between annuals and perennials
speaking, annuals are plants that complete their life cycle within a year. The seeds germinate, the plant matures, flowers and dies
in one year. Only the seeds continue the species from one year to the
next. Since they complete their life cycle in one year you will have
flowers and mature foliage relatively quickly. Bringing annuals indoors
for the winter will not help; their life span is no longer than one year.
Examples of annuals include marigolds, pansy, impatiens and petunias.
Perennials are plants
that need at least two years to complete their first life cycle. They
usually germinate and produce vegetative growth the first year. In the
second and subsequent years they'll produce flowers and seeds. Perennials
go dormant (die back to the ground) after flowering, but reappear the
following season from the same root stock. Examples of herbaceous
perennials are peonies, Shasta daisies and daylilies.
these two broad groups there are several sub-categories and some plants
which blur the lines. Some plants are categorized as "short lived or
tender perennials" such as thread-leaf coreopsis - they may only reappear
the following season if planted in a protected space or only for a few
years. Some plants like dianthus (pinks) will flower in their first year
but will also reappear from the same root stock. Geraniums are actually
perennial plants in warmer climates but are grown as annuals here because
they grow and flower so quickly. Some annuals, like Cosmos, are so
reliable at reseeding themselves it's hard to tell they aren't perennials.
To further complicate the matter, some plants are classified as biennial -
plants which require two years to complete the life cycle and then die.
Examples of biennial plants are hollyhock and foxglove.
plant container gardens for the Colorado summer, I use annuals. They grow
and bloom fast for our short growing season. Their compact roots are
better suited to containers and they can be placed in decorative
containers which can be emptied and protected for the winter.
you've ever been confused about a plant's classification, that's because
it is confusing!
tel: (970) 988-3808
Looking Forward to Summer
Anxious to get your planters filled with flowers? Get your
spring planting scheduled now!
schedule begins May 17. Don't be tempted to set out any of your
tender plants too soon! The average last frost-free date in northern
Colorado is May 15.
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Take it Outside
Your lawn will appreciate some attention as it is warming
up. Core aerating improves air flow in our heavy soil and encourages root
growth. Fertilizing is usually a good idea, too. However, if your lawn was
healthy and lush last year fertilizing may not be necessary. The only
way to know for sure is a soil test. Contact CSU's extention office for
more details at 491-6281.
It's time to turn
all the soil in your vegetable garden and mix in some aged compost. If you
haven't started them already, you can definately plant your lettuce and