Biennial rule?

FireFire LondonPosts: 4,508
Say I buy a biennial plant, in a pot, from a shop - say an angelica or a clary sage - is there a general rule about which year the plant will flower? That is to say, is it the norm to buy a plant like these now with the expectation that they would in full flower this summer? The plants and sites write up never seem to say. I bought an angelica last year and it didn't flower but looks to grow big this year (if I can keep the slugs off). I have a foot high clary that looks chunk and healthy, growing fast, but have no idea what the nursery's plan was. It does make a difference, especially if they really only last two years. 

Many plants labelled biennial don't seem remotely so - my sweet williams and wall flowers go from strength to strength each year (over five years). Thoughts on this appreciate. Thanks


  • B3B3 Posts: 7,020
    I would expect them to flower the next year.
    My angelica which I bought last year is flowering now. It looks twisted and horrible so I will never find out whether it would last longer because it's coming out

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 25,229
    I would expect the Clary Sage to flower this year
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,434
    With so many plants being grown under cover in nurseries etc I would expect biennials sold in a garden centre to flower this year ie foxgloves etc. You really just need to go by the size of the plant when you buy it. This is the age of speedy gratification after all!
    (Of course, us true gardeners, are quite happy to wait more than a year for a plant to flower!).
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 6,129
    Angelica is interesting, it can be biennial, triennial, or even quadrennial. I have observed all of these, from plants I have grown.
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  • FireFire LondonPosts: 4,508
    I'm fine with a plant flowering (and growing tall) in the following year but it's good to have an idea what to expect - whether a plant has failed and won't be coming back or will get going in the next year. I think nurseries and GCs should say.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 10,691
    Clary Sage definitely flowers in the first year.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
    Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 4,508
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