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What’s the Difference Between Annuals and Perennials?

Before you fill your yard with your picks from the garden center learn what the difference is between annuals and perennials and which ones you should choose!

Before you fill your yard with your picks from the garden center learn what the difference is between annuals and perennials and which ones you should choose!

Now that gardening season is here, you will be hearing a lot about annuals and perennials. These terms refer to the plants and flowers you will be browsing during the spring and summer season and knowing the difference between each is important. If you are not quite clear on what the difference is between annuals and perennials, we have tried to break it down for you below. Here is what you need to know.

What’s the Difference Between Annuals and Perennials?

Before you fill your yard with your picks from the garden center learn what the difference is between annuals and perennials and which ones you should choose!

First, let’s talk about how often you need to plant each:

Annuals: When growing annuals such as impatiens, begonias, pansies, and geraniums, you need to plant new plants each year. They will no come back the following season on their own. You plant them once, they last one growing season, and then they are done.

Perennials: When growing perennials such as roses, daylilies, or hostas, you plant them once and they will return each year on their very own. You won’t need to replant them from year to year, and instead, they will flourish on their own while growing in size.

Now, let’s talk about hardiness:

Annuals: Your annual plants and flowers may not fare well in cold climates or in extreme weather conditions. It is important to keep them cool, watered, and warm at night. This might mean covering them with sheets if there is going to be a frost. They aren’t able to withstand cooler conditions, which is why they last for one season only.

Perennials: Perennials are able to adapt a bit better to cooler temperatures. They can be left outside in the ground for the winter and fall months, and no matter how cold it gets they will typically regrow in the spring.

Before you fill your yard with your picks from the garden center learn what the difference is between annuals and perennials and which ones you should choose!

So let’s talk about the prices you can expect to pay:

Annuals: Annuals can typically be purchased for around $10 a flat and as little as .50 a plant. This makes them very affordable. Most gardening centers will reduce them dramatically towards the middle of the season to move what they have left.

Perennials: Expect to pay anywhere from $5-$15 for your perennial plants depending on type and size. They do tend to cost more than annuals, but on the flip side just remember they will last you for years as opposed to one season.

How would each type of plant be used?

Annuals: Annuals are typically planted in window boxes, flower pots, planters, and containers in general. Since they are discarded at the end of the season, this makes them easy to access.

Perennials: These plants tend to be planted directly in the ground instead of in planters or containers. Since they will need to remain planted in the ground in order for them to return next year, this just makes sense.

As you can see, there are many aspects to consider when choosing between annuals and perennials. In most cases, people tend to do a mix of both types of plants and that is perfectly acceptable. Consider these facts on what makes annuals and perennials different, and use this information when you shop for your flowers and plants this year.

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