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9 Great Companions to Plant with Your Zinnias

9 Great Companions to Plant with Your Zinnias

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With its bright, long-lasting blooms, few plants can compete with zinnias as far as adding instant vibrancy and color to a garden. This low-maintenance annual plant offers high heat and drought resistance, which makes it perfect for lazy summer gardening. 

Yet, as striking as they stand alone, pairing your zinnias with other companion plants can add way more depth and aesthetic appeal to your garden—think complementary colors, contrasting textures, and different heights. 

On that account, today I’m going to shed light on a few plants that would be ideal to plant alongside zinnias. Ready to watch butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds flock to your garden? 

Let’s jump right into it!

1 – Vegetable Garden

Zinnias With Vegetables

When you add the zinnia to the same area as your tomatoes, potatoes, and such, you should know that the plant is going to attract bees and other winged insects such as monarch butterflies. 

Even the painted lady, one of the most popular migratory butterflies in Europe, can be attracted to your vegetable garden with the zinnia!

There are so many different kinds of zinnias available, so you have to make sure you take the general color scheme of your garden into account before making a decision.

2 – The Purple Fountain Grass

Purple Fountain Grass

The purple fountain grass can be grown along with the zinnias to add a lot of color to your garden. The plant does not require a lot of care, and it is also a real favorite for many people. The plant tends to grow really fast, and it can reach a height of up to 5 feet in a very short time. 

On top of that, the grass also blooms at times, giving way to red or burgundy flower plumes that tend to grow on these arches. The crimson plumes tend to arch toward one side, which adds gorgeous contrast to all of the flowers in your surroundings.

You don’t have to worry about deer chewing on the grass as well. Furthermore, it’s completely drought tolerant, so you don’t have to be wary about watering the plant again and again.

If you need a reliable partner plant for your zinnias in the summer months, you simply can’t go wrong with this one.

3 – Mealy Cup Sage

Mealy Cup Sage

The Salvia Farinacea, also known as the Mealy Cup Sage, is an excellent addition to any garden with zinnias. It has wonderful violet flower spikes and it blooms consistently from the late spring until the time the frost arrives.

More importantly, this is one of the most highly adaptable plants in the world. It works incredibly well in sunny spots and can be grown in a perennial or annual garden, whichever you prefer. You can also grow the grass in patio containers or pots made of ceramic. 

The flower spikes are a shade of deep violet, and you can always cut them, dry them out, and use them as flowers for your bouquets or any other craft project that you might be undertaking.

4 – China Aster

Callistephus Chinensis

The stunning hues of color and consistent blooms of the China Aster make it one of the most popular choices for gardeners who need a partner for their zinnias. The plant tends to grow from the early summer weeks until the fall season begins. 

Each flower can grow to a maximum of 3.5 inches, and the form tends to vary as well. It starts from the single blossoms that have a golden heart in between, and if you have a particularly showy plant, it may take the pompom form with completely developed double flowers.

The foliage is incredibly broad as well and differs, with some plants having triangular-ovate leaves. The plant can grow from a mere 12 inches to a full 36 inches on the branching stems.

You might want to take a look at the variety you are buying to determine how it’s going to look when fully grown.

5 – Dahlia

Dahlia And Zinnia

The Dahlia is a plant that needs no introduction. It’s one of the most impressive flowers in the world with its vibrant and colorful flowers. In fact, the David Howard Dahlia has won many awards and has apricot-orange flowers that bloom against the purple foliage.

If you want a colorful partner for your zinnias, you simply can’t go wrong with this one. It produces full double flowers that are able to grow a maximum of 4 inches. 

More importantly, the plant isn’t top-heavy and will remain upright even if it’s wet with water. 

In times of rainfall, you don’t have to worry about your plant drooping to one side or affecting the aesthetic appeal of your garden.

6 – Toothpick Weed

Zinnias And Toothpick Weed

If you have colorful zinnias and want something that’s going to bring out all of their colors and make them look unique, you should consider the beautiful toothpick weed.

This is a lovely annual or biennial plant that has domed umbels. Each of these umbels can grow 5 inches across, and they include tightly packed flowers that look absolutely gorgeous.

It is a phenomenal choice for people who want a good-looking flowering plant that isn’t going to hog the spotlight from your zinnias. These plants are generally of a uniform yellow or beige color, so the zinnias will provide all the color.

7 – Marigolds

Marigolds make excellent companions for zinnias. Their bright yellow and orange blooms provide a cheery contrast to the rainbow of zinnia colors. 

Marigolds tend to blood early, which helps prolong the color in your garden. They also deter pests like nematodes, helping to protect your zinnias. 

I recommend marigold varieties that stay low, like Signet or Lemon Drop. They’re typically under 12 inches tall. This allows the taller zinnias to stand out. 

8 – Lavender

The silvery foliage and aromatic purple blossoms of lavender make a beautiful complement to zinnias. As a plant that’s drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, lavender is just as low-maintenance as zinnias. It thrives in full sun and good drainage. 

The spiky texture of lavender plants contrasts nicely with the bold zinnia flowers. Also, the blooming seasons tend to overlap, with lavender first and zinnias later. 

English lavenders are my favorite. Check them out!

9 – Leafy Greens

Lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens make good companion plants for zinnias. 

The zinnias can offer partial shade for heat-sensitive greens, and in return, leafy plants offer living mulch to retain moisture for water-loving zinnia transplants. 

Leafy greens also fill up space early, waiting for the zinnias to reach their full size. 

Final Thoughts

The zinnia delights any garden with its wide array of blossom sizes, colors, and forms. And with the right companion plants, zinnias can put on a dynamic floral display while requiring little care on the gardener’s part. 

The plants highlighted in this guide are just some of the many partnering plants that you can add to your garden and grow along with your zinnias. I’m sure there are many more out there. 

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