & Transplanting
They are quite adaptable and not a very picky plant when it comes to growing in the right kind of soil.
However, they love moist, well-drained soil enriched with organic compost.
As for the pH of the soil, it should be between 5.5 and 7.5.
As for transplanting, it’s not recommended as Mexican Zinnias doesn’t respond well to being transplanted.
Some nursery plants don’t end up flowering or thriving when transplanted in a garden bed.
Hence, it is better to buy or collect seeds and sow them directly in the ground or where you want to display them permanently.
Grooming and Maintenance
These Zinnias don’t particularly need a lot of maintenance and grooming.
However, do deadhead flowers once they are spent.
This will encourage more flowers to form.
You need to keep an eye on the moisture level in the soil and keep it fertilized.
How to Propagate Narrow-Leaved Zinnia
The best way to propagate is with seeds.
- In warmer climates, start the seeds outdoors and sow them right into the ground.
- In colder climates, on the other hand, start the seeds indoors and plant them in 72-cell trays in a greenhouse.
- Sow the seeds in well-drained soil at least 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost.
- Once the plants are ready around mid-May, and the weather has warmed up, plant them in the ground, placing them at least 9” inches apart.
Propagating by cutting.
- Choose 5 to 6 healthy shoots having at least one node left on them.
- Then use a sterile pair of scissors to cut them off the stem.
- Pinch off all the leaves, leaving two.
- Plant the cuttings in a 2” inch deep hole.
M. Zinnia Pest or Disease Problems
The Mexican Zinnia is relatively pest-free. However, some problems can arise occasionally.
These can include aphids, four-lined plant bugs, and spider mites.
Common diseases include:
- Powdery mildew
- Alternaria leaf spot
- Bacterial leaf spot
Both pest and disease issues are solved with basic pesticides.
Visit your local garden center or nursery to find a solution.
Suggested Uses For Narrow-Leaved Mexican Zinnia
The Zinnia species as a whole has been used as garden plants because they produce a wide range of different colored flowers.
The plants producs beautiful summery flowers in shades of yellow, orange, red, and bronze.
Besides their showy flowers, the plants are used in gardens planted specifically to attract pollinators.
These flowers are great for attracting both bees and hummingbirds to pollinator gardens.
Interestingly enough, the Zinnia genus has been studied to find their capability for growing in a weightless environment.
Currently available research and experimentation on the International Space Station shows some promising results.
In some gardens, is also used as a companion plant.
In the Americas, these plants are also considered as a useful defense against whiteflies.