Annuals vs. Perennials

Annuals are plants or flowers that complete a life cycle in one season. They grow quickly and bloom profusely – you could have a full flower bed or container in a matter of two weeks. Not to mention the beautiful array of colors. Pinks, purples, reds, blues, and oranges! The idea for the annual is to make as many seed-producing flowers as possible. And if you pick the flowers, more will come!

Perennials are plants that do not die at the end of the season. They renew themselves and grow back year after year. Many people enjoy perennials as a sign that spring is here. However, most don’t bloom for more than a few weeks. Perennials are not a solution for lazy gardeners, however. They still require work and must be weeded and maintained to achieve their full potential.

If you want season-long color, the solution is to mix annuals and perennials. Always remember to plant your flowers only after the danger of frost has past. The rule is generally on or after Mother’s Day.

Not all perennials can tolerate the extreme cold that we experience in the Midwest. However, some perennials will survive if taken inside. At the end of the summer, if you have potted perennials, bring them in before the first frost.

Plants add value and aesthetic appeal to every property. Even legendary designer, Oscar de la Renta is a fan of a good flower bed. “Gardening is how I relax,” he has said. “It’s another form of creating and playing with colors.”