Insect-Friendly Plants: Zinnias

Orange zinna with pale yellow butterfly

Zinnias are some of the most insect-friendly plants you can grow. Easy from seed, these cheerful annuals flower a few weeks after planting.

Yellow zinnia with butterfly

Pollinators love zinnias so much, it can prove more difficult to get a picture of one without a butterfly or other insect on board.

Red zinnia

Humans will find their bright colours attractive too.

Pink zinnia

After stalking the flower patch for some time, I did manage to capture an ’empty’ zinnia.

Butterfly on zinnia

But by then, the movement and boldness of the butterflies had captured my attention. After all, not many flowers prove so irresistible to butterflies and moths that they’ll allow a big human to loom over them with an iPhone.

Red and white zinnia

Might as well take full advantage!

Double zinnia

I’ll leave you with the kind of picture I’d been aiming for. The form of this fully double flower was attractive to me, but held less interest for the butterflies:  when choosing flowers to attract insects, single and semi-double varieties are the ones to go for.

Becky has set out to brighten our April and after a few days sulking with (even more) WordPress woes (don’t ask), she’s lured me back as easily as a zinnia lures an insect. She’s gone bright eyed and bushy tailed today.

I’m also linking to Cee’s Flower of the Day as I hardly ever post flower pictures without thinking of her.

I’ll leave you with a tip that might be handy if you’re taking part in April Squares and find your images are dulled after uploading. It’s a free service – tinyPNG – that I use to compress images before uploading them to my blog. (If you want to compress more than 20 at a time, there’s a fee.) There are lots of good reasons to compress images – they’ll load more quickly and be more accessible for people with slower connections. But the reason I’m mentioning it now is that after running them through tinyPNG, images seem to keep more of their brightness when uploaded to WordPress. It’s worth a try!

40 Replies to “Insect-Friendly Plants: Zinnias”

    1. I’ve been surprised to see quite a lot of butterflies out and about over the last week or so, sunbathing on stones and seeking out mates.

  1. What a colourful collection. Lovely photos.

    As to brightness…..I updated my Apple software a couple of days ago and some of my images seem to be a wee bit dull…… or maybe I need to adjust the brightness of the monitor display.

    Anyway, it’s Easter holidays here in Melbourne so I’m enjoying some lovely Spring images made in the northern hemisphere on the blogs I follow.

    Zinnias are not a flower that I’ve noticed in public parks/gardens (or residential gardens). Perhaps I’m not familiar with them or mistake their identification, as we certainly have many other English plants and trees.

    Are they popular in the U.K.?

    1. We do grow them, but they are perhaps not a trendy plant. They seem to be more popular in Mississippi which is where I took these pictures. Picture brightness is a weird thing. I was looking at one of my green posts using Firefox the other day and the images appeared very bright. I hardly knew if it was just an effect of the darkness of the room or my memory of them being duller. But it is very clear when you upload a picture to WordPress and it immediately fades.

  2. Your pictures are absolutely stunning! Your flowers look amazing and they’re obviously making some butterfly visitors happy!

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