The most beautiful landscapes are often comprised of annuals, biennials and perennial plants. None are better than the other, they just bloom at different times so there is always some type of bloom color in the landscape.
To know what to plant and when the plant will bloom you will first have to determine whether it’s an annual, biennial, or perennial. This guide will help you to understand the differences so your landscape can be the envy of the neighborhood.
What are Annuals?
Annuals bloom for one season and then the plants will die. However, because annuals have such a short lifespan, they produce abundant blooms will rich and varied colors.
Annuals make great container flowers or bedding and border plants to fill in the gaps between shrubs or biennials and perennials. The short lifespan of annuals also makes them ideal for succession planting.
After the annuals have completed their bloom cycle, they can be dug up and replaced with other plants.
Pansies, petunias, zinnias, and most garden vegetables are annuals.
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What are Biennials?
Biennial plants have a two-year lifespan but you only enjoy the plant’s production in the second year. The first year the biennial plant seed will germinate, develop a root system, and a short stem with a few leaves.
This part of the plant will remain like this throughout the first winter. In the spring of the second season is when the biennial will rapidly produce above-ground growth and blooms. At the end of the second season, the biennial plant will die.
Black-Eyed Susans, sweet Williams, hollyhocks, and fennel are a few examples of biennial plants.
What Are Perennials?
Perennials are the garden favorite. These are the plants that are planted once and grow forever under the right growing conditions.
Perennial plants only require a one-time investment of money and planting labor, then they will continue to grow for years. Perennials will also re-produce through seeds or underground rhizomes so they can be transplanted in your landscape or shared with others.
Many perennial plants are low-maintenance and require little more than a yearly feeding. Some perennials grow rapidly and will need to be thinned out yearly.
You may be interested in reading my other article, How to Prepare Perennials for Fall and Winter.
Next time when you come across annuals, biennials and perennial plants, you’ll know which plants you want to add to your garden!