Annuals, Perennials or Both
We all love to take that trip to the greenhouse and bring back those beautiful blooms to dress up our gardens. But do you know what type of flowers you’re choosing? Typically, it’s either an annual or a perennial. Let’s take a look at each and see if you prefer one over the other.
Annuals are herbaceous plants that complete their life cycle in one season. They germinate, bloom, seed, and die all in the same year but they have one big advantage, their bloom time. They can bloom from spring to fall providing continuous color in our gardens. They are easy to grow, do well in containers, and they can be mixed and matched to create brilliant combinations of colors. Annuals offer us the chance to experiment with our landscapes, so if you like to start with a blank canvas each year, annuals are perfect for you!
Most annuals require minimal care, but if you want to help keep and extend those beautiful blooms apply a balanced fertilizer every 2 to 4 weeks. And don't forget to water. Due to their shallow root system annuals will require regular watering, especially during the hot summer. Deadheading, removing spent flowers, can be done to maintain their growth and extend their bloom time as well. This also prevents them from setting seed, because once they seed, they die. However, if cleaning flowers isn't your preferred way to spend time in the garden there are many annuals that are self-cleaning, meaning they naturally shed their spent flower heads and produce new ones. Types such as Sunpatiens, New Guinea Impatiens, Angelonia, Bacopa, Diascia, and Lobelia, are all self-cleaning annuals, so maintenance can be a breeze! Here at the greenhouse, we offer a huge selection of flowering annuals in varying colors and sizes. Ask our knowledgeable staff for help to find the perfect annuals for you.
Perennials are herbaceous plants with non-woody stems that live for multiple seasons, one of their most loved features. Each winter their top growth dies back, but their roots survive allowing them to shoot up again next spring. While some perennials may only last a few years, others can last decades. For those gardeners who don’t want to start from scratch every year, this is your type of plant! Although perennials return each season, we do need to have some patience while they mature. However, once established they will bloom and grow bigger every year.
While annuals have a long bloom period, perennials may bloom only once or twice a year, meaning for most of the season you’ll see more foliage than flowers. This isn’t necessarily a drawback. Plants such as coral bells, bleeding hearts, and yarrows offer attractive foliage, so even when your perennials aren’t in bloom you can enjoy the textural contrast their foliage brings to your landscape! And while they are in bloom you can also enjoy the many visitors that they attract, such as butterflies and hummingbirds. Not all perennials attract our favorite summertime visitors, but the ones that do will attract them year after year.
Whether you love to recreate your landscape each year, filling it with vibrant colors and newly bred plants, or if you prefer to sit back and watch your carefully planned garden spring back to life, either plant type can create a balanced and beautiful garden that suits your needs and taste. And remember, you don’t have to pick one over the other. Combine both for the garden that flowers all season.
See you down the road!