April 19, 2014

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When an annual acts like a perennial
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 2:20 AM

The title is a little misleading, in that a perennial is defined as a plant that dies above the ground during cold weather and grows back from the roots in spring. An annual doesn’t survive winter at all. But what about all those annuals that seem to survive year after year?

You know the ones; poppies, snapdragons, cosmos and even lettuce manages to make an appearance. Even though you didn’t plant them this spring, there they are, sometimes in greater numbers than you planted the year before.

There’s a long list of annuals that are notorious for self-seeding. After they’ve bloomed, if they’ve been pollinated by insects or the wind, and you don’t cut the spent blooms off, they’ll form seed pods and once those have matured, they’ll pop open and disperse their seed to the ground below.