Sanvitalia–commonly called creeping zinnia–is grown as half-hardy annuals for its colorful flowers that resemble miniature black-eyed Susans. Creeping zinnia both mounds and trails. Mounds are covered with ¾ inch (18mm) wide flowers. Raised purple-brown centers are surrounded by a ring of golden-yellow petals.
Plant Sanvitalia where it can trail over walls or cascade from hanging baskets or containers. Plants flower from midsummer until frost.
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Get to Know Sanvitalia — Creeping Zinnia
- Plant type: Half-hardy annual
- Growing zones and range: All zones
- Hardiness: Tender; thrives in heats; plants will be killed by frost
- Height and width: 6 inches (15cm) tall; 18 inches (45cm) wide
- Foliage: Simple, oval dark green leaves are pointed
- Flowers: Small flowers ¾ inch wide resemble black-eyed Susans with purple-brown centers surrounded by a ring of golden yellow petals.
- Flower colors: Orange, yellow, or white, with purplish brown centers
- Uses: Use as edging or filler in beds and borders; plant in hanging baskets and containers.
- Bloom time: Summer
- Common name: Creeping zinnia
- Botanical name: Sanvitalia procumbens
- Family: Asteraceae
- Origin: Southwestern United States and Mexico
Where to Plant Sanvitalia — Creeping Zinnia
- Grow Sanvitalia in full sun.
- Plant Sanvitalia in average, well-drained garden soil.
Sanvitalia — Creeping Zinnia Uses
- Use Sanvitalia as an edging for a border or clumped in a rock garden.
- Sanvitalia makes a colorful ground cover in an annual or herbaceous border.
- Sanvitalia will cascade from a window box, trough, or hanging basket.
When to Plant Sanvitalia — Creeping Zinnia
- Sow seed indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost.
- Sow seeds outdoors where they will grow 1 to 2 weeks before the last expected frost.
- Sow outdoors in winter in Zones 10-11.
- Set transplants outdoors after all danger of frost has passed after hardening off seedlings for a few days.
Planting and Spacing Sanvitalia — Creeping Zinnia
- Sow seed in individual pots so as not to disturb the roots at transplanting time
- Press the seed into the soil; do not cover it with soil. Keep seeds at 75° to 80°F (24°-26.7°C) until seeds germinate; afterward, reduce the temperature to 70°F (21°C).
- Grow from seed indoors in a bright window or under fluorescent light.
- Thin seedlings when they have 4 to 6 leaves.
- Set young plants in the garden after the last frost in spring.
- Sow seed directly in the garden after the last frost.
- Space plants or thin them to stand 8 to 12 inches (20-30cm) apart.
How to Water and Feed Sanvitalia — Creeping Zinnia
- Keep the soil evenly moist until established; mature plants can withstand slight drying between waterings.
- Fertilize creeping zinnia at planting time with an all-purpose fertilizer.
- Boost blossoms by applying a low-nitrogen, high phosphorus, and potassium fertilizer when plants are 4 inches (10cm) tall or taller.
Sanvitalia — Creeping Zinnia Care
- Mulch around plants in dry summer regions; mulch with aged compost.
- Pinch back growth tips for bushiness.
- Deadhead plants to encourage more blooms.
Sanvitalia — Creeping Zinnia Pests and Diseases
- Sanvitalia is infrequently bothered by pests or diseases.
Sanvitalia — Creeping Zinnia Propagation
- Seeds germinate in 7 to 14 days at 68°F (20°C).
- Sow seeds in the garden in autumn or spring.
Sanvitalia — Creeping Zinnia Varieties to Grow
- Sanvitalia procumbens, creeping zinnia. Prostrate, mat-forming annual with pointed, oval, mid-green leaves to 2 inches or more; bears single, black-centered, bright yellow flowerheads to 3/4 inch across.
- ‘Mandarin Orange’ has orange flowers and grows to about 6 inches (15cm) tall.
- ‘Gold Braid’ has double flowers and grows to 6 inches (15cm) tall and 12 inches (30cm) wide.
Sanvitalia Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is creeping zinnia truly a zinnia?
A: No, it is not a zinnia. It is a low-growing, wide-spreading annual that makes an excellent ground cover, ending, or hanging container plant.
Q: Can I start creeping zinnia indoors?
A: Yes, sow seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the outdoor plant date. Creeping zinnia does not like transplanting so starting the plants outdoors where they are to grow is the best option.
Q: How do I care for creeping zinnia?
A: Creeping zinnia is easy to grow. Maintenance is minimal. The flowers fall cleanly from the plant as they fade. Plant creeping zinnia in full sun and light, well-drained soil. Creeping zinnia will tolerate drought; water when the soil starts to dry out.
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