Clarification on hardy annuals vs. annuals ZONE 5/6

bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)November 17, 2009

I have gone back and researched the seeds I have ordered so far from cheapseeds and valueseeds. I want to make sure I thoroughly understand what I can sow during the dead of winter and what needs to wait until March/April. Please confirm or contradict my current understanding. I guess I want to know when others in my zone would typically sow these seeds.

The following appear to be perennial in my Zone 5/6, which I understand I could sow anytime in late December/Jan/Feb:

Delphinium Pacific Hybrid Mix

Echinacea purpurea Magnus

Musk Mallow pirouette

Malva Brave Heart

Butterfly Bush


Pansy Swiss Giants

Hibiscus moscheuto Disco Belle Mix

Indian Spring Hollyhocks

And half-hardy annuals (according to the plant descriptions)which I am unsure whether they are earlier sown or require later sown:

Morning Glory heavenly blue

Marigold Solan

And hardy annuals, which I would understand can be sown in Dec/Jan/Feb here:

Five Spot

Morning Glory dwarf ensign mix

Morning Glory light blue flash


And Biennial - sow in Dec/Jan/Feb?:

Foxglove Excelsior Hybrid Mix

The rest did not specify if they were or were not hardy annuals so I assume they are "regular" annuals and would do better sown in March/April:

Black Eyed Susan vine

Painted Daisy

Zinnia Red Spider

Petunia super cascade

Rose Mallow

Gloriosa Daisy

Please futher confirm my understanding that a hardy annual is one that seeds and seedlings can withstand frosts but will die after flowering, while regular annuals cannot take frost and will die after flowering. Am I correct in thinking of a biennial as a two-year perennial?

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Hardy annuals, perennials and biennials can be sown anytime after the Winter Solstice; you can, if you desire, hold off on the tender annuals until the end of Winter.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 3:59PM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

Thanks Trudi. And the reason you would hold off until end of winter is so that there would be no frost once the seeds sprout.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 4:22PM
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That leads me to another question. I have been told that with W/S you have no damp off. So if you hold off to plant annuals till just before end of frost, will you again have to worry about damp off?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 4:56PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Painted Daisy could be either an annual or a perennial, depending on what its botanical name is.

Here are Painted Daisies at Michigan Bulb and they are perennials. I have had them and they come in different shades of pink and a bright red color. I 'think the botanical name might be Tanacetum coccineum and they have very ferny like foliage.

Painted DaisyChrysanthemum carinatum
are annuals though.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 12:09AM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

I started my petunia's in winter and they did fine. They start out really tiny too. I agree on the painted daisy comment and yes biennials are like two year perennials. First year growth second year beauty. They generally reseed well.
There were a few annuals that didn't mind the cold for me and I started in winter/snow. Dianthus, poppies, alyssum, viola's or pansies and petunias. In my z.5 I had to wait till frost was past for cosmos, marigolds, morning glories and four o clocks.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 4:10AM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

Sue, have you ordered from Stock Seed? How was germination?

They have a few things all in one place that I could use and would like to try this year.



    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 5:42AM
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Tammy- no.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 8:07AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Sue, have you ordered from Stock Seed? How was germination?
No, I can't remember when I have ever ordered any seed on line, because of all the great trading to be had here as well as folks just sharing.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 10:17AM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

Regarding the painted daisies, while researching what annuals might be hardy annuals, I noticed that there were sites that listed painted daisies as perennials but they were the pinks and reds. Mine are the white with yellow and burgundy and other colors. Cheapseeds lists them as annuals as well.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 3:01PM
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