Thursday, 12 March 2015

Perennials in Disguise

Petunia Pretty Much Picasso 
 Have you ever been surprised to see your annuals survive the winter? An annual is a plant that completes their whole life cycle within one growing season, so all roots, stems and leaves of the plant die at the end of the season. Some plants that we consider annuals are actually tender perennials. Perennials are plants that live for more than one growing season. The part of the plant that is above the ground typically dies back each winter and new growth comes from the roots. If you live in a mild climate and/or give these perennials some added shelter, you may be surprised to see these plants growing once again in the spring. As usual, I'm also adding a few pictures of plants blooming in my yard this month.

  • Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) Zone 5-9 These honey scented flowers also drop seeds that will grow the following year. 
  • Coleus Zone 10-11 If you take cuttings of this plant, they root easily in a glass of water and  can be grow as houseplants over the fall and winter.
  • Begonias (most are perennial) Zone 9-10 These have been known to overwinter in zone 8 if the winter is mild
  • Fuchsia Zone 8-10, with some varieties hardy to zone 7
  • Geraniums (Pelargoniums) I found various conflicting zones listed for these, from zone 11 all the way down to  zone 7 with protection.
  • Gerbera daises Zone 9-11
  • Heliotrope Zone 8-11
  • Impatiens walleriana Zone 8-10
  • Lobelia erinus Zone 9-11
  • Nicotiana Zone 8-11
  • Osteospermum Zone 9-11
  • Pansies Zone 4-8 These are usually grown as biennials because they get leggy and unattractive looking in the second year. I love pansies because here in southwest BC, they bloom all winter long, except during our brief cold snaps.
  • Petunias Zone 9-11
  • Sage (Salvia) Most species are zone 8-10 with culinary sage being hardier
  • Snapdragons Zone 8-9 These don't bloom well the second year.

Anemone Blanda
Pretty Primrose I couldn't resist buying