Growing Annuals, Annually!

annual clary, flowers, plants-82004.jpg

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Annuals are plants and flowers that grow, bloom, and die in one growing season, from frost to frost. Unlike perennials, many of which reproduce by spreading their roots and growing back each year, annuals tend to produce a profusion of seeds, which can either be collected, or that fall to the ground and make new plants each year, at least naturally, and then the original plants expire. For most of us, however, buying new annuals each spring is more economical, and faster. This may actually sound expensive, but annuals usually come in trays or “6-packs,” and don’t cost nearly as much as perennials. You can even purchase some annuals by seed, such as wildflowers, for about $1.00 or less.

Likewise, you don’t need as many to go a long way, and you can further maximize the cost by simply surrounding large perennials like bulbs with annuals, or use them as a border, keeping them front and center. But why not just go with perennials, which come back every year? That has to be better in the long run, doesn’t it? I mean, you don’t have to buy them but once. Well, I don’t want to discourage you from going with perennials. After-all, they can take up a large space or provide great, carefree cover in the form of a bush, groundcover, or climber; and let’s face it, there are some gorgeous perennials out there.

When it comes to long-term display, however, annuals tend to “take the cake,” so-to-speak. You see, what makes annuals so appealing is there tendency to produce those seeds we talked about; and with those seeds come flowers, color, variety, and lots more of it. Another great feature of annuals is that they tend to bloom all season too. Perennials more often than not bloom only once, maybe twice, in a given season, and often have only a few actual blooms at a time. They usually fail to provide that punch you long for throughout the whole year. Even if those Easter Lilies are perennials, they can’t out-perform 100+ blooms of a bed of marigolds from April to September!