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Perennial (grown as an annual)

Does anyone know what this means, I have seen it on garden websites that give a description of the plant and saying it's a Perennial (grown as an annual) ?


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,742
    I assume this means that the plant is perennial in it's native location, but our weather in the UK means that it will be killed in Winter, and so should be treated as an annual. @sarahharmer2014

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,874
    It often means that although it's perennial it's not hardy so is grown as an annual in the UK climate
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,269
    I think it usually refers to a plant that is too tender to cope with our winter climate, so is usually discarded at the end of the summer and new plants grown/purchased and planted the following spring ... just as we do with true annuals.

    Runner beans are perennial in their native country and I had some survive the very mild winter of 21/22 and grow again last summer ... I don't think any will have survived the recent cold weather this winter tho.  I'll be sowing fresh again this spring.  Some ornamental plants are the same.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,081
    I assume it means for a gardener that it is sensitive to winter temperatures but would survive with the right climate. The warm winters we had before this year meant that many plants we would normally treat as annuals survived 
    I think, botanically speaking an a annual is a plant that germinates, grows, flowers, seeds and dies in one year.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 4,049
    edited 7 January
    I agree with @KeenOnGreen, that's the usual usage - an example would be castor oil plant (Ricinus communis) which can be seen growing as large shrubs in warmer climes. But also lots of hardy things are generally grown as annuals, either because they often deteriorate after the first year (eg: many tulips) or they take up space when not in flower and are easy to just grow anew each year (eg: wallflowers, Erysimum cheiri).

    Edited to add: Oops, just seen that several others commented in between so I was just repeating. Apologies.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,842
    Yes another classic is the wallflower (though we grow that as a biennial). They do continue if you leave them but they tend to get woody and scruffy after the  year, they first flower.
    Oh and I have just remembered, if you go to Maderia the tour guides take great delight in pointing out the small tree size Poinsettias that grow in peoples front gardens there, they laugh at the thought we have them as pot plants that usually die off and have to be re-bought every Christmas. 
    AB Still learning

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148
    Is there a plant you had in  mind @sarahharmer2014?
    As the others have said, many plants are perennial in their place of origin, or in milder areas, but would be considered as annuals in many parts of the UK  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • It's just what I see on labels. it's just a annual to me is a year and that's it. 

    So is it that it flowers in the year like a annual would and then the plant is still growing as a perennial ? 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148
    If a plant's growing in suitable temps and climate, it'll grow like a perennial - ie it'll come back each year. 
    In the UK, many plants aren't hardy enough to do that, so they're grown as annuals - ie they do their growing, flowering and setting seed in one calendar year, then die away. Things like 'bedding' plants -Petunias etc, which would be grown afresh each year. Some can be kept undercover - greenhouse etc, but would still be considered annuals as they need help to survive in colder conditions. Pelargoniums for example.

    In warmer, frost free parts of the country, some of those annuals might stay alive over winter and re appear, and that's where the difference lies  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 1,369
    edited 10 January
    LG_ said:

    Edited to add: Oops, just seen that several others commented in between so I was just repeating. Apologies.

     No apologies needed. You added an extra bit that said that with some plants year1 is the best.  Keeping for year2+ may not be worth the extra effort and space.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
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