Sanvitalia procumbens
Common Name: creeping zinnia 
Type: Annual
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Mexico, Guatemala
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to frost
Bloom Description: Yellow to orange-yellow rays and dark purple-brown centers
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Ground Cover
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Annual. Easily grown in average, dry to moderately moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Best flowering in full sun. Prefers light, sandy-humusy soils with good drainage. Thrives in the heat and humidity of typical St. Louis summers. For best results, sow seed directly in the garden 1-2 weeks before last frost date. Seed may be started indoors 6-8 weeks earlier, however plants often do not transplant well into the garden. Seed started indoors directly in a hanging basket or container avoids the transplant problem.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sanvitalia procumbens, commonly called creeping zinnia, is a mat-forming annual that typically grows to 6” tall but spreads by procumbent stems to 12-18” wide or more. Features a summer to frost bloom of ¾” diameter miniature sunflowers with yellow to orange-yellow rays and dark purplish-brown center disks. Varieties come in single- and double-flowered forms. Creeping stems are clad with oval, medium green, zinnia-like leaves (to 2” long), hence the common name.

Genus name honors Federico Sanvitali (1704-1761), professor at Brescia, Italy.

Specific epithet means prostrate.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Edgings, ground cover, containers or hanging baskets.