Annuals vs. Perennials: How to Decide What to Plant

When starting to garden, you’ll notice plants divided into two categories: annuals and perennials.

annuals vs perennials
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Annuals are plants that will live for only one season. Because of this, these plants require replanting each season. However, they have a tendency to have longer blooming seasons.

Some common annuals include:


Perennials are plants with a tendency to bloom and then go dormant until their next blooming season. Unlike annuals, these plants do not need to be replanted each year; rather, when taken care of properly, these plants continue to come back each year.

Some common perennials to plant include:

  • Coneflowers
  • Daylilies
  • Peonies
  • Roses
  • Mums


Another term you’ll see on your gardening journey is biennials. These plants require two years of care to grow and establish themselves before they bloom.

Some common examples of biennial plants include:

  • Foxglove
  • Sweet William

Benefits of Perennials and Annuals

Each plant has its own benefits, so make sure to do some additional research before you start planting.

Perennials: Benefits

Perennial plants will be cheaper in the long term and have a tendency to require little maintenance. To help these plants thrive best, make sure to give them a good pruning in the fall. By pruning in the fall, gardeners will encourage stronger growth the following year.

Additionally, perennials are known for being pollinator-friendly. This means that you’ll attract several butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other wildlife to your garden.

However, it’s important to remember that these plants are reoccurring; this means that if you happen to change your mind about having the plant in your garden, you’re in for a complete remodel.

Annuals: Benefits

Where perennials allow for little maintenance, annuals allow for experimentation. These plants allow gardeners to try new colors and varieties each year. Additionally, these plants have a tendency to bloom longer, meaning you can enjoy the added color longer.

Start Gardening

No matter what you choose, gardening is an amazing hobby to start diving into. Good luck and have fun!

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