How to Know When to Use Perennials or Annuals in Your Garden
If you've wandered the garden center (or perused plant catalogs), you've probably seen most plants and flowers divided into annuals and perennials.
But which ones make the most sense for your garden depends on a number of factors, from your current budget to how often you like to change things up. And for most gardens, a mix of perennials and annuals will give the most bang for your buck (and for your effort).
Perennials vs. Annuals
The difference between perennials and annuals is simple—perennials are plants that will come back and regrow year after year, while annuals die off when temperatures get too cold, and require you to plant new plants the following spring.
To confuse things a bit, some plants may be perennial or annual, depending on which plant hardiness zone you live in. So in the South and parts of the country that have very mild winters they'll come back, but they will die off if you plant them in the northern, colder parts of the U.S. And how you plant them matters, too. "Perennials are great in planters for warmer regions, but in colder areas, many perennials won't last over winter because their roots freeze," says Blythe Yost, landscape architect, CEO and co-founder of Tilly, a landscape design site.
Benefits of Planting Perennials
If you're looking to make an investment in your garden for long-lasting results, perennials are definitely the way to go.
Benefits of Planting Annuals
Annuals are like the trendy clothes in your wardrobe—they add a little fun and excitement alongside your tried-and-true perennials.
What's Hot in Perennials and Annuals
Personal taste definitely plays a big role in how your garden grows, whether you're looking for a lush English garden vibe, or something more scaled back and modern. But every plant has its moment in the sun (so to speak), and these perennial and annual plants are currently popular.