What USDA Hardiness Zone do we live in?
Zone 4. -25 to -20 (F) In the past decade, we have not had the sustained temperatures of Zone 3b– which is -35 to -30 (F)
The cold temperature listed on the USDA Hardiness zones are actual – not wind chill factors.
Many metro area and big box store will get Zone 5 perennials in, they may survive if near a foundation or well protected. You should not expect it to have more than a 50/50 chance.
What is a Perennial and what is an Annual?
A perennial plant is one that grows back each year. Unlike a shrub, the plant dies back to the root crown at the end of each growing season. Many plants have perennial seed that can tolerate a winter, but will not grow back from the same root crown. Example of these are pansies, rudbeckia hirta, marigolds, morning glories. There are also plants that are biennial or short lived perennials, such as foxglove, Digitalis.
Many of the annuals we plant are tropicals, such as petunias and thunbergia. We consider any plant that will not winter over in the soil to be an annual.
What is considered Full Sun?
Generally, a full sun plant will grow in 5 hours or more of direct sunlight. Some plants will be specified as requiring 7 – 8 hours. Direct sunlight hours can be 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon.
Part Sun is a plant that will need or tolerate less than 4 hours of direct sunlight.
Shade means filtered sunlight or less than 3 hours of direct sunlight, and that sunlight should not be during the hottest part of the day.
How do I “deadhead” a plant?
Removing a “spent” or dead bloom is called deadheading. As a rule, the best deadheading is cutting the stem with the dead bloom or seed head back to the first leaf or set of leaves. In the majority of plants and perennials the practice of deadheading promotes repeated blooms.
How much water does a plant require?
A tag should be included with most plants that specify moist or drought tolerant. If a plant tag likes to be kept moist, that plant will thrive is the soil is kept constantly moist – NOT WET. Drought tolerant is a plant that can go gray-green with dried out soil and will bounce back to normal when watered. The wilted plant question is common, if the plant is wilted and yellow it is TOO WET. If a plant is gray – green, it will bounce back when watered thoroughly, some will have browned edges on leaves, looking burnt; remove the leaves and keep this plant consistently moist. Gerberas and Strawflowers are examples of plants that need to be moist and will not tolerate drought well.