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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Know the Difference Between Annuals and Perennials

Renee Valdes
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How to tell the difference between annuals and perennials ll The Home Depot Garden Club

If you’re new to flower gardening, you’ll need to know the difference between annuals and perennials. Planting both gives your garden color throughout the season.

It also lets you try out new and different flower varieties that can give your garden a unique look each season.

How to know the difference between annuals and perennials ll The Home Depot Garden Club

Once you know the difference between annuals and perennials, you’ll be prepared for what to expect of your flowers (such as the annual Supertunia Daybreak Charm petunias, pictured above) and how to choose what’s right for you and your garden before digging in the dirt. 

That way, you can enjoy your garden to its fullest potential.

Learn the difference between annuals and perennials ll The Home Depot Garden Club


An annual is a plant that produces colorful blooms all season long until frost sets in. They must be replanted every year. Sometimes plants that are technically perennials in warm climates are treated as annuals in colder climates. Some annuals, such as pansies, grow best in the cooler seasons of spring and fall.

Because annuals are like fashion and last for just a season, you can change them out as often as you wish to bring a new look to your outdoor space. For this reason, annuals work well in containers, at the edge or border or in a mailbox garden.

Top 5 annuals:

  1. Petunias
  2. Impatiens (red flowers pictured above)
  3. Pansies
  4. Vinca
  5. Marigolds

More easy annual varieties gardeners love to grow include nasturtiums, lobelias, caladiums (white and green foliage, pictured above) and zinnias.

Learn how to care for your annuals and how to get the most out of your annuals.


Know the difference between annuals and perennials ll The Home Depot Garden Club


You plant perennials once and you’re done because perennials return year after year. On the other hand, perennials may cost a bit extra, but they offer a great return on investment. 

When you plant perennials, your garden blooms through the season but tends to need less maintenance, once established.

Top 5 hard-to-kill perennials:

  1. Coneflowers
  2. Daylilies
  3. Daisies
  4. Black-Eyed Susans
  5. Coreopsis (Tickseed)

To care for your perennials, add mulch to insulate, hold moisture and protect and to prevent weeds. Be sure to water perennials in the early morning hours when the soil is dry, especially during drought or extreme heat. Container flower gardens will require regular watering.

In addition, feed your perennial flowers a slow-release granulated fertilizer that provides a steady supply of nutrients for three to four months at a time. Look for slow-release fertilizers such as Osmocote or Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed.  

Watch this video to learn more about the difference between annuals and perennials.

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