Craving year round color and seasonal blooms? Learn the secrets of growing perennial vs annual flowers in your garden while discovering endless color, low-maintenance blooms year after year.

Are you dreaming of a vibrant garden that peaks the senses from the first signs of spring until the last whispers of fall? Imagine stepping into your landscape and being greeted by a symphony of colors, textures, and scents that evolve with the seasons.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting to cultivate your green thumb, this guide shares the secrets to creating a thriving garden that brings joy year after year. Dive into the captivating world of annuals and perennials, and discover how these two distinct plant types can work together harmoniously to transform your garden into a masterpiece of blooming art.

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A vibrant garden in front of a house with tall yellow flowers, pink blooming shrubs, and a hint of a stone pathway leading to a white door, surrounded by lush greenery. rudbeckia, sedum autumn joy and gomphrena flowers

Whenever I’m asked about what to plant in the garden, my response is always, “What kind of garden do you want to grow and how much work do you want to do?” It’s really important to understand what your gardening goals and aspirations are so you know what to plant and when to plant them.

Because how much work you want to do will dictate what kinds of plants to grow in your garden. Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding Perennials and Annual Flowers: What’s the Difference?

Gardening can be a rewarding and enjoyable hobby, but with so many different types of plants to choose from, it can also be overwhelming. When designing your dream garden, understanding the difference between annual and perennial plants is key. It’s not just about colorful blossoms; it’s about knowing what to expect from your plant year after year.

If you aren’t sure what’s the difference betweeen annual and perennial plants, I got you! One of the most basic distinctions to make is between perennials and annuals because each has its own unique characteristics, advantages, and challenges.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting, understanding the pros and cons of perennials and annuals can help you create a beautiful and thriving garden that works best for you.

Dahlia 'Tropical' is great for the cut flower garden
Dahlia ‘Tropical’

Perennials: The Comeback Kids

Perennials are plants that live for more than two years. They are typically cold-hardy plants that die back and regrow the following season.

Pros:

  • Return year after year, saving you time and money
  • Often require less maintenance than annuals
  • Provide structure and stability to your garden

Cons:

  • Typically have a shorter bloom time than annuals
  • Limited color options compared to annualspen_spark

Some perennials, I’ve had in my garden for well over twenty years. So they can live a really long time! Here’s a handful of what’s still in my garden today.

I grow a lot more than just these perennial plants. But I have divisions of these same plants in my gardens today that I started growing in my first flower garden well over 20 years ago. Isn’t that amazing? It’s one of the reasons I love a good perennial plant. Cause they keep coming back!

pretty pink achillea flowers

Annuals: The One-Hit Wonders in the Garden

Annual flowers are plants that are not cold-tolerant and perform an entire life cycle from seed to flower. All roots, stems, and leaves of the plant die annually.

Some drop seeds and will regrow the following year. But in general, annual flowers are typically planted in spring and/or fall, depending on the season.

Some annual plants thrive in cooler temps like garden mums and pansies. While others thrive in warmer temps like marigolds.

So depending on the season and purpose of the planting, choose what annual flowers you plant accordingly. Because timing matters.

Pros:

  • Intense and continuous blooming throughout the season
  • Wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes
  • Perfect for adding instant pops of color to your garden

Cons:

  • Need to be replanted every year
  • Can be more demanding in terms of water and fertilizer
cut flower patch: strawflowers in the potager garden
Strawflowers

Which is Right for You? Perennial vs Annual Flowers?

The choice between annuals and perennials depends on your gardening goals and preferences. If you crave a kaleidoscope of colors that change with the seasons, annuals might be your go-to.

However, if you prefer low-maintenance plants that offer long-term beauty, perennials could be a better fit.

The good news is, you don’t have to choose just one! Many gardeners combine both annuals and perennials to create a dynamic and visually appealing landscape that thrives throughout the year.

In case you need to brush up on some basics, read these posts:

A serene garden featuring a stone pathway leading to a circular arrangement of wooden adirondack chairs, surrounded by lush flowering plants and trees.

Annual Flowers: Adding Season Color to Your Garden

Annual flowers are the vibrant stars of the gardening world, bursting onto the scene with a kaleidoscope of colors and captivating blooms. Unlike their perennial counterparts, annuals complete their entire life cycle in a single season, offering a fleeting yet dazzling display of beauty.

From the cheerful charm of pansies to the fiery brilliance of zinnias, annuals offer a diverse range of options to suit any garden style. Some popular annuals include:

  • Pansies: These cheerful flowers come in a wide variety of colors and bloom from early spring to late fall.
  • Zinnias: These easy-to-grow flowers are known for their large, showy blooms that come in a vibrant array of colors.
  • Marigolds: These versatile flowers are not only beautiful but also help to deter pests from your garden.
  • Celosia: These unique flowers have feathery plumes that come in various colors, adding a touch of whimsy to your garden.
  • Strawflowers: These long-lasting flowers can be dried and used in everlasting arrangements.
  • Gomphrena: Pretty Dr. Seuss-like blooms that look like small truffala trees that make a great cut flower.
Vibrant pink and purple celosia flowers bloom in a garden, illuminated by soft sunlight with a blurred background of greenery.
Celosia

Growing and Caring for Your Annuals

Annual flowers are relatively easy to care for, making them a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. Here are some tips for growing and caring for your annuals:

  • Plant annuals in full sun, partial shade, or full shade depending on the variety.
  • Water your annuals regularly, especially during hot and dry weather during the earlier part of the day. Always water the base of plants so you directly water the roots where plants needs it most.
  • Fertilize your annuals according to the package instructions. I like to use a slow-release fertilizer so feeding them is less work during the growing season.
  • Deadhead your annuals regularly to encourage continued blooming.

Choosing the Right Annuals for Your Garden

When choosing annual flowers for your garden, consider the following factors:

  • Sunlight requirements: Different annuals have different sunlight requirements. Be sure to choose flowers that will thrive in the amount of sunlight that your garden receives.
  • Bloom time: Some annuals are cool season, where they bloom early in the season, while others are more warm season and bloom later. Choose flowers that will bloom at different times to ensure that your garden has color throughout the season.
  • Hardiness zone: Annuals are not all equally hardy. Choose flowers that are suitable for your climate. You can check your hardiness zone here and determine your first and last frost dates here.
  • Moisture needs: Some annuals prefer moist soil, while others prefer drier soil. Choose flowers that will thrive in the moisture conditions of your garden.
  • Color preferences: Annuals come in a wide variety of colors. Choose flowers that complement the colors of your perennials and other garden features.

By considering these factors, you can choose annual flowers that will thrive in your garden and provide you with enjoyment throughout the growing season.

Close-up of peach-colored snapdragons with soft yellow accents, the ruffled petals providing a delicate texture against the greenery of the garden
‘Madame Butterfly Bronze’ Snapdragons

Additional Tips for Choosing the Best Annual Flowers For Your Garden

  • Select flowering annuals that will bloom throughout the growing season, so you can have a continuous display of color.
  • Choose colors that will look good early in the season AND later in the season to save you money at the garden nursery.
  • Choose annuals that complement the colors of your perennials.
  • Plant annuals in containers to add pops of color to your patio or deck.

With a little planning, you can enjoy the beauty of annual flowers in your garden all season long.

Seasonal Gardening Hacks With Annuals That Will Save You Money

For example, don’t buy pansies close to summer because they won’t survive. It’s better to purchase pansies and plant in fall because they love cooler weather and can go dormant in winter only to bounce back in spring. So you’d get two seasons out of them instead of just one. And save money from having to buy them twice.

Another example is garden mums. While they are technically considered perennial, I haven’t had the most luck getting them to return so I grow them as annuals. They are beautiful plants for the fall garden, but not bred to last more than a few weeks, so plant them accordingly.

close up of purple pansies and violas

Perennial Flowers: Timeless Elegance for Your Garden

Perennial flowers are the backbone of a flourishing garden, offering year-after-year of captivating blooms and reliable beauty. Unlike their fleeting annual counterparts, perennials return each spring, bringing a sense of continuity and charm to your outdoor space.

Beloved Easy Perennial Blooms for Every Season

The world of perennials is vast and varied, offering a myriad of choices to suit every garden style and preference. Some beloved perennials to consider include:

  • Coneflowers (Echinacea): These hardy, daisy-like flowers come in a wide array of colors, from vibrant purples and pinks to sunny yellows and oranges.
  • Daylilies (Hemerocallis): Known for their trumpet-shaped blooms, daylilies offer a burst of color for a single day, but with continuous blooms throughout the summer.
  • Hostas: These shade-loving perennials are prized for their lush foliage, which comes in various shades of green, blue, and yellow.
  • Peonies (Paeonia): These elegant, fragrant flowers are a classic choice for any garden, with large, showy blooms in shades of pink, white, and red.
  • Salvia: This diverse genus of perennials offers a wide variety of flower colors and forms, attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies.
  • Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia): These cheerful yellow flowers with dark centers are a staple of summer gardens, blooming profusely and attracting beneficial insects.
A cluster of vibrant pink and orange echinacea flowers, also known as coneflowers, blooming in a lush green field.

Cultivating Perennial Perfection: Growing and Caring Tips

Perennials are relatively low-maintenance plants, but they do have specific growing requirements to thrive. Here are some tips for cultivating perennial perfection:

  • Sunlight needs: Different perennials have varying sunlight requirements. Some thrive in full sun, while others prefer partial or full shade. Be sure to choose perennials that match the light conditions in your garden. Not sure what type of light you have? Watch your garden space for one full day. 6-8 hours is full sun, 4-6 is part sun, and anything less than 4 hours is considered shade.
  • Soil preferences: Most perennials prefer well-draining soil, but some may have specific pH preferences. It’s always a good idea to do a soil test before planting so you know how to improve your soil to get your plants off to the best start. Kits can be picked up at your local garden nursery or cooperative extension. Amend your soil as needed with compost, aged manure, leaf mold and other organic matter to create the ideal growing environment for your chosen perennials.
  • Watering: Perennials generally require less frequent watering than annuals, but they still need consistent moisture, especially during hot and dry periods.
  • Fertilizing: In general, I don’t recommend fertilizing perennial plants. And that’s because we should be focusing on good soil quality instead. The only time I fertilize my perennials is when I am growing them in pots.
  • Deadheading: Removing spent flowers can encourage some perennials to produce more blooms throughout the season. Keep in mind that not all perennials benefit from deadheading so know before you snip off your flowers. So it’s important to understand what the plant variety needs before deadheading flowers on perennials.
close up of lavender flowers
Lavender flowers

Selecting the Perfect Perennials for Your Garden

When choosing perennials for your garden, consider the following factors:

  • Bloom time: Select perennials with staggered bloom times to ensure a continuous display of color throughout the growing season.
  • Height and spread: Consider the mature size of each perennial to ensure they have enough space to grow and thrive.
  • Color scheme: Choose perennials that complement each other’s colors and create a harmonious visual display.
  • Growing conditions: Select perennials that are well-suited to your garden’s soil, sunlight, and moisture conditions. You can find a plant’s growing information on plant tags or online descriptions that accompany the flower.

By carefully considering these factors, you can create a perennial garden that is both beautiful and sustainable, providing years of enjoyment with minimal effort.

nepeta walkers low and moonbeam coreopsis (tickseed) in the driveway garden in new jersey zone 6a

Choosing the Right Plants for Your Garden: Annual vs. Perennial Plants

Deciding between annuals and perennials isn’t always a clear-cut choice. Each type of plant has its own unique set of advantages and drawbacks, and the “right” choice depends largely on your individual gardening goals and preferences.

Annuals: Pros and Cons

  • Pros:
    • Instant Gratification: Annuals grow and bloom quickly, providing a burst of color in a short amount of time.
    • Vibrant Variety: Annuals come in a vast array of colors, shapes, and sizes, allowing for endless design possibilities.
    • Seasonal Flexibility: You can change your garden’s look every year by choosing different annuals each season.
  • Cons:
    • Short Lifespan: Annuals need to be replanted each year, which can be time-consuming and costly.
    • Higher Maintenance: Annuals often require more frequent watering and fertilizing than perennials.
    • Limited Cold Tolerance: Most annuals are not frost-tolerant and will die back in the winter.
A vibrant garden scene filled with assorted flowers, including prominent pink blooming flowers in the foreground, set against a backdrop of lush greenery and distant blurred buildings.

Perennials: Pros and Cons

  • Pros:
    • Long-Term Investment: Perennials return year after year, providing long-term value and beauty.
    • Lower Maintenance: Perennials generally require less watering and fertilizing than annuals.
    • Year-Round Interest: Many perennials offer attractive foliage or seed heads even when not in bloom.
  • Cons:
    • Shorter Bloom Time: Perennials typically bloom for a shorter period than annuals.
    • Slower to Establish: Perennials may take a few years to reach their full potential.
    • Limited Color Variety: Perennials offer a narrower range of colors compared to annuals.
stacy ling cutting strawflowers for a peach tablescape idea in the cut flower garden
Stacy Ling cutting strawflowers in the cut flower garden

Making Your Choice Between Annuals and Perennials

The best way to decide between annuals and perennials is to consider your individual needs and preferences. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much time and effort do I want to invest in my garden, particularly in the heat of summer? If you’re looking for low-maintenance plants, perennials might be a better choice.
  • Do I want my garden to look different each year? If you enjoy experimenting with different colors and styles, annuals offer more flexibility.
  • Do I live in a cold climate? If you have harsh winters, you may want to focus on hardy perennials that can survive the cold.

Planting Considerations for Perennials vs Annuals

Since both perennials and annuals have different life spans, it follows that it’s not necessary to plant perennials as often as annuals. They return yearly, bloom and die back until the following year.

But annuals need to be planted seasonally. Thus, when designing a garden, consider how much planting you want to do every season or every year as well as how much money you want to spend. Because unless you grow plants from seed, annuals can be quite costly.

yellow and orange marigolds
Marigolds

Combining the Best of Both Worlds

Tee good news is, you don’t have to choose just one! Many gardeners like myself combine annuals and perennials to create a dynamic and visually appealing landscape. Annuals can provide vibrant pops of color in between perennials, and they can also be used to fill in gaps in your perennial garden as they mature.

For me, I try to do as little as possible when the temps are hot and humid here in New Jersey. So I consider this whenever I’m planting anything in my flower garden.

If a plant requires a lot of work, I either plant less of it or not at all. ‘Cause Jersey summers are too hot to do a lot in the gardens. So for me, I look for plants that don’t require as much from me during that time.

close up of monarch on a zinnia in the garden
Senora zinnias with monarch butterfly

Mixing Annuals and Perennials: A Recipe for Garden Harmony

Combining annuals and perennials in your garden isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a strategic approach that yields a multitude of benefits, creating a vibrant, dynamic landscape that thrives throughout the seasons.

Benefits of Combining Annuals and Perennials

  • Extended Blooming Season: By strategically planting annuals and perennials with varying bloom times, you can ensure a continuous display of color from early spring through late fall.
  • Increased Visual Interest: The contrasting textures, colors, and forms of annuals and perennials create a visually dynamic and captivating garden.
  • Enhanced Biodiversity: A diverse mix of plants attracts a wider range of pollinators and beneficial insects, promoting a healthier ecosystem.
  • Fill-In Solutions: Annuals can be used to fill in gaps left by perennials as they mature or die back, ensuring that your garden always looks lush and full.
  • Reduced Maintenance: The deep roots of perennials help to suppress weeds, while the quick growth of annuals can provide ground cover, reducing the need for weeding and mulching.
sedum autumn joy superbells supertunias and zinnias in the front yard cottage garden by the porch
Sedum autumn joy, superbells, supertunias, and zinnias in small cottage garden

Tips for Effective Mixing of Perennials and Annuals

  • Consider Bloom Times: Choose annuals and perennials with overlapping bloom times to create a continuous display of color.
  • Play with Texture: Combine plants with contrasting textures, such as feathery grasses, spiky foliage, and smooth petals, to add depth and interest.
  • Use Color Strategically: Create a harmonious color scheme by selecting annuals and perennials that complement each other’s hues.
  • Think About Height and Spread: Vary the height and spread of your plants to create a multi-layered and visually appealing garden.
  • Don’t Forget Foliage: Many perennials offer stunning foliage even when not in bloom. Choose perennials with interesting foliage to add texture and color throughout the season.
  • Experiment and Have Fun: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations of annuals and perennials to discover what works best in your garden.
coneflowers and yarrow close up
Coneflowers and Yarrow

My Flower Garden Strategy: Combining Annuals and Perennials

For my garden style, I use a mixture of the two to grow a colorful garden that’s always in bloom. But I didn’t always grow my garden that way. Particularly when I first started out.

When my passion for gardening began while living in our condo way back when we had minimal growing space. So I focused on growing annuals and houseplants because that’s all I had room to grow.

After moving to our family home, I started a small perennial garden on the side of my house and lined my front foundation plantings with sun-loving annuals. In the beginning, I focused on easy-care plants I knew I could grow with success while attracting pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden.

As my gardens expanded, I realized there were lulls of color and bloom in my garden. Because perennials have certain bloom cycles, they grow and change during the season.

Some bloom for months while others bloom for a few days to a week, depending on the perennial. Because the color dies down when the perennials transition, I realized more color was needed to fill in those lulls of color through the growing season.

To achieve that season-long color, I plant annuals among perennials to grow a cohesive, colorful garden that blooms all season long.

Annuals help keep the garden blooming while those perennials grow, bloom, and fade. So to me, both are equally important if you want an everblooming, colorful garden.

close up of tickseed or coreopsis 'caramel creme' in my early summer garden tour
‘Creme Caramel’ Coreopsis

9 Quick Tips For Choosing Annual vs Perennial Flowers

Now that we understand the difference between perennials and annuals, let’s talk about how to garden with them. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind.

close up of pink peonies that are cottage garden flowers deer tend to avoid
Peonies

Answers to Your Questions About Annuals & Perennials,

Gardening can be full of questions, especially when it comes to the fascinating world of annuals and perennials. Let’s tackle some of the most common queries:

What are the easiest annual flowers to grow?

Several annuals are known for their low-maintenance nature and beginner-friendly growth habits. Some top picks include:

  • Zinnias: These vibrant, drought-tolerant flowers thrive in full sun and attract pollinators.
  • Marigolds: Available in various sizes and colors, marigolds are pest-deterrent powerhouses.
  • Sunflowers: These iconic, sun-loving blooms bring joy and height to any garden.
  • Petunias: With cascading blooms and a wide color palette, petunias are perfect for containers and hanging baskets.
  • Cosmos: These delicate, daisy-like flowers add a touch of whimsy to borders and wildflower gardens.
A vibrant sunflower with a large, bright yellow bloom and a thick green stem, standing in front of lush trees. Three bees are visible harvesting sunflower seeds from the flower’s disc.

What perennials come back every year?

If you want flowers to return every year without replanting, perennials are the way to go. While it is true that some flowering annuals like celosia can reseed and return the following year, you’ll want to plant perennials for more certainty.

The beauty of perennials lies in their ability to return year after year. Some reliable perennials include:

  • Coneflowers (Echinacea)
  • Daylilies (Hemerocallis)
  • Hostas: 
  • Peonies (Paeonia)
  • Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia): These cheerful yellow flowers with dark centers are a staple of summer gardens.
  • Salvia
  • Nepeta
  • Heuchera
  • Coreopsis
close up of foxglove digitalis flowers
Foxgloves

Which lasts longer: annuals or perennials?

In terms of individual plant lifespan, perennials take the crown. They can live for several years, even decades, while annuals complete their life cycle in a single growing season. However, annuals often have a longer blooming period within that season, providing continuous color for months.

Since annuals complete their growing cycle within a season, perennials technically last longer because they can live and bloom for several years. However, annual flowers tend to have longer bloom times because they are meant to grow for a season, whereas perennials may only bloom for a week to a few months before the flowers fade.

As I mentioned before, there are some annual flowers that can reseed and return yearly. But choosing the best guarantee is planting a perennial.

cut flower patch with calendula, larkspur, snapdragons in potager garden by fountain

Which flowers come back every year?

Only perennials come back every year. Annuals, on the other hand, need to be replanted each spring. However, some annual flowers like celosia, larkspur, sunflowers and snapdragons can drop seed and reseed themselves annually. This is not a guarantee though, so you’ll have to see how they grow in your flower garden.

Can you plant perennials and annuals together?

Absolutely! Mixing annuals and perennials is a fantastic way to create a vibrant, dynamic garden with continuous blooms throughout the seasons. Annuals can fill in gaps while perennials establish themselves, and their contrasting colors and textures add visual interest.

What are some good companion plants for annuals and perennials?

Companion planting involves strategically pairing plants that benefit each other. Some excellent companion pairings include:

  • Marigolds with tomatoes: Marigolds deter pests that can harm tomato plants.
  • Nasturtiums with cucumbers: Nasturtiums repel cucumber beetles and other pests.
  • Salvia with roses: Salvia attracts beneficial insects that prey on rose pests.
  • Lavender with various vegetables: Lavender’s scent deters pests and attracts pollinators.

By strategically combining annuals and perennials, you can create a thriving garden that delights the senses and supports a healthy ecosystem.

close up of the potted flowers in my container gardens filled with superwave petunias, elephant ears, coleus in front of a stone wall on river rock in my zen garden in the outdoor living spaces home tour

Are Annuals a Waste of Money?

The answer to that truly depends on how you look at it the question. To me, all annuals have their place in the garden. And of course, I grow them.

As you gain experience as a gardener, you’ll learn how to plant annuals with more intention and purpose. One example is in my cut flower garden that is filled each year with plants I started from seed indoors or using the winter sowing method. Each of the flowers that I grow for cutting are considered annuals in my region.

Annuals can also be planted for a seasonal look, like garden mums, or grown to fill in a brighten up a cottage garden or planters.

But keep in mind that planting and growing annuals require a little more energy because it is a yearly event. Plus, you rebuy the plants every season which means you are technically spending more money.

When purchasing annuals, timing is everything.

close up of hosta and container garden with ranunculas and pansies near a buckeye tree in front of a front porch with bugleweed flowers

Are Perennials Better Than Annuals?

Because perennials return every year, you get a little more bang for your buck at the garden nursery. And because they return every year, you are saving time, energy, and money from purchasing and planting.

Perennial flowers generally bloom for a shorter period of time than annuals and require a little more effort in terms of cutting them back or digging and dividing every few years.

But are perennials really better than annuals?

I think that’s a matter of preference. For me and my garden, I love a good mix of both.

close up of nepeta 'cat's meow' and salvia 'May night' in front porch garden
Nepeta ‘Cat’s Pajamas’ and Salvia ‘May Night’

What is the Most Hardy Perennial Flower?

Depending on your hardiness zone (and I live in gardening zone 6b), where you garden will dictate what is most hardy in your locality. In general, here is a good list of easy-to-grow and care-for, hardy perennial flowers.

1850 farmhouse with front porch and spring flowers including ajuga, ranunculas, with hostas and buckeye tree.
The Prettiest Thrift Flip Idea for the Front Porch

Do Perennials Come Back in Pots?

Yes!!! Perennials do come back in pots, but they only last a few years in them, so you’ll need to transplant them to the ground after a year or two.

If you live in a cooler climate, plant perennials in containers that are two times higher than your hardiness zone. So if you live in zone 6, the plant needs to be hardy to zone 4 to survive in pots over the winter. And be sure to choose planters that can handle the freezing and thawing temperatures.

Keep in mind that every time you water a planter, the nutrients wash out, so you’ll need to feed the soil well to keep those perennials thriving in pots.

If you live in an area where the winters are extremely cold, you may need to protect the planters to prevent them from winter damage.

For more container gardening care tips, click here. And if you are a beginner to planting in containers, check out these 5 easy care tips for newbies.

cottage garden in front of green wood picket fence with perennials, pink flowers and concrete planter

Why Would a Gardener Choose Annuals Over Perennials?

Gardeners may choose annuals over perennials for several reasons that include the following.

  • Annual flowers are often chosen for their vibrant, showy blooms that can add a pop of seasonal color to a garden bed, border, or container. They bloom continuously throughout the growing season, providing a consistent display of flowers and foliage.
  • Annual flowers come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, offering gardeners more choices for creating a specific look or theme in their garden.
  • Because annuals need to be replanted each year, gardeners have the flexibility to change the design and layout of their garden each season. This can be especially appealing for those who enjoy experimenting with new plants or who like to switch things up from year to year.
  • Many annual flowers are relatively easy to grow and maintain, making them a great choice for beginner gardeners or those with limited time and resources.
  • Annuals typically cost less making them an attractive option for gardeners on a budget.

Overall, annual flowers can be a great choice for gardeners who want to add seasonal color and variety to their garden without committing to a permanent planting scheme.

sedum autumn joy zinnias gomphrena in the cottage garden with superbells

Final Thoughts on Growing Annuals or Perennials

Now that we’ve chatted about perennials vs annuals, what kind of garden should you grow? Is it a 50-50 mix? 20-80 mix? 70-30?

There’s really no right or wrong way to do it. Plant what you love and what you want to grow. Try new things and experiment. Because that’s what the joy of gardening is all about.

Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant spectacle of annuals or the enduring charm of perennials, the beauty of gardening lies in its endless possibilities. By understanding the unique characteristics of each plant type and harnessing the power of their combined strengths, you can create a garden that not only reflects your personal style but also thrives throughout the seasons.

Remember, a garden is more than just a collection of plants; it’s a living canvas where you can express your creativity and nurture your connection to nature. With careful planning and thoughtful consideration, your garden can become a sanctuary of color, texture, and life – a testament to the enduring magic of both annual and perennial flowers.

Ready to embark on your gardening adventure? Don’t hesitate to share your favorite annual and perennial combinations in the comments below! Let’s inspire each other to grow beautiful flower gardens.

Happy Gardening!

For more information about growing perennials and annuals, see the University of Vermont Extension.

swallowtail butterfly on liatris flower in cottage garden - flowers list that bloom in midsummer
Blazing star and monarda with swallowtail butterfly

Get More Easy Flower Gardening Tips With the Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide

Stacy Ling with her book the bricks n blooms guide to a beauitful and easy care flower garden

If you’ve always dreamed of bringing country charm to your home while creating a beautiful, relaxing space, I got you! Learn how to grow flowers in even the smallest of spaces with my easy-care, low-maintenance approach.

Garden Supplies I Use

Since I’ve been gardening for well over twenty-five years, I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. Here are some of my favorites that I use in no particular order.

dahlia kogane fubuki in the potager garden

Click here to shop my favorite garden supplies!

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perennial vs annual flowers with a picture of sedum autumn joy, angelonia and petunias a vibrant flower garden
close up of perennials in zen garden hellebores virginia bluebells and bleeding hearts dicentra

Thanks so much for following along!

Enjoy a beautiful day! xoxo

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Want to learn more about me? I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.

stacy ling cutting dahlias in her garden

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Close up of butterfly weed flowers that monarch butterflies love
tulips, daffodils and pansies in the front porch garden
Tulips and pansies in the spring garden
nepeta and butterfly weed flowers in cottage garden - perennials vs annuals
Nepeta and butterfly weed
tulip 'sensual touch' that blooms like a peony flower
Tulip ‘Sensual Touch’
deadheading dahlia flowers
Pruning dahlias
my jersey garden hydrangeas at sunset
Happy gardening with dark horse wiegela, fuschia pink peonies and container gardening
close up of red daylillies  with petunias - perennials vs annuals
Daylillies
Butterfly enjoying nectar from this echinacea flower - Butterfly Garden
cottage garden flowers with alliums, siberian iris, salvia and bearded irises -perennials vs annuals
cafe au late Dahlia flowers close up
Cafe Au Lait Dahlias
Cottage garden flowers in summer in jersey zone 6a garden
Cottage garden flowers in zone 6a garden in June - happy gardening
dahlias and nepeta in cottage garden flower bed - perennials vs annuals
Closeup of sun loving container idea with petuniasOutdoor Planter ideas for sun
Container Garden Idea for Spring
deadheading the knock out roses in my jersey garden
Close up of celosia - perennials vs annuals
cottage garden with echinacea in summer - perennials vs annuals
Superwave petunias, Euphorbia and marigolds - How to Take Care of Plants While on Vacation
Dahlia flowers - After deadheading flowers
closeup of globemaster allium, siberian iris and bearded iris - 5 Ways to Grow a Cottage Garden
Alliums, bearded iris and siberian iris
Backyard garden surrounding the firepit with adirondack chairs -perennials vs annuals
Cottage garden outside of a garden shed with a wood picket fence -perennials vs annuals
Hostas in the shade garden in front of a beautiful sunset - landscaping for curb appeal
Closeup of Larkspur in my Jersey Garden
Close up of echinacea in cottage garden with perennials and annuals
close up of celosia - All About Perennials vs Annuals
blooming day lily

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9 Comments

  1. Stacy,
    Such stunning photography. I’m sharing on Sunday and need to remove my own garden photo’s. LOL.

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