Perennial vs. Annual Plants: What Plant Suits Your Lifestyle?

Perennial vs. Annual Plants: What Plant Suits Your Lifestyle?

Are you looking for a plant to add to your garden? Do you want something that will last all year round, or do you need something that will look great in the summer and fall? This post is going to talk about the differences between perennial plants and annuals. In it, we’ll discuss what each type of plant needs, how long they live, and why some people prefer one over another. Whether you are new to the gardening world or have been gardening for years, there’s something in here that will help answer any questions that arise when choosing which plant best suits your lifestyle. Let’s get started!

Kel Lake - Perennial Plant - 1

What Are Perennial Plants?

Perennials are plants that grow and bloom for many years without requiring replanting after each growing season. Most perennials die back in the winter and regrow from the roots in the spring. They often need little to no care once they have established themselves in your yard. Some perennial flowers include hostas, daylilies, and coneflowers. They are hardy plants, meaning they can survive in demanding environments where other plants may not grow. Because perennials have such a long life span, they don’t need to be replaced as often as many annuals.


Types of Perennials

There are many types of perennial plants. Some examples include:


Butterfly Bushes

There are many different types of butterfly bushes. They attract butterflies with their brightly colored flowers and can grow anywhere from 3′ tall to 6′ tall. 

Shade Loving Plants

Do you have a shady backyard? Some plants will thrive in the shade. They include plants such as hostas, violets, and ferns.


Grasses come in all different shapes and sizes. Some grasses even change color with the seasons from green to red or orange! They can grow anywhere from 1′ tall to 8′ and thrive in hard-to-reach locations along walls or under steps.


What Can Perennial Plants Be Grown In?

Different types of perennial plants are suited for different kinds of growing environments. Some perennials can handle dry soil conditions, while others need their soil to remain consistently moist. Some are drought tolerant, while others require a lot of water. You can help narrow down which type is best for you by identifying what type of growing conditions your yard has to offer!


What Are Annual Plants?

 Annuals are plants that generally last one season and need to be replanted each year. They include flowers, vegetables, and herbs. They typically die after one season. Annuals are great for brightening up your yard in the summertime when they are in season but can require a lot of care throughout the winter if they are still alive.


Types of Annual Plants

 There are many types of annual plants that can suit any garden. Some, like pansies and snapdragons, will last for several seasons if harvested correctly. Annual vegetables include tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes. Popular annual flowers include zinnias, ageratum, and sunflowers! Many people choose to plant an entire garden of one type of annual plant to have a full garden all summer.


What Can Annual Plants Be Grown In?

 Some annuals can be grown in both flower beds and vegetable gardens. In contrast, others are better suited for only one or the other! Some do well in pots on your porch, while others need to be planted directly into the ground or in large pots. It’s important to know which type of growing environment is best for your chosen plant!


What Are the Benefits of Each Plant Type?



  • Tough from season to season. Perennial plants generally can survive through tough seasons.
  • A large variety of plants to choose from. There are tons of different types of perennial plants out there. They can range from small grasses to large bushes and even trees!
  • Easy to care for. Once they have established themselves in your yard, you will likely not need to spend much time caring for them. Most perennials don’t require as much water, don’t require as much sunlight, and can handle various soil conditions.



  • Annual plants tend to be less expensive than perennials
  • Lots of variety
  • There are tons of different types of annual plants out there! They range from vegetables and fruits to flowers and grasses. You can even grow some annuals in your garden or your yard rather than in pots.
  • Can be harvested multiple times throughout the season 
  • If you plant a herb garden in the spring with basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary, you will likely have fresh herbs to use all summer long.


Perennial vs. Annual Plants: What Plant Is Best For You?

 Now that you know a bit about both perennial and annual plants, hopefully, you’re ready to determine which type would work best for your lifestyle! If you love gardening and want something that will look great no matter what season it is, maybe try having both perennial and annual plants! See which ones work out for you and your garden the best!


Kel Lake Garden Centre offers a wide selection of plants in all shapes and sizes to suit your lifestyle. Whether you need something that can survive the cold Canadian winter or want an annual plant for summer, we have everything you’re looking for! Contact us today to learn how our expert staff can help you find the perfect perennial or annual plant!

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