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Zinnia Care: Mastering the Artwork of Slicing Again and Deadheading

Zinnias are extremely productive annuals that create an unbelievable bounty of colourful flowers. Though zinnias are low-maintenance, slightly effort can improve the variety of flowers you get. To encourage your zinnia to supply extra flowers, it’s a good suggestion to prune and deadhead the plant. On this article, I’ll present you when and the right way to in the reduction of and deadhead zinnia flowers in your backyard.

How to Cut Back and Deadhead Zinnia Flowers

When Ought to I Minimize Again Zinnia Flowers? Key Takeaways

As soon as your zinnia is about 8 to 12 inches tall, reduce off the highest 4 inches of the stem. This encourages the zinnia to supply extra stems and extra blooms. Deadhead wilting zinnia blooms throughout the season to make approach for brand spanking new flowers. As annuals, zinnias die again within the winter and gained’t want reducing again.

Is Slicing Again and Deadheading Zinnia Flowers Needed?

An array of colorful zinnia flowers in full bloom during the growing season

Zinnias are a number of the best flowers to develop and are available a variety of colourful cultivars. Zinnias are extraordinarily prolific flowering annuals so long as they get loads of daylight, common watering in well-draining soil, and fertilizing. As such, reducing again and deadheading zinnia flowers isn’t strictly mandatory.

Nonetheless, in the event you do resolve to chop zinnias again, you’ll get an even bigger bounty of blooms. Zinnias are fashionable and symbolic reduce flowers, so adopting a cut-and-come-again strategy means you may harvest them for lengthy intervals (and dry and protect them for even longer). As soon as you are taking a zinnia reducing, the plant will redirect its vitality to supply new flowers.

If you need the absolute best zinnia crop, you may in the reduction of the tops of younger crops. This encourages the plant to supply a number of new stems that can every turn into fabulous flowers. It’s greatest to do that earlier than the plant begins to flower to maximise the dazzling show.

Zinnias produce massive, stunning flowers in varied colours, from pink, purple, orange, crimson, inexperienced, and white. Nonetheless, outdated flowers will begin to wilt or flip brown. So if you’d like your zinnias to look their greatest, deadheading them is critical. Deadheading these spent blooms makes the opposite wholesome flowers look even higher.

On the finish of the flowering season, zinnias will begin to die off as soon as uncovered to frost. Zinnias are annuals, which means every plant solely lasts one 12 months. In contrast to perennials, you gained’t have to chop again zinnias after the season ends to organize them for subsequent 12 months.

Key Issues When Slicing Again & Deadheading Zinnias

A person deadheading and cutting back zinnia plants towards the end of the flowering season

Earlier than you begin pruning or deadheading your zinnias, it’s vital to sterilize your gardening instruments. Everytime you reduce a plant, the recent reduce is weak to illnesses and pests that may be transferred from different crops. Sterilize your pruning shears and different instruments with a 5% bleach answer to keep away from this downside.

It’s additionally essential to make sure that your shears or scissors are sharp. This ensures the reduce shall be clear, decreasing the chance of illnesses or pests attacking your zinnia. Use a sharpening stone to maintain your pruning shears or secateurs in good situation.

Though pruning and deadheading profit zinnias, it’s important to not instantly take away an excessive amount of of the plant. Slicing again an excessive amount of of the zinnia weakens the plant, impairing its potential to supply flowers. By no means concurrently take away greater than a 3rd or 1 / 4 of the entire variety of stems.

When to Minimize Again Zinnias

A close shot of a bright orange blooming zinnia flower

For the perfect outcomes, prune zinnias once they’re comparatively younger and earlier than they begin flowering. The plant ought to have reached 8 to 12 inches in peak earlier than contemplating pruning it. Every plant ought to have at the least two units of leaves, and the stem ought to really feel agency. If the stem nonetheless feels comfortable, wait a couple of extra days earlier than making an attempt once more.

Eradicating the tops of the crops at this stage known as “pinching.” This stimulates bushier progress because the plant produces a number of stems from the reduce. Every of those stems will go on to supply a fantastic flower.

When to Deadhead Zinnia Flowers

Zinnias normally bloom from early summer season till the primary frost of fall. Deadheading all through the season helps your zinnia produce as many flowers as doable earlier than fall. As soon as a flower has began to wilt or flip brown, snip it off to assist the plant think about younger buds.

Prune Zinnias

A person cutting back past prime zinnia flowers at the stalk in a garden

Pinching, pruning, and deadheading are the three principal methods of reducing again zinnias. Every technique serves a selected function and must be achieved at sure instances throughout the season. When harvesting your zinnias, reducing them accurately additionally helps promote extra blooms. 


Pinching stimulates a zinnia plant to supply extra stems and must be achieved when the plant is younger. As soon as your zinnia has reached a peak between 8 and 12 inches, it may be pinched. Make sure the stem feels agency and has at the least two units of leaves. If the stem isn’t agency, maintain off on pinching for a couple of days till the stem feels stronger.

Minimize the highest 4 inches off the younger plant utilizing clear, sharp shears or scissors. Though this may occasionally appear counter-intuitive, the plant will reply by producing a number of new stems from the reduce. This creates a bushier zinnia plant that can yield attractive flowers all through the season.


You could must prune your zinnias all through varied phases of the season. Pruning is normally solely mandatory in case your zinnias have turn into contaminated with illnesses or pests. Utilizing sharp, clear instruments, reduce off contaminated stems, leaves, or flowers to forestall the issue from spreading.


Though zinnias produce stunning, showy flowers, these blooms will deteriorate over time. As soon as they begin wilting or turning brown, you may deadhead them. This helps your zinnia produce recent flowers from youthful buds whereas sustaining the great thing about the plant.

Apparently, you should utilize deadheading to regulate the dimensions of your zinnias. If you need a extra compact zinnia, snip off extra of the stem while you deadhead a spent flower. The stem will then develop nearer to the bottom.

If you wish to hold the peak of your zinnia, take away much less of the stem at any time when your deadhead wilted blooms. Because the plant recovers, new flowers will seem increased on the stem.


When it’s time to reap reduce flowers out of your zinnia, reducing in the fitting place encourages extra flowers to develop. Select a agency flower stem that’s branched off from the principle plant. Minimize the stem as near the joint with the principle plant, simply above a set of leaves.

Utilizing this technique permits your zinnia to supply one other flower as an alternative of the stem you harvested. This cut-and-come-again potential is an enormous cause why zinnias make glorious reduce flowers.

Slicing Again

In contrast to perennials, annuals like zinnias don’t want reducing again on the finish of the season. As a substitute, annuals die again naturally as soon as the season ends as a result of they solely final a 12 months. As soon as your zinnias have completed flowering, go away the final flower heads on the plant and accumulate the seeds. You may then use the seeds to develop subsequent 12 months’s zinnia crop.

Wrapping Up

With the correct care and a focus, zinnias can present an enormous crop of fabulous reduce flowers. To get as many flower stems as doable, pinch your zinnias as soon as they attain 8 to 12 inches tall. Deadhead any spent flowers all through the zinnia flowering season to encourage new blooms. All the time use clear, sharp instruments and solely reduce stems that really feel good and agency.

For extra, see our in-depth information on the right way to develop zinnias in pots and containers.

Edd is a budding content material author and gardener residing in the UK. He has a bachelor’s diploma in Inventive and Skilled Writing and has written for a number of gardening publications on-line. He’s enthusiastic about nature and sustainability with a give attention to gardening and wildlife.



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