Flowering Plants – Annuals and Perennials

flowering plants

Flowering Plants

Flowering plants are one of nature’s wonders.  They can lift my mood in an instant. The combination of shapes, colors, and fragrance all add to the charm of a flower garden.

When you are starting out as a gardener, it is essential to know enough about flowering plants to properly care for them. Having basic knowledge about the difference between annual and perennial flowers is a good foundation to start with when considering the types of flowers you will want in your garden.

To get a good look at the difference between these two types of flowers, it is best to take each one and examine its specific characteristics.

Annual Flowers

The basic feature shared by different annual flowers is how they complete their whole life in a single growth cycle. They grow from seeds, bloom and give seeds in one growing season. After which, they wither and die.

Annual Flowers

Annual Flowers

Annual flowers grow based on the season they are planted. There are three types of annual flowers. They are grouped according to the type of weather they grow in and the types of soil that they need in order to grow well.

Hardy annual flowers have the capacity to bloom during the cold winter season. They have the unique capacity that enables them to survive the harsh weather. However, they cannot tolerate high heat which makes them inappropriate for hot, summer gardens. They should be planted during the spring or fall. Examples of this type are viola, stocks, cornflowers and pansy.

Half hardy annual flowers, on the other hand, can live with damp and mildly cold weather but unable to survive the coldest winter months. The most ideal time to plant them is during the late parts of spring. They don’t do so well in the scorching hot summer months but will perk up as summer starts to fade away. Baby’s breath, bells of Ireland and forget-me-nots are examples of this type of annual flowers.

For warmer weather, the best option is to go for tender annuals. They are best sown a week or so after the last spring frost.  In colder climates, starting your flower seeds inside and transplanting them outside after the last frost will give your garden a head start.  During the last parts of spring and the early days of summer, these flowers are at their best.  Petunias, morning glory and scarlet sage are tender annual flowers.

Perennial Flowers

Perennials have a lifetime of two to three years in average. They survive the whole year and bloom once a year at a specific time.  They are self propagating so it might seem like they live forever, but it is simply that new flowers are coming up when the old ones lifespan is over.

Perennial flowers come in three groups. They differ according to the amount of sunlight they need to grow most perfectly.

Perennial Flowers

Perennial Flowers

Full sun perennial flowers grow best in places where they are able to get about six to eight hours of direct sunlight on a daily basis. Examples of this type include chrysanthemum, iris and Japanese anemone.

Perennial plants that can do well without direct sunlight are referred to as part shade perennials. They can easily be traced under the trees where they are accessible to the sunlight through the foliage. Primrose, bleeding heart and foxglove are three examples of part shade perennials.

The third type is called full shade perennials. This is obviously because they need to be in areas where sunlight cannot get to them. The perfect location for these flowering plants is under evergreen and other similar trees with thick branches.

Whether your preference leans toward annuals or perennials, always check the labels for care instructions when purchasing your flowering plants.   Knowing the different characteristics of the plants you choose will make your gardening chores easier and give you a garden you can truly enjoy.


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