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Annuals Vs. Perennials: What You Need To Know

Choosing plants for your landscape design can be exciting and overwhelming. Many homeowners face daunting choices when it comes to buying the types of plants that add beauty to their landscape and grow well on their property. When choosing annuals and perennials to plant, your satisfaction with the outcome depends on understanding a few facts about each. While annuals live for only one growing season, and perennials return for several seasons, both offer advantages to growing in your flower beds and hardscape designs.

When you want to add some colorful flowering plants to your landscape design, here is what to consider when choosing between annuals and perennials.

Annuals Provide A Burst Of Colorful Blooms For One Season

Although annual plants only last for one season, their bright and colorful blooms add much-needed pop to summer gardens and landscaping. Growing annuals is typically an affordable way to fill flower pots, planters, and flower beds with beautiful colors.

Perennials Grow For Several Years

Perennial plants live multiple years, but only for a while. How long a perennial grows depends on plant type, care, and climate. Some perennials may grow for just three or four years, while others may live for decades. Most perennials are low-maintenance plants and save you time and expenses associated with yearly plantings.

Annuals And Perennials Length Of Blooming

Typically, annuals tend to bloom for more extended periods than perennial plants. They may bloom all summer, giving your long-lasting landscape color, especially when planted in containers or beds. Planting annuals alongside perennials will ensure your landscape has colorful blooms while the perennials are forming flowers or fading from spring blooms.

Average Cost Considerations Of Perennials And Annuals

The costs of perennials and annuals will vary across the country, but typically, the charge is higher for a perennial than an annual plant. The prices of perennials may be higher as they are expected to live for many years, which puts the cost into context. If you are not buying plants seasonally, your maintenance expenses should be minimal. Also, most perennials don't grow well from seeds, meaning you have to purchase them in pots, increasing their price.

Annuals Allow Landscape Experimentation

Because annuals live only one growing season and are relatively inexpensive, they allow homeowners to experiment with landscape design and colors. By planting annuals in containers and hardscapes, you can easily change the look of your garden, porch, or patio spaces to fit your aesthetic design. Since annuals are only intended to grow for one season, they aren't assigned a growing zone designation which means gardeners in any climate can try out different looks, colors, textures, heights, and forms to create different looks.

Perennials Can Require Less Maintenance And Attract Pollinators

Perennials native to your region will flourish in your landscape and garden. If you plant non-native perennials, you may spend more time and expense keeping the plants happy or tending their aggressive growth patterns. Native perennials are suited to your climate, soil, and weather patterns, so they need less fertilizing and watering. Planting native species of perennials and plants that grow well in your zone will attract birds and other pollinators, which supports your region's wildlife and diverse habitats.

Incorporating A Mix Of Annuals And Perennials In the Landscape

Mixing annuals and perennials in your landscape and hardscape design will give you the best of both worlds for a balanced, beautiful, and bountiful garden.

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