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You see the words annual and perennial on plant tags and in garden books. What do these terms mean, and why should you care? Simply put, annual plants die in the winter season. You must replant them every year. Perennials come back every year. You only plant them once. Here’s a rundown of annual versus perennial.


This year only or maybe the next


An annual plant is a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seeds, within one year, and then dies. Annuals produce the most flowers for the longest amount of time. Summer annuals germinate during spring or early summer and mature by autumn.


Perennials generally bloom for a single season: summer, spring or fall. There are ever-blooming perennials that bloom longer, but annuals produce the most flowers for the longest amount of time. That said, perennials often increase in size each year, which means they can often be divided and used in more spots in the landscape. 

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