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If an annual doesn´t flower one year, might it flower the next?

Posted by almeria 10? SE Spain (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 9, 06 at 8:42

Not sure if this is a stupid question but...I planted some Godetia (Clarkia) last year for the first time. I think I did it too late and they never flowered. I am not familiar with this plant but I think it maybe needed a cooler growing season (we have mild, dry winters and hot, dry summers here) and I planted the seeds straight into the ground in about late March early April. However, the plants did produce quite a lot of (pretty, blue-grey) foliage and they are still going reasonably strong - I can even see some new growth this year. But are they ever going to flower? I don´t have a big garden and I wonder if I would be better off just pulling them up to make room for something else. I think I will post this on the Arizona forum. too, as their climate seems closest to ours.
I´d be really grateful for any advice.
Thanks very much
Almeria


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: If an annual doesn´t flower one year, might it flower the nex

I don't know this plant, but you said it is an annual.
Well if you planted it last year and it is growing this year then it is not an annual.
Annual plants only live for a year then die after setting seed.
It is either a biannual, grows leaves in first year and flowers the next, or a prennial, lives for several years.
So it should flower this year so don't pull it out.

Regards.


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RE: If an annual doesn´t flower one year, might it flower the nex

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 10, 06 at 9:28

Plants do not complete their growth cycles with their attention focused on our calendar. They are driven to large extent by biological clocks that are primarily influenced by photo-period (Day length, or more accurately - night length). Various other cultural factors enter the picture, too. Rainfall and temperatures also play a part. The cultural practice of dead-heading also extends the life of annual plants. As if that wasn't enough, there are annuals that are very resistant to cold, even preferring cold temperatures (pansy) that can be planted in autumn & bloom the following spring.

I'm not familiar with the plant, and am disappointed that I don't know the actual physiology behind why annuals die after completing a growth cycle, but chances are good that if your plant survives your winter, that it will indeed bloom. Perhaps a person familiar with the plant or more expert than I can offer something more definitive.

Al


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RE: If an annual doesn´t flower one year, might it flower the nex

Thanks so much for your help. Seems like they are two contrasting viewpoints but that you are both agreed on my not pulling the plants up. I´m pretty sure they are Godetia and not something else and so I think I will plant a few seeds of something else among them (to be on the safe side) and just see what happens!
Thanks for your time and your advice.
Best wishes
Almeria


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RE: If an annual doesn´t flower one year, might it flower the nex

Godetia (syn. Clarkia) is indeed an annual, but I too would agree to leave it alone to see what happens this season. I agree with Al that plants do not perform according our calendar. While the definition of an annual is a plant that completes its life cycle during a single growing season, failure to bloom and set seed in that growing season can very well extend the life of the plant into a second season, as it has not yet completed its intent - to bloom and produce seed and reproduce itself.

FWIW, I can list a number of "true" annuals (as opposed to tender perennials or biennials) that can survive longer than a single season. It will depend a lot on environmental influences, but plants tend to be extremely adaptable and the genetic predetermination to reproduce can be very flexible. Believe it or not, deadheading to remove spent flowers and prevent the plant from setting viable seed can go a long way in increasing the life expectancy of a single season plant.


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RE: If an annual doesn´t flower one year, might it flower the nex

gardengal48
Thanks very much for your information and advice. I will let you know what happens and I will deadhead like crazy from now on! Someone on the Arizona forum told me that, because their winter is warm and because in the summer her plants get afternoon shade from rose bushes, she has annuals such as jalapeño peppers that last as much as four seasons - plus a cherry tomato plant that lived for three years and produced fruit!
Best wishes
Almeria


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RE: If an annual doesn´t flower one year, might it flower the nex

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 11, 06 at 16:29

That's probably because her annuals are perennials. ;o)

Al


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RE: If an annual doesn´t flower one year, might it flower the nex

Yes, both peppers and tomatoes are actually semitropical perennials, commonly grown in most areas of this country as "annuals" because they are not frost hardy as well as need considerable heat to produce fruit.


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RE: If an annual doesn´t flower one year, might it flower the nex

You might also like to ask on the Native Plants forum as Clarkia is indigenous to the Rocky Mountains.

You may find that after a mild winter, perhaps with more water, your Godetias flower in the spring before the summer dry sets in again.


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