The Difference Between Annuals and Perennials

The Difference Between Annuals and Perennials

It is essential to know the difference when planting annuals and perennials. Understanding the key differences will assist you in creating a beautiful planter or a landscape bed. Continue reading to learn the difference between annuals and perennials!

It’s in the Name

One can easily determine the difference by merely understanding the terms annuals and perennials. Annual means they die every year — or for the glass half full gardener, you have the joy of replanting these flowers annually! The word perennial, on the other hand, actually means continually reoccurring or enduring. When planted in the correct locations and environments, perennials come back year after year. Annuals will die with the first frost of the winter.

Types of Annuals

Now that you understand the difference between annuals and perennials, it is important to know the flowers that are annuals! The most common annual used in containers and flower beds are petunias! While petunias do die after the first frost, they thrive in full, hot sun and some cases, with minimal rain. Another commonly used annual is lantana! There are a couple of varieties of lantana that are perennial; however, annual varieties do exist. Again, this annual does excellent in full, hot sun and, once established, in  drought-like conditions

Tropical plants, such as tropical hibiscus, mandevilla, bougainvillea, and dipladenia, are considered annuals if used outdoors in our growing zone. These tropical plants cannot withstand temperatures less than 50 degrees.

Types of Perennials

Perennials are an effortless way to add color to containers and flower beds. If planted in the right environment and location, perennials can come back every year! Common perennials are scabiosa, gaillardia, verbena, echinacea, and salvia, just to name a few! Caring for perennials is easy. Once you plant, you can enjoy these flowers until fall. Once you get the first frost of the winter, be sure to cut them back to the ground and cover with mulch!

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