Everyone loves a garden full of vibrant, beautiful blooms. But, of course, gardening can require quite a bit of know-how – not to mention hard work! If you’re wondering whether you should choose annuals or perennials for your garden, keep reading for a breakdown of their basic characteristics. Then you can choose the varieties of flowers that best suit your needs.
What’s the difference? Annuals are planted once every three months or so, bloom through their natural season, and then die. If you want to enjoy the same flowers next year, you will have to replant them. Perennials, on the other hand, remain keep a leafy base even through the winter and then bloom each spring or summer. Once you have planted perennials in your yard, you will enjoy them for years to come (depending upon their life spans, which can last from three years to twenty years or more).
Why should you choose an annual or perennial? Since perennials last three years or more, you might choose them based on their low level of maintenance. Once established, you will enjoy perennials for several seasons, so they are the perfect choice for someone who doesn’t want to plant every spring. On the other hand, perennials tend to bloom for much shorter periods, while annuals will often bloom throughout the warm weather months (and some varieties will provide color through the fall or winter). If you want a steady supply of blooms in your garden, you will probably need to plan at least some annual flowers.
How often are annuals planted and rotated? You will have to plant annuals every season, but you can keep planting them in the same spot if you wish. Some annuals are self-seeding, meaning they will leave behind seeds that produce new flowers the following spring, but they won’t necessarily grow back in exactly the same places (or as an exact copy of the original plant). Of course, one fun aspect of annuals is that you can change them up each year. So if you enjoy a garden full of marigolds last year, you can switch to impatiens this year.
Can you use both annuals and perennials? Certainly! In fact, that’s what most gardeners do. Your yard probably includes some perennials that bloom each year, but if you want to add more color or interest to certain areas, especially during the grow-in period, that’s an excellent reason to use annuals to fill in the gaps. You might choose annuals that bloom at a different time than your perennials, so that you maintain color in the yard. Or, you might become interested in certain properties of an annual (such as the ability of marigolds to repel mosquitoes). Any time you want to add a temporary (for the season) splash of color or other benefits to your garden, annuals are an easy way to accomplish that goal. Stop by our nursery and we can show you our wide assortment of flowering plants.