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Is an Annual really an annual???

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Question from natasha


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I have bought some Campanula and Dianthus recently and both 'tickets' on the pots say they are annuals and are only for 1 season. is this right though? I bought snapdragons last year and they said I should discard after flowering yet they flowered again this year. How do I know if an 'annual' will come back or not - Shoot site says Campanula takes 2-3 yrs to reach maturity which indicates to me I can leave it in the soil!! Is this just a bit of a con to buy new plants next year!

  • Views: 897
  • Replies: 3
  • Posted: Wed. 19th September 2007 13:12

Annual or perennial

Reply from Fi

Hi - I think the garden centres sell these type of plants as bedding plants, which many people do dispose of the same year. However, depending on how tenderly they have been raised, certainly Campanula in my experience is a hardy perennial. Dianthus are quite tender, but snapdragons can come back if sheltered and if you leave the top growth on to protect them (they also self seed), same as penstemons, phlox and so on. I would recommend buying a good A-Z Plant Guide so yu can look them up. Anyway, it's good fun seeing what comes back the next year - and yu can always collect the seeds or cuttings just in case! So that yu don't forget where they were, put sticks in the ground or take photos when they're in flower.
Good luck gardening!

  • Posted: Wed. 19th September 2007 13:52

be careful when weeding!

Reply from claire collins

I ,like you am confused by all the jargon. I would definately consider campanula to be a perennial but am shocked and pleased about snap dragons coming back. I have found the best way to increase stock is to leave new emerging leaves alone until they are big enough to identify. Then you can be sure that you are only weeding, weeds!

  • Posted: Sat. 22nd September 2007 11:26

Annual or not?

Reply from Andrew Radgick

Campanula and dianthus are very big families of plants that come from many parts of the world. Some come from places where winters are much milder than ours or drier (often it's our combination of cold AND wet that kills plants). So within both families, there will be some that are annuals and some that are not. I should leave them overwinter and see if they survive!

  • Posted: Sat. 22nd September 2007 21:10