Plants play an essential part in the ecosystem. Not only are they one of the main sources of life, but they also help in various other fields. Today, they are seen as a vital part of setting the aesthetic of a room. They help in adding the element of greenery to any space.
If you’re looking to liven up your living space or garden, you will need to familiarise yourself with the different types of plants. A common terminology that you may have come across is annual plants and perennial plants. It’s essential to know what these are so you can get the perfect plants for your garden.
What are these plants? What is the difference between annual and perennial flowers? Keep reading to find out!
What Are Annual Plants?
Annual plants are those that germinate and grow flowers for the ultimate purpose of reproduction. Annual plants only last for one season but have a very season blooming. These plants are normally used and handled by gardeners. Additionally, because of their vibrant color and nature, these are used for decorative purposes as well.
Most of the annual plants will have to be re-planted again. However, a few plants like the forget-me-nots or sweet alyssum will grow on their own. In such cases, there is no need for re-planting.
Types Of Annual Plants
As mentioned earlier, these plants grow for only one season. Not all annuals bloom at the same season. Based on the season of blooming, the annual plants are divided into the following categories.
1. Hardy Annuals
Also known as the annuals of the cold season, the growing season of these types is during the colder weather. They are known to thrive extremely well in cold places and bloom best in these weather conditions.
Examples of hardy annuals are Larkspur and Forget-me-nots.
2. Tender Annuals
Unlike hardy annuals, tender annuals are known to thrive best in warmer climates. Also known as warm-season annuals, the best examples include flowers like petunias, marigolds, etc.
If you live in a warm location and are considering buying these annuals, it is best recommended to purchase them during the end of the spring season. That way, you can get the maximum benefits from these plants.
3. Annuals That Are Half And Half
As the name suggests, these annuals will be able to survive a range of different temperatures easily. From the colder side of the scale to the warmer side, they can withstand and bloom through them all.
Why Should You Purchase Annual Plants?
If you are buying plants for the first time and do not want something high maintenance, purchasing annual plants will be your best bet. These plants will help give you the experience you need to take care of plants before committing to anything serious.
The flowers produced by these annuals are gorgeous. As mentioned earlier, these plants are known to germinate and reproduce. Because of this, they bloom a lot of flowers. These flowers can be used as decorative items in your house and greatly help improve the overall aesthetic.
If your garden has an empty patch between two other plants, you can always use an annual plant to fill in these gaps. Not only that, but they will also add to the beauty of your garden.
Additionally, you can also add these to your vegetable garden to add a splash of color! This will also help in effective pollination, which increases the production rate of your garden veggies.
Annual plants also tend to mature at a faster rate than perennials or biennials. This gives you more flowers and blooms in a short time and creates instant gratification!
If you want flowers to use only for your home’s interiors, this is the way to go. These flowers are very lush, beautiful and have an attractive odor to help create bouquets.
What Are The Best Choices For Annual Flowers?
If you’ve got your heart set on buying flowers for your garden, but aren’t sure which plants are annuals, don’t worry! We’ve listed down the top choices that can be planted in your home today.
- Sweet Alyssum
- Floss Flowers
How To Care For Your Annual Plants?
Annual plants are beautiful plants that can be maintained very easily. Listed below are a few handy tips to care for them.
1. Water Them Every Day
Similar to your other house plants, make sure you water your annuals regularly. Make sure they have just enough water so the soil stays wet but do not overwater.
2. Remove Weeds And Keep Them Clean
It is normal for your plants to have a few weeds grow alongside them. However, you need to remove these weeds regularly and make room for your annual to grow.
3. Fertilize The Soil
Fertilizing the soil helps provide your plant with good nutrition, which boosts the growth rate.
4. Cut The Dead Stems
If you notice your plant having any dead stems or leaves, cut them off. This is also called “Deadheading”.
What Are Perennial Plants?
Unlike the annuals with a short lifespan, perennials are flowers that live on for a long time. They are known to thrive well in colder regions and cannot survive in warm places, unlike their counterparts.
Other than that, these plants also only bloom only once a year during the spring or summer. That being said that can re-bloom, and when they do, they bloom for a long time.
These perennials can live for a long time when they are grown in a favorable atmosphere. However, this does not mean they will live forever! When cared for and maintained properly, the perennial can last you around 3 years or 5 years.
Each perennial has its own method of care and maintenance as well. Some of these plants need to be pruned now and then and need to be cut to size, whereas other perennials grow better with very little maintenance.
Why Should You Purchase Perennial Plants?
You may have noticed that perennials cost a lot more than annual plants. This is because perennials are more long-lasting than annuals. This makes them a good investment.
Even if your perennial does not last that long, you can always propagate the plant and start re-growing it!
The main difference between annual and perennial is that it requires way much maintenance. If you tend to forget to water their plants every day, this might be a good choice for you.
This flowering plant is also a source of attraction to pollinators like bees, etc. This gives you the additional benefit of supporting your local flora and fauna.
What Are The Best Choices For Perennial Plants?
If you live in a cold temperature and want to buy low-maintenance plants for your garden, perennials are the ideal choice for you. Listed below are the top 10 best perennials that you can buy today!
- Black-eyed Susan
- Day Lily
How To Care For Your Perennial Plants?
Effective care and maintenance of your perennials will help in significantly improving their life span. The following are a few tips to help with their maintenance.
1. Give Them Water
Perennials need to be adequately watered, and this is a must, especially during their first season. Water them regularly, but do not overwater.
2. Remove The Weeds
Keep the growing soil clean by removing any visible dirt or debris. This may hinder the growth of your plant.
3. Trim Them
Unlike annual plants, perennials require a lot of trimming and maintenance. Chop off any dead stems of the leaves in your perennial flowers.
4. Use Plant Supporters
As the name suggests, plant supporters provide additional support and allow the plant to flourish. They also keep the roots intact.
Annuals vs. Perennial Plants-What Is The Main Difference?
The notable difference between the two is the duration period of the blooms of each of these. Annuals tend to last for only one season and are suitable for beginner gardeners.
The only main purpose of annual flowering plants is to germinate and reproduce. To fulfill this purpose, they grow a lot of flowers to help with easy pollination.
Annuals also tend to thrive in warm and cold environments.
On the other hand, perennials have a greater lifespan. They only bloom once in a season, and this can be during the spring or summer seasons. They can easily last somewhere between 3 to 5 years. They require much less care and maintenance when compared to the annuals.
The other difference is that perennials are known to thrive well in colder climates.
What Are Biennials?
Now that you have read and understood what annuals and perennials are, let’s look at biennials.
Unlike the other two terms, biennials are plants that can grow in two different climates. However, these can only bloom when the second year arrives. This is a very interesting variety as they sow their seeds once the second year has passed. Within the following two years, seed formation occurs, and you will notice that your garden has a wide variety of blooms from a new generation.
Biennials are also a little tricky as they require some planning and a whole lot of patience. When this is done properly, you will see the growth of new roots, leaves, and stems in your biennial plant.
Why Should You Purchase Biennial Plants?
Biennials are known to withstand the weather even when the ground freezes. So, if you are living in a constantly cold place, biennials may be your ideal choice.
Also, when you sow the seed of a biennial plant, there is no need for you to re-sow it. They will always keep providing with blooms which eliminate the need for constant re-planting.
What Are The Best Choices For Biennial Plants?
The variety of biennial plants offer you the best of annuals and perennials. So, if you want to purchase seeds for biennials, we’ve listed the top 10.
- Canterbury Bells
- California Poppy
- Black-eyed Susan
- Dianthus Barbatus
- Matthiola Incana
In addition to just flowers, biennials can also be seen among certain vegetables.
- Brussel Sprouts
- Swiss Chard
Is It Possible To Make Biennials Flower During The First Season?
Biennial plants tend to flower during their second season. This may be beneficial if you’re growing biennial plants. However, if you’re growing the flowers, it may be a little frustrating. But, don’t worry! There is a way to trick your biennial into flowering in the first season!
The process is straightforward. Instead of having the seeds planted in the spring, you can plant them in the summer season. When you’re doing this, do not keep the plants outside during the fall season. By doing this, your plant will pass the winter stage, and by the time it is done, you will notice beautiful flowers blooming in their first year!
Plants and flowers are a beautiful way to uplift the look of your rooms or gardens. They add a splash of color and can make any place smell good.
So, if you’re interested in purchasing some, you can always go for annuals, perennials, or even biennials! Just keep in mind to check the environmental conditions in your location before purchasing them. This will help them thrive better, and in return, you will get a beautiful set of flowers.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.