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  • Writer's pictureAfton Krentz

Annuals VS Perennials: Which Is Best For Your Garden?

As a gardener, choosing the right plants for your space can make all the difference in creating a beautiful and sustainable garden. Whether you're drawn to the vibrant colors and long blooming periods of annuals or the long-term investment of perennials, understanding the key differences between these two plant types will help you make informed decisions for your garden.

Annuals are plants and flowers that grow for one growing season and then die. They are perfect for those looking to fill their garden with color and variety throughout the warmer months. Some of my favorite annuals to plant include zinnias, petunias, cosmos, geraniums, snapdragons, marigolds, and impatiens.

One of the main benefits of annuals is their longer blooming period. They start blooming in the spring and continue throughout the summer and into the fall, offering a long-lasting splash of color. You can often find annuals already in bloom at big box stores, or you can plant them as bulbs. However, annuals require more water and constant care to keep them looking their best. This includes deadheading older dead leaves and ensuring they have the nutrients they need to thrive.

On the other hand, perennials are plants that come back year after year. If you're looking for a long-term investment in your garden, perennials are the way to go. Examples of perennials include lavender, peonies, coneflowers, hostas, Russian sage, and daylilies.

While perennials may not bloom for as long as annuals, they provide more seasonal interest with their fall colors and spring flowers. Some perennials, such as dogwood, also add winter interest with different colored stems like red and yellow.

It's important to note that some perennials may be more tender and require extra care during the winter to help them survive, depending on your hardiness zone. Though they may seem pricey at first, perennials are an investment that will last for years to come. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, perennials have practical benefits. Their roots help with soil erosion prevention, contributing to a healthier and more sustainable garden.

Ultimately, the choice between annuals and perennials depends on your gardening goals and the level of care you're willing to invest. Consider incorporating both types of plants to create a dynamic and beautiful garden that offers year-round interest and color. And if you ever need any help with planning your year round garden let me know. Happy gardening!

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