The Glory of Zinnia Haageana (Aztec, Jazzy and other Small Zinnias)
When it comes to zinnias, most people think of the large three to four inch zinnias like the Benary Giants, or at least the two inch zinnias like the Oklahoma series - all of the species Zinnia elegans.
Yet, most people don’t know about the tiny single-flowered varieties of the species Zinnia haageana variety that are around half an inch across to one inch at best.
They’re seriously tiny. And each flower is so miniscule with little skinny stems that it would take a lot of them to even fill up a small mason jar. I was never convinced that they would be worth growing, so I had ignored them for the past couple years.
Yet I had heard from multiple people include Floret Flower Farm and The Flower Hat that they were some of their favorite zinnias to grow and use in arrangements - which still didn’t make sense to me, but I took their word that it was a worthy zinnia to grow.
So I planted some out this year. Seed was cheap, and I bought both Aztec Sunset and the Jazzy Mix — both improved varieties of the original Persian Carpet mix and direct sowed a small row back in June.
Well, let me just say that I have been totally missing out on growing these little zinnias because they are FANTASTIC!
One of the most prolific zinnias, they are constantly throwing up these little orange, burgundy and creamy-yellow flowers that pop up in the row like little shooting stars - each one different and individually beautiful on their own.
There are some that are single, appearing more like a single marigold or coreopsis flower in appearance, while there are others that are more double, giving them a more full and sophisticated appearance (and longer vase life).
And then there are these from the ‘Jazzy’ mix that are spectacular with the white edges and burgundy interiors and fully double.
And even these beautiful cream-colored ones with a blush center - truly spectacular coloration, although in a certain light it appears more primrose-yellow than cream.
The variety I think is what is most charming about these zinnias - you get a whole range of colors and shapes and forms that creates a lot of variability and therefore flexibility as far as using it as a cut flower is concerned.
I’ve used them as filler or small accent flowers in market bouquets as well as in centerpieces for wedding work - they work particularly well for mixing with bright and bold colors, especially this time of the year.
Although by themselves aren’t particularly impressive, they do well by supporting other flowers - strengthening the color theme or the form of the other flowers and materials.
They are also supremely prolific, with each plant throwing up dozens of stems that can be cut as a spray. I like in particular that their stems are so thin and delicate - it makes them an easy addition to centerpieces and bouquets, slipping in and between the stems of other materials.
Although the ‘Jazzy’ mix is a bit on the shorter side- getting just to 16” here for us - that’s still plenty tall enough for use in short centerpieces and arrangements, while ‘Aztec Sunset’ gets much taller for us - 24”, which allows us plenty of stem for use in either bouquets or centerpieces.
You don’t need many of them in order to produce a bumper crop of tiny little orange and burgundy and cream accent flowers, but I also just enjoy them as they are planted. Their bright and bold colors are a welcome addition to the garden, and especially this time of year as we head into fall they are especially wonderful.
I hope you’ll consider these little underutilized, understated yet beautiful zinnias for your garden and cut flower plans next year. With just the minimum amount of care and planning, these little zinnias will reward with you a profusion of blooms on long and elegant stems all season long.
Sources for ‘Aztec Sunset’, ‘Persian Carpet’ and ‘Jazzy’ zinnias
More on Growing Zinnias
If you liked this post on growing the Zinnia haageana pixie-sized zinnias, you may like these other posts on zinnias too: