Yasss Queen Red Lime (and Other Queen Series Zinnias)
If you’ve hung out with me or have read any of the ebooks, you’ll know that I’m a big big fan of the Queen series of zinnias.
A mid-sized zinnia, the Queen series consist of four varieties
Queen Red Lime
Queen Lime with Blush
Queen Lime with Orange
Each of these varieties have a wonderful ombré gradient on their petals, fading from a soft lime green to another color (with the exception of the Queen Lime which is pure soft lime green) which makes them visually incredibly stunning - and when designing with them makes them an excellent flower for bridging between different color spectrums.
The perfect zinnia for the flower farmer, the Queens (as I like to call them) are my favorite zinnias to grow and use in design. A lot of people are surprised - “They don’t look like zinnias!” - which they totally don’t if your idea of a zinnia is a brightly colored orange blob with browning petals and a graying seed head.
But these are zinnias of a different color - and if you’re not growing them already you totally should be.
Queen Red Lime
I always refer to these as the OG Queens - mostly because they’re the ones that we first grew and are most familiar with.
We grew these on a whim our first year flower farming, but soon fell in love with them. Given the propensity of most zinnias to be bright screaming saturated colors, the subtlety of the shades and intensity with the Queen Red Limes instantly made them a hit in our garden and in the vase.
Florists love Queen Red Lime for the reasons mentioned above as far as being able to blend seamlessly with other colors in the more muted and soft wedding color palettes. The Queen Red Lime coloration transitions from a soft lime green to a muted dusty raspberry, which pairs well both with blush colored flowers like Cafe au Lait dahlias and champagne lisianthus as well as burgundy flowers like Karma Choc dahlias and Black Knight scabiosa.
The first blooms of Queen Red Lime are always disappointing for some reason - like making the first pancake, they come out awkward and distorted and usually very single. I’m not sure if it’s due to tarnished plant bugs or the heat or the hours of daylight of when they first come into bloom - but don’t fret if they aren’t pretty at first! Simply cut out the first bloom and let them send up new stems.
Queen Lime with Blush
Although I will always be loyal to the Queen Red Lime, my secret favorite is the Queen Lime with Blush.
We didn’t grow this the first year, but did purchase some from another local grower to use in a wedding - and I fell absolutely in love with it.
Perhaps it’s because of the propensity for forming large double fluffy flowers more so than Queen Red Lime - to the point where some of them get a spherical shape, similar to a pompon dahlia. Or perhaps it’s because of the even-more subtle coloration that just holds my attention, with its bright pink center an unusual sight among flowers in general and among zinnias especially.
‘Queen Lime with Blush’ was not the original name. Given that it was a German breeder who brought the Queen series to us, it was given the unfortunate moniker at first of “Queen Lime Blotch” which undoubtedly was a very solid German name but for the American market sounded rather clunky and a bit aggressive - one of the unfortunate aspects of context being lost in translation. I believe the name was changed the ‘Queen Lime with Blush’ to make it more appealing, but the “Blotch” still gets me every time.
The Queen Lime with Blush is an amazing flower in its ability to use as a sort of green negative space or counterbalance to more colorful flowers. Similar to a green hydrangea or a Green Trick dianthus, they are flowers without drawing the same attention for their color and are incredibly valuable when arranging to add texture and color.
I’ll be perfectly honest in that I haven’t grown the Queen Lime series. Although the idea of a completely chartreuese zinnia is not beyond what I like in a flower, we just really haven’t had the need for them.
I will say this - there are other options of green zinnias including ‘Benary Giant Lime’ and ‘Green Envy’, both of which do alright but from what I’ve heard from other growers, they have more mutations and issues compared to ‘Queen Lime’ .
Queen Lime with Orange
The newest addition to the Queen series introduced in 2018, the Queen Lime with Orange was a great addition to the Queen series.
With a coloration that ranged from a very intense orange to a salmon-peach shade, the Queen Lime with Orange zinnia is the perfect addition to those late season peach/coral/salmon/burnt sienna color tones that go well with the long days of summer and gorgeous sunsets.
Queen Lime with Orange was a hit with our florists, and when paired with both Queen Red Lime and Queen Lime with Blush were a triple threat to behold. I especially liked it paired with ‘Hot Biscuits’ amaranthus and ‘Zinderella Peach’ zinnias - again, carrying that soft, warm, pink-peach color scheme.
The Queen Lime with Orange produces just as well as the others in the series, producing double and even full pompon form flowers with those overlapping petals
How to Grow Queen series zinnias
Queen series zinnias are grown the same as any other zinnias (you can find our guide on growing gorgeous zinnias here) doing well with heat, full sun, and plenty of moisture to perform their best.
With the Queen series, you will want to ensure that you direct seed them whenever possible to ensure the highest percentage of double fluffy poofy flowers - any disturbance will make them revert to boring single flower forms.
Where to find Queen series zinnia seeds?
We love ordering our seeds from Johnny’s Select Seeds, and they have all of the Queen series available
If you liked this post on growing Queen series zinnias, you may like these other posts on zinnias too: