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Annuals or Perennials: A Gardner’s Tough Decision

With June being Perennial month, it’s a good time to decide if they the right plant for your garden or if you should choose annuals instead. Each group has their own strength and weaknesses that make them a good choice depending on the type of gardener you are.

What’s the Difference between Perennial and Annuals?

The main difference between the two is their life cycle. Annuals blooms once and then dies in the winter, but a perennial returns in the spring. Annuals must be replanted every year, but perennials come back on their own.
It’s the short lifecycle that causes annuals to flower more than perennials. The job of a plant is to reproduce and the annuals only have one cycle to create as many seeds as possible and thus more flowers. Perennials don’t need to do everything in one cycle, so they create strong roots that last from year to year.
Popular perennials include clematis, veronica, Russian sage, peonies and the 2018 perennial plant of the year, Allium ‘Millenium,’ as selected by the Perennial Plant Association. Popular annuals include zinnias, marigolds, petunias and sunflowers.

Should I Choose Annuals or Perennials?

Garden Center
When deciding on perennials or annuals for your garden, there are many factors to consider. Perhaps the most evident is the amount of time and care needed. Annuals must be planted every year, which means more time. Perennials are plant once and forget for 3-7 years, depending on the type of plant.
If you want to have a new garden every year, then annuals give you a clean slate. If you don’t like how it looked the year before, then you can have something completely different. There are a variety of colors and flower types for perennials, but your garden will look similar year after year. An advantage of perennials is there are types that flower at different times of the year, so you can have a flowers blooming throughout the seasons.

Best of Both Worlds: Perennials and Annuals

If you can’t make a decision, then you can go for a little bit of both. This lets you have a year by year variety, but still have a strong yearly showing with the perennials. You’ll want to have strategic placing with annuals mixed in the perennials. Don’t have one side heavy with one type or the other as that will likely look strange, especially if you have perennials that flower at different parts of the year.
Ekana Nursery and Landscaping can help you choose the perfect mix or create the perfect landscaping for you.

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