Fun Flower Facts

The Difference Between Annuals and Perennials

November 6, 2015

Aside from being different species, all flowers are basically the same, right? Totally wrong! Especially when it comes to their lifespan and how often you see them. But getting to know the difference is easy – there are really only two main classifications you need to know! Below, learn what makes some flowers “annuals” while others are considered “perennials.”

Gardening- Annuals & Perennials

Annual vs. Perennial

Simply put, annual flowers and annual plants are those that only thrive for a single season, and it doesn’t matter how they came to be! Regardless of whether you planted a seed in your garden or purchased a bloom from your local florist, annuals will only go through the life cycle once before they die. With these types of flowers and plants specifically, it is also important to note that this cycle all happens within the same year – hence the term “annual.”

Knowing what an annual is, think you could guess what classifies a flower or plant as a perennial? If you said they live for more than one season, you’re right! Perennials are those flowers and plants that live for three or more seasons – think of those bulbs you plant once in the fall and see them come back spring after spring.

Why Plant Annual Flowers?

If you strive to have a garden that’s bright and colorful, you may benefit from choosing mostly annual flowers. And the best part? These types of flowers are usually cheaper than their perennial counterparts, so if budget is a concern you don’t have to worry about totally breaking the bank. Finally, although you’ll perform maintenance on your garden (or any flower you have at home for that matter), you don’t need to commit to caring for them for too long since they only require one season’s worth of work.

Why Plant Perennial Flowers?

The greatest benefit perennials have to offer is the fact that they stick around year after year. Although they may be more costly at the time of purchase, you don’t have to dedicate your budget to your garden every season since these flowers and plants will bloom again the following year. Furthermore, perennials don’t require much work at the beginning of each season since you don’t have to worry about re-planting. Instead, your dedication to your plants and flowers will come in the form of maintenance, such as watering and fertilizing.

Types of Annuals

Should you decide to include annual flowers in your garden, here are a few that you may want to choose from:

● Petunias
Sunflowers
● Marigolds
● Morning Glories
● Larkspurs

When planting annuals, you’ll definitely want to make note of where you plant them – although they are only known for completing the life cycle once, some are self seeding, which means you could experience new growth elsewhere in your garden the following year without having to plant again.

Sunflowers- An Annual Flower

Types of Perennials

If you’re considering perennials for your home, you may be interested in the following:

● Asters
● Peonies
● Daffodils
● Chrysanthemums
● Hostas

Orange chrysanthemums- Perennial Flowers

However, it’s important to keep in mind that perennials have a shorter blooming period than annuals, so you’ll have to be strategic about where you plant them and what you plant them with so that your garden doesn’t ever look bare.

In the end, annuals and perennials are both great options for any garden, you just have to choose which blooms you want to dedicate your time and money to!