Permanent induction versus annual induction
Whether you have a garden or are interested in starting one, you’re probably familiar with the terms annual and perennial. Both are used to describe the growth cycle of plants, but knowing the difference between annuals and perennials (and their lesser-known counterpart, biennials) will help you understand which is better suited to your gardening style and help you plan your garden layout starting in the season. To the season. It will also determine the type of care your plants need at key points during the growing season.
Definition of perennial
Perennials are the gift that keeps on giving. “A perennial is a plant that lives more than two years and grows back every spring,” says Jeff Lorenz, founder of Refugia. While the flowers and leaves of perennials die over the winter, new growth emerges the following spring with minimal work on your part. “When properly located, perennials can be divided and moved around the garden to create lush, immersive landscapes that will return year after year,” says Lorenz.
Perennials are usually planted during fall or early spring. Common perennials include hellebores, peonies, forsythia, daylilies, poppies, black-eyed irises, daisies, and hydrangeas.
Benefits of perennial plants
The biggest appeal of perennials is that you only need to buy them once, whereas annuals are purchased every year. “Perennials native to your site have the added benefit of providing specialized ecological functions, including being host plants for different types of insects,” Lorenz says. In addition, perennial seed heads remaining over the winter provide forage for wildlife and allow plants to self-seed throughout the garden.
Although perennials flower for a shorter period of time than annuals, this gives you the opportunity to combine a more diverse mix of plants for extended and varied bloom times. “They’re also deeply rooted and have great efficiency at managing rainwater in a way that most annuals don’t,” Lorenz says.
Annual plants complete their life cycle in one growing season and never come back. “It’s a great way to add color and texture to your garden at a glance, because they tend to grow quickly,” says Kieran Avis, horticulturist at Longwood Gardens. There are a few types of annual plants that you are likely to encounter at your local plant nursery.
Cool season annuals
As the name suggests, cool-season annuals thrive in cooler temperatures and can be used to add interest to your garden during the spring or fall. “Poppy, nigella, sweet pea, viola, and snapdragon are all great examples of cool-season annuals that will make your spring garden shine,” says Avis. “With a little planning, there is the added benefit that cool-season annuals will often complement your spring bulb display.”
Annuals for the warm season
Warm-season annuals, also referred to as tender annuals, enjoy the heat of summer. “Annual sunflowers, gouvrena, salvia, celosia, and zinnias are all great additions to make your summer garden special,” says Avis. Many tender annuals are native to the tropics, which is why they tend to thrive in warmer climates.
Self-sown annuals grow the following year from seeds, rather than from their own roots like perennials. “Plants will drop seeds into your garden once planted and those seeds will germinate on their own the following year,” says Avis. “Verbena bonariensis and some Nicotiana are good examples of this.”
Benefits of annuals
Annuals are often showier and more colorful than perennials, and are a great way to add interest to your garden. “Annals are also very versatile and can be used in containers, mixed borders, garden plots, or even hanging baskets,” says Avis.
Definition of biennial
In addition to perennials and annuals, you should also consider biennials – although you’ll have to wait a bit to enjoy them. “Biennials are plants that need two seasons to bloom,” Avis says. “They will send up grassy growth the first year followed by grassy growth and flowers the second year.” After their second year of life, they die, which puts them in the middle of annuals and perennials. However, like some annuals, some biennial varieties drop seeds, perpetuating their life cycle in your garden.
Common biennial plants include forget-me-nots, foxglove, and sweet william; Many vegetables, including cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, are also biennials.
Benefits of biennials
Although you may feel impatient waiting for them to bloom, biennials offer the perfect combination of benefits. They grow back like perennials and are usually as showy as annuals. “Biennials are another good tool for adding beauty to your garden,” says Avis. “It is important to supplement the plantings annually to ensure you get flowers every year, as biennials flower in their second growing season.”