Annual Flowers & Perennial Flowers – What’s the Difference?

Superior Landscaping Ltd.

Annual Flowers & Perennial Flowers – What’s the Difference?


What Are Annual Flowers?

Annual flowers have a life cycle that lasts for a single growing season. The blooms don’t return year after year – the plants die in the winter or at the first hard frost.

So, if you plant annual flowers this spring, you’ll need to plant more next year. But, your gardens will produce a glorious colour show, as most annuals bloom profusely. And, you can count on season-long beauty, as annuals usually bloom for longer than perennial flowers.

What Are Perennial Flowers?

Perennial flowers live through multiple growing seasons, popping back up every spring until the plants reach maturity. Most continue to grow and produce blooms for several years, and some varieties last for decades.

If you plant perennials this spring, you won’t have to worry about replanting for at least a few years. However, your gardens may not come as alive with colour, as perennials only bloom for a few weeks. You can find ever-blooming perennials at your local garden center, but even these varieties don’t produce as many flowers or bloom for as long as annuals.

Should You Plant Annuals or Perennials?

Some gardeners appreciate the advantages of annual flowers, while others prefer to plant perennials. And really, there are good reasons to go with either option.

The benefits of planting annuals include:

  • Profuse blooming
  • Several months of flowering
  • Lower cost

Plus, annuals produce their own seeds. Start them indoors in the winter, and you’ll have new flowering plants for next spring.

Perennial flowers, on the other hand, generally require less maintenance than annuals. For gardeners who are pressed for time or want an easy-care garden, they can be a solid choice.

Other reasons to plant perennial flowers include:

  • Blooming season after season
  • Tolerance of extreme weather
  • New plantings created by dividing large perennials

The truth is, both annual flowers and perennial flowers can boost the beauty of your landscape. And, in many cases, using a mixture of both is the ideal solution. Different varieties of annuals and perennials flower at different times, and strategic planning can ensure your gardens are always full of eye-catching blooms.