Plants That Survive and Thrive on the OBX – Zinnia

— Written By Amy Jordan
en Español / em Português

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Join the Master Gardener℠ volunteers of Dare County in the coming weeks to discuss plants that have been proven to survive and thrive on the OBX!



  • Zinnias are an annual flower that can grow almost anywhere!
  • You can grow zinnias directly in the ground, which makes them great for beginners and kids. Sow seeds in the ground by covering in about 1/16 inch of soil. You can expect germination after 10-24 days.
  • They like well-drained soil and love the heat of summer.
  • Zinnias come in a variety of shapes and colors. They range in height from 6 inches to 3 feet.
  • Zinnias make great options for ground cover or edging around houses.
  • If you like long-lasting cut flowers, zinnias are a great choice!
  • Fungal diseases to watch for:
    • Powdery Mildew
      • To prevent this, water only when needed and water the roots, not the leaves. Powdery Mildew thrives in moist areas with little air circulation. By reducing overcrowding, you can reduce the chances of Powdery Mildew. Choose a slow-release fertilizer instead of rapid release fertilizers in order to deprive Powdery Mildew of the energy bursts needed to thrive.
    • Alternaria Blight
      • Like Powdery Mildew, Alternaria Blight thrives in moist conditions and can be prevented in many of the same ways.
  • Pollinators, including butterflies, love zinnias!
  • Zinnias are deer-resistant and non-invasives.
  • You can harvest zinnia seeds for the next year of planting.


Check back in the coming weeks to learn about more plants that survive and thrive on the Outer Banks.

Learn more about Master Gardener℠ volunteer programs in Dare County!