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Hardy Annuals Plants

The "hardy" annuals are such as develop readily without the aid of artificial heat. They are commonly sown in May or earlier, directly in the open ground where they are to grow. Florists often sow certain kinds in the fall, and winter the young plants in coldframes. They may also be wintered under a covering of leaves or evergreen boughs.

Some of the hardy annuals withstand considerable frost. The "half-hardy" and "tender" annuals are alike in that they require more warmth for their germination and growth. The tender kinds are very quickly sensitive to frost. Both these, like the hardy kinds, may be sown in the open ground, but not until the weather has become settled and warm, which for the tender kinds will not commonly be before the first of June; but the tender kinds, at least, are preferably started in the house and transplanted to their outdoor beds. Of course, these terms are wholly relative.

Some familiar examples of hardy annuals are sweet alyssum, ageratum, calendula, calliopsis, candytuft, Centaurea Cyanus, larkspur, gilia, California poppy, morning-glory, marigold, mignonette, nemophila, pansy, phlox, pinks, poppies, portulaca, zinnia, sweet pea, scabiosa.

Some examples of half-hardy annuals: China aster, alonsoa, balsam, petunia, ricinus, stocks, martynia, salpiglossis, thunbergia, nasturtium, verbena.

Examples of tender annuals: Amarantus, celosia or coxcomb, cosmos, cotton, Lobelia Erinus, cobea, gourds, ice-plant, sensitive-plant, solanums, torenia, and such things as dahlias, and acalypha used for bedding and subtropical effects.

Some annuals do not bear transplanting well; as poppies, bartonia, Venus' looking-glass, the dwarf convolvulus, lupinus, and malope. It is best, therefore, to sow them where they are to grow.

Some kinds (as poppies) do not bloom all summer, more especially not if allowed to produce seed. Of such kinds a second or third sowing at intervals will provide a succession. Preventing the formation of seeds prolongs their life and flowering period.