A zinnia can brighten any garden according to Kelly McGowan, horticulture educator, University of Missouri Extension.

“Although sometimes considered an old-fashioned flower, the zinnia can be a mainstay in the annual flower garden in the Ozarks,” said McGowan.

The zinnia is a tough plant. It thrives on heat, and it is drought tolerant.

“The zinnia is pest free except for powdery mildew, and there are plant resistant strains,” said McGowan.

The zinnia originated in the desert southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America, so it is truly an all American flower.

“You can start a zinnia from transplants or seed direct in the garden,” said McGowan.

Zinnias have a wide spectrum of colors, often bright; flower sizes range from miniature to large, flower forms from singles to doubles. A zinnia will work great as cut a flower.

“If you deadhead regularly, zinnias will bloom all summer long,” said McGowan.

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