Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Difference Between Annuals, Perennials and Biennials

When I just started gardening, I didn't care much about what I planted. A flower was a flower. You sow it, it will grow and bloom someday. But if you want to make your own garden design, knowing when a flower blooms or dies is important. The terms annual, perennial and biennial should be clear in your mind:

Annuals are plants that grow from seeds, bloom and seed within a single growing season. The complete plant dies(leaves, stem and roots) after the growing season. A common example of an annual flower is marigold which blooms througout the growing season. In non-tropical climates, annuals should be planted in spring.

Perennials are plants that come back for many growing seasons. Part of the plant dies back in winter and grow again from the same roots the following growing season. They may not bloom the first growing season and they bloom for only a couple of weeks each season. These plants need periodic replacement(each 3 -5 years).

Biennials are plants that needs two years to grow before dying. They grow vegetatively the first year, go through winter and blooms the following year. These plants die after blooming and seeding.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cactus bloom

There's some pictures of my cactus(anyone got the ID???) blooming this year. It bloomed twice this year. The first attempt was right before a tropical depression(a.k.a cyclone) visits Mauritius. The cactus sent a bloom that started to open during the cyclone. Unfortunately, the winds broke the flower off. Notice the grey sky, it was a clear sign that the cyclone was near.
5th Feb 2009
7th Feb 2009
By the 8th February, there were no flower on the cactus, the wind wiped it off. I though that I would have to wait the following year for the next bloom.
Fortunately for me, my cactus was kind enough to bloom again in April 2009!! And this time, I had a better camera to shoot the flowers :-)
18th April 2009
19th April  2009
Same day. Look attentively, there are two flowers
The beautiful flower, open at last
This time, the flowers bloomed well and could be observed without any problem. The flower doesn't last long and dies(turns black) the following day. I didn't try to collect the seeds as this cactus is easily propagated. If you're interested in seed collection, I'll try it next year during the next bloom.


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