10 Best Zinnia Companion Plants

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Welcome gardeners! It sounds like you’ve found happiness and peace in the colorful zinnias that brighten up your backyard. Now, as you set out on a mission to find the best zinnia companion plants, you’re looking for some helpful advice. Let’s dig in, choose the right companions, and make sure your zinnias not only stay healthy but also thrive alongside other plants.

Zinnia companion plants include asparagus, basil, beans, cucumber, tomatoes, marigolds, Dahlia, and pansy. The best plants to avoid are sunflowers (shade competition), mint (resource competition), and lavender (different soil moisture preferences)

person touching arrangement of colorful zinnia flowers on dark gray background

Imagine your garden bursting with vibrant blooms, buzzing with beneficial insects, and thriving with harmonious plant partnerships. I will reveal the secrets of creating a thriving ecosystem where zinnias work their magic alongside their perfect companions.

Whether you’re a green-thumb guru or just starting your gardening adventure with companion planting, get ready for a fun-filled journey as we explore the best plant friends for zinnias. So grab your gardening gloves, put on your sunhat, and let’s hop on an adventure that will leave your backyard blooming with joy!

Humble Highlights

  • Discover how to easily cultivate and care for these stunning blooms so you can invite beneficial insects into your garden, improve your soil, and add a pop of color to your space your neighbors will envy!
  • Save money by knowing the top 10 best zinnia vegetables to grow near your flowers so you can boost production and help create a beneficial relationship your plants will enjoy.
  • Save time by recognizing these 3 unusual plants that don’t grow well with zinnias, and your delightful flowers will continue to bloom throughout the season!

Benefits Of Companion Planting With Zinnias To Your Vegetables And Flowers

Zinnias are top choices for many gardeners because they’re not only beautiful but also easy to take care of and grow perfectly well with lots of different plants. Consider mixing and matching them with all sorts of plants to pair throughout your greenery. Below are some of the reasons why these beautiful zinnia blooms make great companion plants for vegetables and flowers. 

what to plant with zinnia

Easy To Grow

Zinnias are colorful beauties that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, from varying soil types to different levels of sunlight, and tend to bloom between May to October. Their flowers blossom for approximately 4 to 6 weeks. 1

Fortunately, zinnias are forgiving plants that bounce back easily, making them ideal for those who may not have the greenest of thumbs or those seeking hassle-free gardening experiences. 

Help With Pest Control And Attract Beneficial Insects

Zinnia flowers are not only beautiful but also serve as magnets for beneficial bugs to attack garden pests and ensure abundant pollination for a bountiful yield. They attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies that feed on harmful pests like aphids and caterpillars, naturally controlling pest populations.

what grows well with zinnia

Pollination Superheroes

Zinnias are attractive to bees and butterflies, making them excellent pollinators. When grown alongside vegetables or other flowering plants, they can enhance pollination and increase yields. Likewise, zinnias can also help encourage their foliage neighbors to grow to their full term. 

Adds Color And Happiness

Zinnias bring a burst of happiness and color to your backyard paradise. They come in lots of different colorful shades and shapes, like big pom-poms or delicate daisies. 2

When you plant zinnias, it’s like painting your garden with beautiful colors and creating a lovely and visually pleasing place to enjoy and relax in because of their beautiful and appealing flowers.

zinnia flower companion plants

Soil Improvement

Zinnias have relatively shallow root systems, which means they do not compete heavily with other plants for nutrients. Their quick growth and abundant foliage can help shade the soil, reducing weed growth and helping prevent soil erosion.

Humble Tip:

Make sure to consider the specific needs of your vegetables or flowers and choose zinnia varieties that will complement the growth habits and preferences of your existing plants. Additionally, be mindful of spacing requirements between your zinnias to ensure that they do not overshadow or crowd out other plants. Typically, zinnias enjoy spreading out, so be sure to provide them at least 12 inches to expand both above and below the soil’s surface.

10 Best Zinnia Companion Plants In Your Garden

The ten best zinnia companion plants include:

  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Pole Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Cosmos
  • Tomatoes
  • Marigolds
  • Dahlia
  • Calendula
  • Pansy
zinnia companion plants vegetables

Let’s take a look at each of these excellent choices in more detail.

Asparagus: Make Great Companion Plants

Asparagus can take a considerable amount of time from seed to harvest; sometimes up to two years.  Once this unique vegetable sprouts, the last thing you want is for them to become a tasty treat for pesky bugs. 

Planting zinnias near your asparagus can work wonders. Not only do they repel harmful insects, but zinnias also act as a trap crop providing your plants, like asparagus, a safe harbor. Additionally, zinnias also attract beetles, worms, and flies that typically munch on asparagus. 3 

Humble Tip:

To maximize zinnias pest-controlling effects, try planting alternate rows of asparagus and zinnias or create a border of zinnias around your sprouting asparagus plants. This approach is particularly useful if you’re gardening in raised beds.

Basil: The Perfect Teammate

Basil and zinnias make a perfect team because these two plants have similar needs when it comes to growing conditions. When you grow basil alongside your beautiful zinnias, it’s like applying natural insect repellent throughout your garden. The smell of the basil leaves acts like a strong perfume that bugs can’t stand. So, when they sense the scent of basil, they tend to stay away. 

Another reason why basil makes a great zinnia companion plant is that both enjoy the same kind of environment relishing in the full sun and moist soil. So, if you take care of your zinnias by giving them the right amount of water, it will also be just right for the basil growing alongside them.

good companion plants for zinnia

Pole Beans: Wonderful Addition To Any Garden

Beans are an excellent addition to vegetable gardens everywhere, and when you plant them alongside zinnias, something magical happens. 

You see, pole beans are climbers. They have long vines that like to reach up and grab onto something as they grow, providing needed structure to the plant. The tall stems of zinnias act like a living trellis for the beans. It’s like having a ladder or a fence for the beans to climb.

So, when you plant zinnias alongside pole beans, they lend their strong stems to support the climbing beans, helping them grow tall, strong, and tidy. 4

Check out this video below that details how to get started with zinnias, planting them from seed and placing them near friendly companions where they will help serve your garden all season long.

Cucumber: Co-Partner

When initially planted together with zinnias, cucumbers benefit from the welcome shade provided by the taller zinnias. As mentioned above, zinnias help lure beneficial pollinators into your space, like bees, that help liven up your garden and promote healthy plants.

Cucumbers are one of the best companion plants for zinnias, and, like basil, enjoy the same growing requirements; thriving in moist, well-draining substrates, and enjoy plenty of direct sunlight  

companion plants with zinnia

Cosmos: Sun-Loving

When cosmos are planted near your zinnias, they complement each other with their shared love for the sun. When you plant cosmos alongside zinnias, it’s like creating a harmonious sun-loving team that adds a double dose of aesthetic beauty to your green space.

Zinnias and cosmos also have similar care requirements, as both prefer properly draining soil and benefit from regular watering to keep the soil evenly moist. Their compatibility in terms of cultural needs makes a great companion plant for each other and for gardeners seeking low-maintenance yet gorgeous plantings.

Tomatoes: Great Companion Plants For Zinnias

One of my favorite combinations to grow in a vegetable garden are zinnias and tomatoes. They make a fantastic pairing in the garden.

Perhaps the most prominent advantage is that zinnias attract beneficial insects that prey on pests that commonly attack tomato plants, such as aphids, caterpillars, ladybugs, and lacewings, naturally controlling pests and promoting healthy tomato growth.

are zinnias good for vegetable gardens

Marigolds: Friendly Companions

Marigolds are zinnia’s bestie in companion planting as they are known to repel insects like aphids and nematodes, which can be downright catastrophic to zinnias. Marigolds act as a shield around your zinnias and, like natural bodyguards, fend off the insects that would otherwise cause harm. 5

Dahlia: Easy To Grow Near Zinnias

Dahlias and zinnias make excellent friends in the garden. With stunning blooms, dahlias help bring an abundance of vibrant colors to your backyard paradise and are perfect for adding volume and fullness to your flower beds.

Although both dahlias and zinnias are known to attract beneficial pollinators, they can also catch the attention of wandering deer. If you happen to spot these hungry visitors nibbling on your flowers, a homemade dish soap repellent can come to the rescue. The ingredients for the repellent are simple and commonly found in the kitchen: 2 large eggs, 1 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of oil, and 2 tablespoons of dish liquid.

best companion plants for zinnias

To make the deer repellent, mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and then pour the mixture into a favorite sprayer. Add two gallons of water to the mixture, either directly in the sprayer or using a hand pump sprayer. The final step is to spray the repellent on plants every two weeks or after heavy rain to keep deer and rabbits away from the garden.

Calendula: The “Other Marigold”

Calendula, also known as pot marigolds, are a type of flower that grows low to the ground and loves soaking up the sun. These distinctive flowers make a great choice for planting beneath zinnias in sunny areas. It also ensures that both receive the sunlight they need to flourish, creating a visually pleasing and sun-loving team that adds depth and beauty to your greenery.

Pansy: Aesthetically Pleasing

Pansies are unique flowers that are classified as perennials but are commonly grown as annual plants. With their captivating colors, including flowery shades of white, yellow, blue, and even purple, they offer a wide range of options to create a visually stunning display. 

what do zinnias grow well with

Pansies are also great for an added pop of color in any garden and provide a fascinating element of ground cover. By combining pansies and zinnias, you can enjoy an extra burst of color in your outdoor space.

Plants That Do Not Grow Well With Zinnias: Sunflower, Mint, Lavender 

Even though zinnias are excellent companions for various herbs, vegetables, and flowers, sadly they’re not suitable for all your green friends. When it comes to planting zinnias, there are a few plants that may not thrive when planted near zinnias, including:

  • Sunflower
  • Mint
  • Lavender
what not to plant with zinnias

Let’s take a look at these plants that do not grow well with zinnias.


Imagine zinnias as short plants that don’t grow very tall, like little children playing in a garden. Now, think of sunflowers as big, tall giants reaching for the sky, like towering basketball players. When you plant zinnias near sunflowers, they can cast a big shadow over your precious zinnias because they are so much taller. This shadow effectively blocks the sunlight that zinnias need to flourish and produce their pretty flowers. 6


Mint is a bit greedy when it comes to garden resources like water, nutrients, and space. It wants all of these things for itself and doesn’t like to share. So when mint is cultivated near zinnias, it starts competing for these resources – and due to it’s aggressive growth, typically wins. It’s like a race to see who can get more water, food, and space, which can unfortunately lead to stunted growth and death of your zinnias.

what plants go with zinnias

Humble Tip:

Competition among garden plants and flowers growing too close together is never a good sign. Aside from resource competition, foliage is much more susceptible to pest infestations, disease, and their spread. Be sure to space your zinnias at least 6 inches from nearby plants in the garden while selecting pots 12 inches wide if container growing.


Lavender has a different preference when it comes to soil moisture. Lavender likes its soil to be on the drier side, while zinnias prefer a bit more moisture. Be mindful that when lavender is planted too close to zinnias, the soil may remain too damp which can lead to a condition called root rot, making the environment unhealthy and potentially dangerous, causing stunted lavender growth and even death. 7

are zinnias good companion plants


When you grow zinnias among other friendly neighbors, something magical happens in your garden. And although it’s a big part of the puzzle, it’s not just about making things look pretty. By choosing the right plants to grow near your zinnias, like asparagus, pole beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, Dahlias, and pansies, you can help manage pest and disease issues while enhancing your harvests.

Plus, incorporating zinnias into your space adds lovely charm and color to your outdoor garden, no matter if it’s in your backyard or an urban rooftop or balcony. So go ahead, let your imagination run wild, and enjoy the wonderful sight of zinnias and their friendly plant partners thriving together in your garden.

Do you currently grow zinnias? Drop a comment below and let us know what companion plants you have growing nearby that compliment their growth! 


  1. Penn State University – Zinnias For The Home Garden
  2. North Carolina State University, Extension – Zinnia Elegans
  3. Meadowlark Journal – Zinnia Companion Plants: Enhancing Biodiversity
  4. The University Of Vermont – Growing Flowers With Vegetables
  5. Permaculture Research Institute – A Permaculture Take On Why To Grow Zinnias
  6. Wikipedia – Common Sunflower
  7. Wikipedia – Lavandula

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