Hardy and tender plants and seeds
“Hardy” is used opposed to “tender” when describing how well a plant can handle frosty temperatures. Technically, it should also refer to the ability to tolerate all climatic adversity like heat, flooding, wind, lack of water and other conditions, but it is most commonly used for cold tolerance. Although most gardeners consider a hardy plant to be one that can tolerate a fair amount of frost and temperatures that can fall at least several degrees below freezing, the amount of hardiness depends on the plant. A true hardy plant can survive a hard freeze whereas a half-hardy plant is willing to flirt with a light frost or two without calling it quits. Hardy seeds can be planted when soils are warm enough to work even if there remains a threat of frost. Tender plants will die under 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but also can vary in their tolerance to cold. Some will die from cold in much warmer temperatures (like many true, tropical plants). Seeds from tender plants need to be planted indoors with protection when weather is cold or started outdoors only after it is warm enough to safely accommodate the needs of the particular plant.
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