Annuals are plants that can complete their life cycle within the time of one year. The whole cycle can be spread over two calendar years but take less than twelve months in total. Plants that can go through two or more life cycles within a year are called ephemeral plants.
Quite why annuals die after a year is not clear. some think that it might be the build up of dangerous material within the plant. It could also be that the plants put a disproportionate amount of resources in to making seeds and flowers and little into making new roots.
These can be grown outside and are resistant to frost. They can be sown from March to May or in early September. The great thing about hardy annuals is that you can sow the seeds where you want to display the plant, no transplanting is needed.
Half hardy annuals can be sown outside in late April to early May or under glass before then as long as the temperature is above 15 degrees Centigrade. If sown early under glass they must be pricked out and hardened off before planting out in May
Examples of half hardy annuals are
What are tender annuals
The difference between half hardy and tender annuals is defined differently in different countries. This cab mean that some plants can be in one group in one country and in a different group in another. The traditional definition in the UK is that tender annuals must always be germinated in the greenhouse
Examples of tender annuals are
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