Annuals vs. Perennials

The main difference between perennial and annual plants is their lifespan. Annual plants only leave for just one growing season and then die, while perennials plants live for a longer time and blossoms every spring season. But what is the difference between annual and perennial plants? Their differences lie mainly on their genes, but with gene technologies, annual plants can be changed into a perennial.

Annual plants:

As the name indicates, annual plants can last only for the growing season and require to be replanted every year. These types of plants grow faster and can germinate, flower and produce seeds within a short time. They can be classified further into cool-season and warm-season plants. The cool-season types grow well during springs and fall, while the warm-season variety does well during summer. The cool-season annual plants can withstand even a heavy frost, while the other variety cannot.

Annuals plants are generally available at lower prices as compared to perennial flowers. However, they provide a lush display of color from late springs if they are planted early in the summer season.

Annual plants demand a lot of attention, and each year the soil must be tilled. You need to purchase new flowers each year, and the planting can be time-consuming.

Perennials Plants:

Perennials plants are available in a wide variety with the different growing habit. However, unlike the annual plants, perennial plants live for more than one year. Most perennials have various ways of surviving has climatic conditions. For instance, herbaceous perennials die down during harsh conditions and blossom during the spring season. Other types of perennials plant shade leave during winter and turn active during springs while others remain green throughout and remain unchanged during winter.

Perennials are more expensive than the annual plants but require less care if they are planted during the right season. Once the favorable season comes, perennials plants only take four to six weeks to blossom. After growing and expanding for about six years, you can divide and make more flowers. It should also be noted that perennial plants bloom only for a short period and they often leave the gardens lacking color most of the time, especially if the flowers are cut for indoor display or gift from time to time.


Annual plants are rapid growing flowers but complete their life cycles after every season and require to be planted at least once a year. On the other hand, perennial plants grow slowly but do not die after a season and can last for a long time. Although perennial plants are available at higher prices and take time to grow as compared to annual plants, they do not require you to grow them every year and takes a shorter time to bloom during favorable weather.

Annual plants such as petunias, zinnias, and periwinkle are mostly planted on summers as they grow well in warm weather. On the other hands, perennials plant such as hydrangeas and hostas can be planted in the fall and mostly produce their first flowers on summers. However, both perennials and annuals are planted after mid-April when frost is over.


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