What’s the Difference Between Annuals and Perennials?


If you’re new to gardening you may be wondering: What’s the difference between an Annual and a Perennial? The simplest answer is that an Annual will only bloom during the spring and summer months and then die off, while a Perennial will continue to grow year after year even after being dormant in the winter.

Annuals Vs PerennialsPerennials

Perennials are plants that live for more than two years. Many have specific characteristics that help them survive in the wild and adapt to a variety of conditions. These include hardiness, genetic resistance to pests and disease, tolerance for drought, shade, or low fertility soil.

Most of your Perennials tend to be your heartier flowers and plants, such as: Agapanthus, Anise Hyssop, Bulbine Frutescens Orange Bicolor, Bulbine Frutescens Yellow, Cast Iron Plant, Chrysanthemum, Dianthus, Dusty Miller, Ferns, Gaillardia Arizona Sun, Herbs, Lavender, Lavender Cotton, Ornamental Grasses, Sage, Sedum, Society Garlic, and Yucca. 


An annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in one growing season. Most species of annual plants complete their entire life cycle within 12 months. Annuals are sown annually and die after flowering in the same year, although some repeat-flowering types of plants may do so more than once during their lifespan.

Your Annuals would be plants like Angelonia, Blue Daze, Blue Lobelia, Blue Salvia, Coreopsis Mouse Ear, Coreopsis Sundancer, Lantana, Marigold, Mona Lavender, Night Blooming Jasmine, Pink Cestrum, Purple Fountain Grass, Shrimp Plant Fruit Cocktail, Snap Dragon, Stokesia, Tibouchina Olivia, Vinca, Zinnia, and Zonal Geranium.

Which Is Better?

Knowing the difference between annuals and perennials can be very helpful in planning your garden. Both are beautiful blooms, but they have key differences that will help you determine what plants to use in your landscape or container gardens.

Because annuals and perennials are two different kinds of plants, they have different benefits to your landscape including color, texture, and height. Whether you want big splashes of color in the spring or a nice backdrop of flowers for bees and butterflies in the summer, there is a plant for every season.