Thursday, June 5, 2014

How to Grow Zinnias in the Philippines

Zinnias have a special place in my heart because my mom used to plant them in our garden back home and they would just bloom like they were being paid for it.

First, you start with the seeds. I initially bought the seeds but after the plant bloomed and the flowers dried up, I harvested the seeds and re-planted them.

For Php 59.75 you will get about this much:

You can choose to either have them grow in a seedling tray and then transplant them, or you can just directly sow them in a pot or in the ground. I tried both, and I suggest you plant them directly. The ones I planted in a tray and transplanted took 4 months to bloom as compared to the ones I directly sowed on the ground which bloomed after just 4 weeks. But if you would like to start the seeds in a tray the advantage is that you will be able to space them properly in your flower bed when they are big enough to be transplanted. If you directly sow the seeds on the ground, you wouldn't know which ones would sprout and which one wouldn't. Sometimes you'd also end up with two or more in a hole.

Regardless of whether I start seeds in a tray or directly sow them, I always use a seed-raising mix because it ensures that the seeds and seedlings get the nutrients they need for a healthy start. I put a little on top of the soil when I do the direct method and fill up the entire seed tray when I do the other technique.

Now, how deep should you plant the seeds? Just about a half centimeter. Don't bury the seeds too deep because sunlight will not reach it and could rot.You don't necessarily have to measure it with a ruler. Just pop one or two on the soil and then sprinkle it with a bit of soil that's just enough to cover it so that it will not get burned by the sun but not too shallow that it will be displaced when you water your zinnias seeds.

Zinnias in a plastic egg tray.
 Put them out in the sun and water once daily. It's best to use a sprayer so the seeds don't drown in too much water. Water it early in the morning or late in the afternoon. We all know how hot it can get here in the Philippines, so do not water your zinnias when the sun is fully up or on the hottest parts of the day (between 10 AM - 4 PM) because they could suffer from osmotic shock and harm their growth.

After about 3-4 days, your growing zinnias will look like the ones in the third & fourth rows. The first and the second rows are asters.

Zinnia seedlings on the 3rd and fourth rows.
Once your zinnias have a true set of leaves (3-4) you can transplant them, but don't hold them on the stem, just on the leaves and dig a hole just enough to cover the roots and make the plant stable enough not to be easily washed out when you water. Continue watering once a day and make sure they are placed where they'd get plenty of sun.

Transplanted zinnias on the flower bed.

When they reach about six inches tall, pinch off the top leaves to encourage branching. Fertilize at least once a month. If you want more zinnia flowers, make sure you regularly deadhead the plant by cutting off dried flowers. But if you want to harvest seeds later on, you must bear with the ugly sight and let the zinnia flowers dry up completely on the plant which I will talk later on in another post.

Wait for about 4-12 weeks for them to bloom like the ones I have below:

So there you have it, the basics of growing zinnias in the Philippines. I know how frustrating it can sometimes be with regard to growing zinnias or any other flowering plant for that matter here with our tropical weather. I hope you learned a thing or two in this post. I will talk about harvesting zinnia seeds on my next blog post so watch out for it. Till next time, happy gardening!

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  1. hi! I'm interested to plant zinnias... Can i buy zinnia seeds in hardwares somewhere?

  2. Wow!!! This was really helpful! i bought the exact same seeds and soil-less medium earlier today and I'm hoping I could get these flowers to bloom!! Last time I planted something was back in grade school for a science project!!! I'm really excited!!!

  3. We took seeds from dried Zinnias in Samar and brougt them back here in QC put the seeds on a pot, water it daily and boom... I have 3 Zinnia flowers after 5 weeks. :)

  4. We took seeds from dried Zinnias in Samar and brougt them back here in QC put the seeds on a pot, water it daily and boom... I have 3 Zinnia flowers after 5 weeks. :)

  5. Good afternoon po. Ilang oras niyo po pinapa-arawan yung seedling pag lumabas na siya sa lupa? Kasi po nung lumabas na siya nilagay ko po siya kaagad sa araw simula 7 a.m. hanggang 3:30 p.m. Kinabukasan po bagsak na tapos namatay. patulong naman po. :(

    1. I'm sorry it's been a really long while since I checked my blog. Pagka-sprout nya (yun eh if hindi mo sya tinanim directly sa spot at nagnursery ka pa sa pot or like in my case sa empty plastic egg holder), wait ka until mga 4 na yung leaves before mo itanim sa permanent spot nya. Wag mong hawakan ang stem, sensitive sila pag tina-transplant. Baka masyado pang maliit yung tanim para ihandle yung stress ng pag transplant. Mas maganda next itry mo itanim directly sa lupa.

  6. Thank you all guys for your comments. I hope your zinnias are blooming. @John, I bought mine at Ace Hardware. Meron din seeds sa SM Supermarkets usually near the veggies section.

  7. Hi. Good day Miss Maya Jambalos. I am Em from Ramgo International Corporation. Our team has read your blog titled “How to Grow Zinnias in the Philippines” dated June 5, 2014 at We felt really glad and grateful that you have used and shared about Ramgo Seeds packets of flowers and our seed raising medium. We really appreciate how your writing would make impact on our product promotion. Your blog is a significant testimony of Ramgo Seeds’ excellence and purity on its seed products especially the flower seeds. In this regard, we are requesting if we could meet you personally as we are planning to have your story be heard and read by most Filipino gardeners. We are really hoping for your most favorable response Miss Maya. Thank you so much for patronizing Ramgo Seeds. :) You may contact me thru my facebook account or email me at for your inquiries. Thank you. :)

  8. Hi Ms Maya, I am also interested in growing zinna but so far no luck. I bought seeds from Ramgo. But my seeds grow tall with 2 leaves then fall over and die.. I plant them in a 1inch plastic pot with garden soil. They are under a clear plastic sheet to keep it from the rain. I spray water at night when I get home. Can you help?

    1. Hello. Maybe you are overwatering causing the roots to rot. Also seedlings need sunlight to grow healthy.