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Re: annuals

There are also biennials in this mix of life spans, which I always thought petunias and pansies were when growing up in SoCal. Now I think it has more to do with hardiness zones--peppers, impatiens, fibrous begonias were perennials in Florida, and some years, if it didn't frost, tomatoes were biennials.

On May 20, 2008, at 4:10 AM, Kitty wrote:

Annuals = grow for one season and die - everywhere - like the Sunflower, Helianthus annuus. They may self sow so that you get them again the next year but these are new plants that will again, last only one season.

Perennials = come back for several or many years; some are short- lived like Malva sylvestris, some "live forever" as in Sedum telephium.

Tender perennials = are perennials that are described as above, but are not hardy in your zone 5. They might be hardy only to zone 7, or only to zone 9, like Purple Fountain Grass, or may even be tropicals.

Nurseries in the North assume that we gardeners can only understand 2 terms, annual and perennial. We just don't have enough brain cells to grasp the idea of tender perennials. So they call tender perennials "annuals". Actually, the full term is "grown as an annual in the north".

I thought Sweet Alyssum, Lobularia maritima, was a short-lived perennial, but I checked MOBOT and he calls it an annual zones 1-9. So maybe the ones returning are seedlings. I don't know, I don't grow it. Impatiens walleriana, the ordinary kind, is perennial in Zones 10 to 11. In the north, it is sold as an annual. Impatiens hawkeri, New Guinea Impatiens are also perennial in Zones 10 to 11. You can grow these indoors in the north, but I'm not sure that the light and humidity will be to their liking, but it is worth a try.

Purple Fountain Grass, Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' is hardy to 30 degrees, zones 9 - 10. I dig it up in fall, pot it, and keep it in the garage over winter and replant in May. It is sold as an annual grass in the north.

neIN, Zone 5
----- Original Message ----- From: "Donna" <gossiper@sbcglobal.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 6:25 AM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] annuals

anything that can't stay outdoors year round is an annual for me.... but
I think the real defination is something like it is breed to grow,
flower, set seed and die.


David Franzman <dfranzma@pacbell.net> wrote:
Hey guys
I have a nagging question and I have probably already asked this or
someone has but I'm afraid I don't remember the answer. What constitutes an annual? Yes, I know they die and don't come back but is that because we have taken them out of their natural environment or because that's what they are supposed to do. I have some annuals that winter over like petunias and alyssum etc. I was also thinking of attempting to overwinter my New Guinea
So, what's the real scoop on annuals?

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Island Jim
Willamette Valley
44.99 N 123.04 W
Elevation 148'
Hardiness Zone 8/9
Heat Zone 5
Sunset Zone 6
Minimum 0 F [-15 C]
Maximum 86 F [30 C]

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