Tender Perennials & Evergreens
Gardening Tips for successful and beautiful Landscapes and Gardens
We are sometimes asked why we carry plants that might not survive here in Las Vegas, or Southern Utah area. The answer is not tricky, only a bit complex. To discuss this we need to understand the definition of “Annual”, “Perennial” and “Tender Perennial”, so here goes:
To begin with an “Annual” refers to: ”Plants whose life cycle lasts only one year, from seed to blooms to seed.” Annuals are usually available in little starter 'six packs' or in 4 inch pots or even in gallon buckets. They are an excellent way to create a great splash of summer or winter color in the garden. Many gardeners desire to purchase annuals, knowing that they will need to re-plant later. The reward from the plants’ beauty is considered worth the moderate effort and expense by the customer.
Then to define a “Perennial”: These plants return year after year, growing in size and stature until they reach their full maturity. Although they live longer, many perennials lose their vigor after 3-4 years, and may need to be replaced. Most perennial plants may be divided to produce new plants, or they may be grown from seeds or cuttings. Perennials are available as 4 inch starters, or in gallon size or even larger pots. (top)
Now to define a “Tender Perennials”: “Frost Tender Perennials” are basically perennials that may or may not survive the winter in the zone that they are being sold. A warm winter will likely find them doing just fine, and a cold winter will very likely kill them. Sometimes protection will enable the plant to survive, though not always (this depends on the winter). Many frost tender perennials are very attractive and desirable, and because of this customers still want to try their luck with them.
A “Heat Tender Perennial” may not survive the summer in the zone they are being sold. Usually heat tender perennials will survive if given adequate afternoon shade and proper irrigation. If these Tender Perennials only survive one season, the reward from the plants beauty is considered worth the risk by the customer. Because of their similarity with annuals, and to keep our signs simple, we may sometimes classify a frost tender perennial as an annual (though not always). With “Heat Tender Perennials” we will advise providing Afternoon shade or Morning Sun as a warning. Many heat tender perennials are very attractive and desirable, and because of this customers still want to try their luck with them. Many have had excellent success with heat tender perennials when they planted and cared for them as we have recommended. (top)
Because we have many customers who are willing to take a chance on a plant that might live for only one year, we sell them. We also put warnings on our signs and in certain of our technical notes that these plants are “annual” or “tender perennials”. We put continued research and effort into our Plant Information Signs and our Technical Notes in order to provide our customers with the best advice to enable their success. We strongly recommend that every customer read these, and make this information available to help them succeed. (top)
© 2009, Star Nursery, Inc. Copy Provided courtesy of Star Nursery www.StarNursery.com