No Hardiness Zones for Some Herbs
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Lara
Posted on: February 1, 2002

Some of the herbs don’t have zones beside them. What does that mean? E.g. Adonis.

There are two reasons which some herbs in our catalogue do not have hardiness zone ratings. Some herbs we only offer in the dried format, not seeds or plants for growing, so the hardiness zone information is not pertinent. The second reason is that some herbs are annual. Adonis is one such annual. Because annuals are grown for only one season, the question of whether or not they survive winter is meaningless, hence there is no need for a hardiness rating.

Actually, the last statement is not quite correct. Gardeners, especially in Europe, have long distinguished between hardy annuals and half-hardy annuals. A half-hardy annual is one that cannot tolerate any frost and can only be outdoors only during frost-free periods. A hardy annual can tolerate some frost, either at the beginning of the planting season or in autumn or at both ends of the growing season. Some hardy annuals can even survive a fall sowing and overwintering outdoors and will come back the following spring to flower. Hardiness zone ratings for these hardy annuals would be meaningful for gardeners who like seed in the fall or for gardeners in areas where the frost-free season is too short or is punctuated with occasional summer frosts.

Examples? Many basils are half-hardy annuals (others are tender perennials). Calendula is an example of a hardy annual that can survive winter in at least zone 5. Adonis is hardy also.

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