annuals and perennials. let’s sort the whole thing out.

Plant Moderator

what is the difference between annual and perennial flowers? 

We’re here to tell you. Annual flowers grow for one season, then die with the onset of freezing weather. Annuals are a great way to change the look of your garden from year to year. They also tend to have a longer flowering period than perennials. With perennials the above ground the portion of flower dies off in freezing weather, but the plant returns from the base and rootstock the following spring. Perennials give you the most value for your money as they keep returning year after year. Their flowering season is usually shorter so make sure to plant different varieties to keep your garden colourful throughout the season.

which annuals are right for you?

We have a few suggestions to help you choose your annuals. Popular flowers include petunias, marigolds, zinnias and impatiens. If you’re looking for something a little more exotic than these traditional bedding plants, try spider flower (cleome), gazania, vinca and lisianthus. 

foliage over flowers

Some annuals are known for their attractive foliage and not their flowers. Try coleus, Joseph’s coat (Alternanthera) or dusty miller. 

eat your annuals

Add some edible interest to your annual garden with plants like ornamental peppers, flowering cabbage and okra. 

perennial ideas 

Perennials are a smorgasbord of colours, textures and sizes. Some of the most popular perennials include daylilies, hostas, and peonies. For a spikey show of blue, try blazing star. For a delicate bouquet of yellow, try the coreopsis variety called Moonbeam. For dramatic late-season colour, the black-eyed susan and purple coneflower are showstoppers. 

decisions decisions

Happily, there’s no need to pick a favourite for your garden. Annuals and perennials can be combined and you’ll get to enjoy the best of both worlds. Annuals are hard to beat in terms of show stopping, season-long colour. Perennials will give you long lasting value for your money. Since the perennial flowering season is usually shorter, make sure to offset different varieties to keep the colour going throughout the season. Good planning will keep your garden blooming and thriving all season long. 

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