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A Guide to Annuals in Surrey

in Informational

A Guide to Annuals in Surrey

Many people like to plant annuals in the spring for a summer bloom period. The advantages of annuals are that you can plant different things each year, annuals tend to mature quickly and bloom profusely, and with care you can have non-stop blooming all summer.

It would be impossible to list every annual that you can grow in Surrey, but we will give you some suggestions. First, you can divide annuals into several groups. Those you can grow from seed, those that die at the end of the season (unless you offer them special care), those that will survive and can be overwintered and replanted the next year, and experimental ones that you could try if you’re ambitious.

Annuals to Grow From Seed

These are the ones that make great projects for children, and they are hardy. Growing from seed takes a little longer, but it is cheaper than buying bedding out plants.

In this category we would put marigolds (you can save their seeds for the next year), zinnias (very underappreciated and make great cut flowers, nasturtium, and cosmos. These are all easy to grow from seed, and seed is readily available.

Annuals That Will Die at the End of the Season

These are plants that barring some special care or transplanting them into a warmer space, they will die when it gets cold. They complete their whole life cycle and set seed in one year. In this category would be the ones listed above plus impatiens, petunias, begonias, pansies, and sunflowers.

Annuals That Can Be Overwintered

These annuals are actually what we call “tender” perennials. In other words, they are perennials in a slightly warmer climate. So, if you dig them up and protect them over the winter in slightly warmer conditions than in the ground here in Surrey, they can be replanted every year and function like a perennial. But they will not (generally) survive in place. Examples are dahlias, geraniums, some begonias, oxalis, and coleus. How to handle each one in the winter is beyond the scope of this article, but let’s just say it can be done.

Annuals for the Ambitious

Surrey is roughly a USDA Garden Zone 8. In some areas it may be slightly warmer or cooler. Experimental annuals would be ones that are intended to be grown in zones 9 or 10. It’s possible to do, but we don’t recommend it for beginners. Examples of these are some banana plants (there are a few cold hardy ones, too), Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia), and Bromeliads. These plants need extra shelter, extra protection in the winter, and possibly being moved indoors or into a greenhouse to survive the winter. 

We hope this information is helpful, and anytime you want to talk about annuals, come by our store in Surrey. We would be delighted to discuss them with you. Happy Gardening!

Art Knapp has 15 locations across British Columbia and is well known as the go-to garden centre for everything garden-related. Art Knapp, himself, began the business in the 1940's, and now, 80 years later, you can find more than he ever dreamed of in our stores. Come and see us on King George Boulevard in Surrey. 

If you have any questions about this article or want to talk to us about gardening, just give us a call at (604) 596-9201.

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