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Annual Vs. Perennial Plants & Flowers

The difference between annual and perennial flowers is based on their lifespan, as annual flowers typically last for one growing season, while perennials last for multiple growing seasons. When planting your flower garden, you’ll need to decide which type works best for you.

What is a Perennial Flower or Plant?

Perennial plants have a longer life cycle than their annual counterparts. They typically don’t bloom in their first year, but make up for it by lasting for multiple years, making it less work for you to maintain a beautiful garden.

Perennials can also self-seed, so while your original plant may wilt and fade, often it has already been replaced by new, healthy plants – so you may not even notice, helping your garden look great with minimal maintenance.

Which Plants and Flowers are Perennials?

Daylilies, Coneflowers, Hostas and Black-Eyed Susans are all common perennials. Daylilies thrive in both cold and heat, making them one of the most resilient perennials. Coneflowers and Black-Eyed Susans love the sunlight, making them great for areas with lots of it. Hostas are also a great looking, low-maintenance addition to any garden.

A red daylily in a garden.

Daylily

Daylilies are a beautiful, colourful flower that blooms between the months of May to October. While their flowers only last for about a day individually, one daylily plant can produce up to 50 flowers, to keep your garden looking beautiful for up to four or five weeks. Daylilies prefer moist, well-drained soil and are best planted in the early spring or fall.

Hostas are shown in a garden.

Hosta

Hostas are a great looking, low-maintenance plant that can really elevate the look of your space. They can be blue, green and even golden in colour and can be planted either on a garden or on a container. Hostas thrive in partial shade, but do enjoy some sun. Their soil should be kept moist by watering regularly.

Black-Eyed Susans on display in a garden.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susans are a beautiful yellow flower with a black centre, giving them their unique name. They grow best from late-July until the first frost, giving you lots of bloom time during the summer. Black-Eyed Susans prefer full sun, so make sure to plant them where they’ll get plenty of sunlight, and be sure to plant them in well-drained soil. They don’t require much upkeep, so they’re a perfect plant for yards that don’t get much attention.

Purple coneflowers in a garden.

Coneflower

Coneflowers are a stunning, pinkish-purple flower that grows in groups. They’re heat and drought resistant too, so they’ll be easier to take care of. Coneflowers prefer full sun, so be sure to plant them in direct sunlight. They also grow best in well-drained, loose soil. Be sure to deadhead your Coneflowers to help them bloom all season long.

What is an Annual Flower or Plant?

Annual flowers complete their life cycle in one growing season, going from seed to flower and then back to seed. This means that you need to plant new annuals each growing season. They also typically flower for longer periods than perennials.

Because of their short life cycle, they’re perfect for trying out different colour combinations and styles in your garden each year.

Which Plants and Flowers are Annuals?

Begonias, Dahlias, Geraniums and Petunias are some of the most popular annual flowers. Begonias prefer some shade, while Dahlias, Geraniums and Petunias love the sunlight. Adding these to your garden will help you add beauty and colour to your outdoor space.

Begonias in a garden.

Begonia

The pretty Begonia flower can come in a variety of colours including orange, yellow, pink, red and more. They typically bloom best from June until the first frost. Begonias thrive in morning sun with afternoon shade, and should be planted in well-drained soil. Begonias can be planted in the ground but also do quite well in window boxes, hanging planters and containers with some potting soil.

Pink Dahlias in a garden.

Dahlia

Dhalias are considered annuals throughout most of Canada. Dahlia flowers can be planted in early June to enjoy all summer long. These beautiful flowers that come in pink, blue, white and more prefer full sun placement so they can soak up those rays. They are not particularly hardy, but are easy to grow and give off a sweet fragrance that’s sure to please. 

Geraniums on display in the back of a truck.

Geranium

Geraniums come in blue, purple, red and other hues and are a perfect plant for either in-ground planting or in containers. Geraniums love the sun and should be placed in an area where they’ll get about six hours of sun per day. They thrive in drier soil, so allow it to dry a bit between waterings. Deadhead them regularly to encourage growth and blooming.

Petunias in a wagon in the yard.

Petunia

Petunias are a sun-loving flower that typically bloom from spring until frost. Available in a variety of colours, Petunias are a heat-tolerant plant that can thrive in the ground or in containers and pots. Water them regularly, keeping the soils damp but well-drained.

Annuals or Perennials: Which One Should I Choose?

When it comes to choosing between annuals and perennials, there are a few things to consider. Perennials are a great choice if you’re confident you know what you want in your garden, as they last for multiple years and require less maintenance in planting. Planting ones that bloom at different times can create a garden that thrives all season. Annuals are great for experimentation, allowing you to try different colours and test alternate combinations – letting you refresh and relocate as you please.

Whichever you choose, we have everything you need – including tools, soil, plants and more – at The Home Depot Canada.    

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