I think we need to introduce a new, tongue-in-cheek category for plants; a category which covers plants we usually treat as annuals, BUT if you accidentally forget, leave them in situ, and the winter’s mild, they survive… That’s a “secret perennial”!

Here’s a few of my suggestions, please leave comment with any “secret perennials” you’ve experienced!


Wow, what’s that?? It’s Rudbeckia x hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’, a masterpiece of a Rudbeckia from Thompson & Morgan’s breeding.. perfectly at home in beds and borders, but I have a feeling it’s more hardy than we all think, and would liven up perennial borders a treat!!


Antirrhinums, Snapdragons can sometimes be seen growing wild in walls or rock gardens, but they’re the dull, self-seeded ones.. why not experiment with the indulgent mixes like ‘Madame Butterfly’! In some French mail order catalogues, you’ll actually find Antirrhinums in the hardy perennial section! They’re not keeping it a secret…


Shiny little Bidens.. with their tight, conifer-like foliage seem a bit tougher than everyone thinks too.. another contender for “secret perennial” status methinks…

So, that’s a small selection from me.. now tell me which “secret perennials” you know about..

Let’s reveal them, so we can all have a try!

Leave a comment below?:

  • I think one of the thoughts from the above is not to be in too much of a rush to ‘tidy’ up annual plants in the winter .Certainly I have Scabious ‘Ace of Spades’ overwintered with flower buds on now from last years plantings

    April 21, 2014
  • Rosie

    I have ‘French marigolds’ and trailing petunias that were overlooked last year when emptying my patio pots. They have both fared well and the marigolds are flowering now. Also, I have a fuchsia in another pot that has survived the winter. It was just supposed to be an annual, too, but already has buds.

    April 21, 2014
  • Looks like all my antirrhinums have got through this winter.

    April 21, 2014
  • Cathy

    My pots of nemesia are in full flower at the moment and have been for about 6 weeks – didn’t get round to putting winter bedding in!

    April 21, 2014
  • Osteospermum became a hardy evergreen and at no point displayed zero flowers, 3 fuchsias including one of the giants also haven’t stopped this winter! Happy days!

    April 21, 2014
  • Calibrachoa, Brachyscombe, and Scabiosa ‘Chat Noir’ all do two years for me.

    April 29, 2014
  • Lisa

    I have snapdragon in a pot that has flowered on and off for the last 2 years; I’m definitely a fan of these flowers now, trying the night and day variety this year.

    May 19, 2014
  • i had a hanging basket with ivy lead geraniums….forgot to bring it in and it survived the winter and went on to flower really well this summer after a light prune.

    November 18, 2014
  • I had a hanging basket of ivy leaf geraniums, forgot to bring them in for the winter and they survived! Flowered well this summer after a light prune

    November 18, 2014

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