Many gardeners question using an annual vs perennial. There are benefits to both types of flowers. Knowing the pros and cons of annual vs perennial is important for your flower garden. An annual is a plant that only lives through one growing season. The growing cycle is sprouting blooming, seeding and then death. Perennials are flowers that live though three or more growing seasons. They are either grown from a bulb or a seed. Now that you understand the difference between an annual vs perennial, let’s talk about which type is best for your garden.

Annuals

Annual flowers are normally very bright and showy. They work well as a centerpiece for your garden. They also are cheaper than perennials because they last only one season. Its great to experiment with different annuals each spring to find your absolute favorite. We suggest buying annuals that are self-seeding. This means they shed their own seeds that will grow next year. You won’t have to actually plant these yourself.

There is a wide variety of annuals that thrive in the Floria heat. Some of our favorites are zinnias, marigolds, impatiens, golden dewdrops, salvia, purslane, cuphea and verbena. All of these types are very bright. They also come in different colors so you can experiment each year with different colors in your garden. Our personal favorite are zinnias. They have a large bloom that almost looks like a dahlia. They are also beautiful as cut flowers. Also, they are very low maintenance in your garden. They are drought tolerant and need very little water to survive.

Perennials

The main difference in the annual vs perennial debate is the growing season. Perennials will grow for 3 years or more. They can be purchased as seeds, bulbs or young plants. They don’t typically bloom as long as annuals. Most gardeners pair them with annuals to keep more color in their garden. Because of their longer lifecycle, you don’t have to replace them year after year.

Some of the popular perennials are roses, mums, peonies, day lilies, lantana, petunia, pentas, coneflower, jacobinia or golden dewdrop. Its a good idea to research which perennials work the best in the florida heat. Another way is to look around your neighborhood to see what plants most of your neighbors have planted. Our personal favorites are roses. Roses need as much time in the full sun as possible. They grow really well in the Florida sun. Roses do need moist soil, which can be difficult in times of drought. It’s best just to check the soil for moisture and to water your rose bushes.

Plants

We talked a lot about different flowers to plant in your garden, but we don’t want to leave out plants that don’t have flowers. The climate in Florida can be challenging because of the temperature fluctuations. It can get colder at night and also have extremely hot temperatures during the day. We have two perennials that do great in this climate. The autumn fern is is a type of fern with leaves that are typically dark green. They grow best in shade with evenly moist soil. Another great plant is the Zeezee plant. It’s a common houseplant in Northern states. It can be grown as a tropical perennial in Florida. It needs little water and attracts no pests.

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