Hardy Annuals

Gracie5Gracie5 Posts: 125

This is probably a stupid question! I sowed some hardy annuals two weeks ago and the wildflower Small Scabious has germinated.  What happens to hardy annuals during winter, do they die down to come back up again in the Spring or will I lose them? How do I look after Hardy Annuals during Winter?  Just to say I've been gardening for years but am fairly new to growing from seed!


  • Hardy annuals don't do much over the winter - they get their roots down and put on some growth now and so have a head start on the same seeds being planted in the spring - so hopefully bigger plants which flower earlier...

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    They do not die down-hardy annuals will survive the winter in situ then when the warmer weather arrives off they go again to give your earlier flowers than if you sowed in the Spring

  • Great question Gracie5. I have gardened for years but have just started to use seeds as I am in a new house and want to bulk out. There's no such thing as a stupid question. My son asked me the same question yesterday and now I can answer him and look all knowing. Thanks.

  • I know what you mean Gracie.I think a hardy annual means that it will survive a frost if it's roots are established.  I grow lots of Calendula, which are hardy annuals. I've had some plants that were grown from seed and flowered last year and still flowered this year. I will regrow from seed to replace them as I think they have just run out of steam now. I guess it depends on the climate and how harsh a winter we all have. Last year for me it was very mild which might explain why those plants survived.

    That's my experience

  • Gracie5Gracie5 Posts: 125

    Your replies have given me more confidence. I have sown a small meadow with hardy annuals and perennials but kept half of the seeds to sow next Spring in case I lose some in a harsh Winter.  I have some hardy annuals germinated in a small pot which I will pot on when they are big enough.  Thanks for the very helpful replies. image 

  • I was always told the only stupid question is the one you didnt ask !

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    One thing, Gracie - many hardy annuals don't like being moved, but should be sown in situ. Poppies are a good example.

  • can anny hardy annuals seeds be sowing in autumn

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806
    gerry andrews wrote (see)

    can anny hardy annuals seeds be sowing in autumn

    Yes-that is what the discussion is about.

  • thanks for ur reply  sotongeoff

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    I am going to disagree with Geoffimage I thought there were plants such as sunflowers that are labelled as hardy annuals but that cannot be sown now. I am quite happy to be told that I am wrong but last time I asked this question I could not get a conclusive answer.

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    I would say it is the classification-I would not regard sunflowers as a hardy annual but T&M do- but still say plant out after the risk of frost-so that I would class a half-hardy surely?

    It is no wonder people get confused-in my mind a hardy annual can be sown now and will survive the winter-but then if the seed companies class something as hardy and it isn't....................

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    No wonder I am confused, Larkspurs are another one that says hardy annual but over winter in greenhouse and plant out after frostimage

  • Gracie5Gracie5 Posts: 125
    Alina W wrote (see)

    One thing, Gracie - many hardy annuals don't like being moved, but should be sown in situ. Poppies are a good example.

    Thanks, Alina. It's the wildflower 'small scabious' that has germinated in a pot and I expect it is one of those flowers that would prefer to be scattered where it is to flower.  I've already scattered some in the meadow but will enjoy experimenting with the little seedlings that have germinated.

  • I struggle also with the hardy/half hardy  annual description. I have some small larkspur plants grown from seed, not really sure at the moment whether to plant them out at the end of October or just to over winter them.

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    Hollie-Hock I would over winter them somewhere frost free, my spring sown larkspurs have just flowered and they do not look strong enough to withstand a frost. 

  • That was my feeling as well Kate, plant them out after the frost has gone. I have had  2 larkspurs in the garden this year grown from seed, have flowered very well but are now dying off.


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