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Old 10-05-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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I've seen them referred to as both?

Wikipedia says perennial.
Two other websites say annual.

A friend grew some from seeds I gave her...and they've come back a couple of times now. She's in Fairfax VA - Zone 7a (7). I'm on the other side of DC in Maryland, but also in 7 (some say 6b-7a).

I know I gave her seeds but are any snapdragons bulbs?
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:37 PM
 
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Both, especially depends on the climate they are planted in.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:56 PM
 
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A lot of people make the same mistake and don't understand what the botanical nomenclature really means. Common snapdragons are tender perennials, but also prefer cool season growing. The tender portion of the "tender perennial" means that it does not survive prolonged cold temperatures to come back but, where it is warm enough, it is perennial. Often this kind of perennial is labeled as being "grown as an annual." That may seem confusing on its face but it just means where it is cold it acts like an annual for the average gardener. To add to the confusion you will also see it called a 'cool season plant' in some places. That does not mean it prefers to grow in winter! LOL Cool season growers are plants that stop flowering or otherwise begin looking poorly when the temperature gets hot and begin blooming again when the temperature is more moderate. Another 'cool season' plant, Pansies, have similar needs, but are slightly more likely to survive winter. Pansies are used as annuals in the south because they tend not to survive the heat of summer but thrive though wintertime.


Last winter was exceptionally mild for much of the eastern half of the country, and many people had things survive that normally would not, including snapdragons. I live quite a bit south of you but am still considered Zone 7. I had several of my deck flower pots filled with a combination of flowers including dwarf varieties of snapdragons last summer and fall. Many stayed at least partially green throughout the winter and began blooming heavily again in late winter/very early in spring. In addition quite a few of the seeds that had fallen into the pots sprouted and grew in the mild conditions. It is possible that is what you experience as well. A few winters before that we had several days running of very cold temperatures (near 0 overnight) and all of my snapdragons were killed. Zone 8 and warmer will be more likely to have them survive on a more regular basis.

Snapdragons are not bulb plants. They are grown from seeds.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Both, especially depends on the climate they are planted in.
Seems someone got in the short answer! LOL

Last edited by J&Em; 10-05-2012 at 07:58 PM.. Reason: Bulldogdad snuck in while I was typing!
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:24 PM
 
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I had snapdragon surprises this year. I guess I must have taken some to compost and they didn't decompose. I had snapdragons popping up where I never put them. I'm in 8a.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Even in cold climates, snapdragons are self-sowing. You usually only have to plant them once.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
A lot of people make the same mistake and don't understand what the botanical nomenclature really means. Common snapdragons are tender perennials, but also prefer cool season growing. The tender portion of the "tender perennial" means that it does not survive prolonged cold temperatures to come back but, where it is warm enough, it is perennial. Often this kind of perennial is labeled as being "grown as an annual." That may seem confusing on its face but it just means where it is cold it acts like an annual for the average gardener. To add to the confusion you will also see it called a 'cool season plant' in some places. That does not mean it prefers to grow in winter! LOL Cool season growers are plants that stop flowering or otherwise begin looking poorly when the temperature gets hot and begin blooming again when the temperature is more moderate. Another 'cool season' plant, Pansies, have similar needs, but are slightly more likely to survive winter. Pansies are used as annuals in the south because they tend not to survive the heat of summer but thrive though wintertime.


Last winter was exceptionally mild for much of the eastern half of the country, and many people had things survive that normally would not, including snapdragons. I live quite a bit south of you but am still considered Zone 7. I had several of my deck flower pots filled with a combination of flowers including dwarf varieties of snapdragons last summer and fall. Many stayed at least partially green throughout the winter and began blooming heavily again in late winter/very early in spring. In addition quite a few of the seeds that had fallen into the pots sprouted and grew in the mild conditions. It is possible that is what you experience as well. A few winters before that we had several days running of very cold temperatures (near 0 overnight) and all of my snapdragons were killed. Zone 8 and warmer will be more likely to have them survive on a more regular basis.

Snapdragons are not bulb plants. They are grown from seeds.


Seems someone got in the short answer! LOL
HAH! You know me. I can just imagine you blazing away litttle fingers gliding across the keys...submit...

Then.....

DAMNIT Bulldogdad.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:48 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
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Strange, I always assumed they were annuals in our climate but not because they'd die in the winter. They'd survive the winter fine but seem to die in the summer.. But I noticed I have a lone snap dragon that popped up in my flower bed after several years of not planting ANY snap dragons. We had a rainy summer. Definitely a perennial.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:27 PM
 
Location: On City-Data
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In Michigan, they usually die in the winter, unless they are right up against the house to receive warmth. But the seeds will drop and grow in the spring. So in effect, the individual plants are not perennial, but the collective species is.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
HAH! You know me. I can just imagine you blazing away litttle fingers gliding across the keys...submit...

Then.....

DAMNIT Bulldogdad.
You heard me all the way on the other side of the continent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Strange, I always assumed they were annuals in our climate but not because they'd die in the winter. They'd survive the winter fine but seem to die in the summer.. But I noticed I have a lone snap dragon that popped up in my flower bed after several years of not planting ANY snap dragons. We had a rainy summer. Definitely a perennial.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
In Michigan, they usually die in the winter, unless they are right up against the house to receive warmth. But the seeds will drop and grow in the spring. So in effect, the individual plants are not perennial, but the collective species is.

In blue above is something that needs to be addressed. One of the reasons people do not understand the tags that come with plants is that they do not understand how the terms are meant in botany, horticulture and general science. The OP expressed the typical confusion I see constantly when he/she saw annual and perennial used to describe the same plant. There is a whole system to naming plants, organizing them with "relatives" and using minimal descriptions for their growth habits to make it very easy to decide how to use them. Both blue colored phrases above make it more confusing because they do not agree with how the horticultural world uses the terms. Something growing from seed does not in any way make it perennial, it must be growing from existing root stock (tubers, corms and so on) to be defined as a perennial. When using accurate gardening terminology perennial does not mean we see a plant there every year! It means that a plant that was there previously is still growing there, even if it went dormant over the winter and seemed to "disappear" for a while.

So here are some definitions to make life easier for any gardeners who are feeling overwhelmed by what it all means.....


An annual is a plant whose entire life cycle takes place within one year, from new sprout to shedding seeds for next year's plants. Its life can be as short as a few weeks or it can be 10 months, it may be during cool season or warm season, but the plant does not normally live past that a year from start to finish. When it dies in the winter every part of it dies, never to return. Marigolds, begonias and zinnias are common examples. Many annuals are prolific reseeding plants, replacing themselves with new plants but it does not make them perennials. Every spring there are brand new plants growing from seed. Many old fashioned Black Eyed Susans fall under this category, even though it looks like the same plant(s) in the same place. Many food crops are also annuals even if they volunteer in the garden, like that tomato, cucumber or pumpkin that surprises everyone. Some annuals grow only in the cooler portion of the year and others are very cold sensitive and grow only in the hottest part of the year, but neither live more than a year under normal conditions.

A biennial is a plant whose entire life is over in 2 years. Typically a biennial will grow and set roots in one year and bloom and set seed in the next. Then that particular plant dies and in the following year the cycle starts anew with seeds growing into first year plants. Ordinary old fashioned Foxgloves are a perfect example.

A perennial is a plant that lives at least 3 years in its native environment. It may or may not flower in its first year and may not reach its biggest size for several years. It will be a plant every year, and the green you see in the spring is not a new seedling growing but the old plant growing from existing roots. Some perennials are evergreen. Just to name a few better known standard perennials in my garden: coneflowers, phlox, sage, veronica and daylilies.



OK now for the hard part.

Some annuals may survive in areas warmer/cooler than their natural habitat for longer than a year in unusual circumstances. This does not make them perennials! This past winter was exceptionally mild in my area. Many of my annuals had light frost damage once or twice but never enough to finish them off as they normally would be in winter. As a result I have more than a dozen begonias, zinnias and annual vinca that are living a second year. They are still considered annuals, individually or as a species.

There are tender perennials or (less correctly half hardy perennials ) that are often grown "as annuals" and will have that listed on their tags. In its native habitat the plant would be perennial (live for more than 2 years). However, in colder areas it will only live when it is warm enough, usually dieing out with the first heavier frosts or freezes of the fall. I have several diascia and cuphea that fall into this category. They also survived the very mild winter and have grown a second season but under normal circumstances in my zone they do not survive the cold winters and I would have to replace them with new ones in the spring every year. Someone living further south, maybe in zone 9, would be able to have them many years running.

Some plant "families" (called a genus) have perennial and annual members. Several herbs have can come in annual and perennial forms. I have many different blanket flowers in my garden. The genus called Gaillardia (blanket flower) has some species that are annual and some that are perennial even though they are all called by the same common name of Blanket Flower. This is why reading and understanding the tag is so important. If you buy the annual variety it will not be there next year and if you buy the perennial variety you can have some expectation of a returning plant for the next few years.

A short lived perennial is one that does not live long even if conditions are perfect for it. Tags and descriptions in catalogs are usually not clear on this but generally the plant does well for 3 or 4 years and then declines. Some can be helped with dividing to rejuvenate them, but not all. Knowing that they can grow in your garden environment but may need to be dug up frequently will help with longer range planning and spacing.

Understanding what these names really mean will help everyone avoid making costly and frustrating mistakes when they head out to a nursery or big box store, or when they want to order something from one of these great, shiny and bright colored catalogs on a cold winter night.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:41 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
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I didn't consider that it might have sprouted from seed. That is entirely possible.
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