Flowers: Perennials vs Annuals

It’s spring and you’re ready to layout your new flower bed designs, but before you start, it helps to understand what flowers you already have. Knowing the difference between annuals, perennials and biennials can help you plan for the following spring as well!


Annual plants are those that live for one season. From planting the seed or seedlings, to sprout, flower, seed and die, annual plants do that all in the same year.

Most annuals are loud and vibrant, and bloom throughout the season. They are often cheaper compared to perennials, and require less commitment.

Examples of annuals are marigolds, gerbera daisies, and sunflowers.


Perennial plants live for over 2 years. Compared to annuals, they typically bloom for shorter periods. To compensate for this, gardeners frequently grow other perennials that bloom at different times so the garden has a splash of color throughout spring and autumn.

Examples of perennials are peonies, veronicas, echinacea, and sages.

Tip: Keep an eye out around your neighborhood to see which perennials thrive in your region. This is great inspiration for your garden plan!


A third category is biennial plants. They require more patience and commitment as these plants grow for two seasons and blooms in the second season. The two year cycle begins again once they have lived out the second year and drop their seeds.

Though most biennials are vegetables, such as beets and lettuce, some are flowers. Examples of biennial flowers are pansies, black-eyed susans, and hollyhocks.


Check out some of the Spring Annuals that Means Nursery has to offer.

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