Color | Annuals & Perennials

Annual Flowers - Brady Nursery - Wichita, KS

Annual Flowers

What is an Annual Flower?

A true annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in one year. This means it goes from seed to flower, back to seed, and then dies off. All of this occurs during the course of one growing season. The entire mission of an annual plant is to produce seeds to ensure the propagation of future generations.

Why Choose Annuals?

Annual flowers showcase beautiful blooms to attract insects so that the flowers can be pollinated. These plants are great choices for gardens and containers. Most are inexpensive which gives gardeners lots of color for their money. Because they only last for a season, annual flowers also tend to grow quickly. This allows a garden to be enjoyed sooner rather than later.

Perennial Flowers

What is a Perennial Flower?

A perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term (per- + -ennial, "through the years") is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annuals and biennials. The term is also widely used to distinguish plants with little or no woody growth from trees and shrubs. Trees and shrubs are also technically perennials as well. Perennials, especially small flowering plants, grow and bloom over the spring and summer, die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring from their rootstock. These are known as herbaceous perennials. 

It’s worth noting that depending on the local climate, a perennial may be treated by a gardener as an annual and planted out every year. This can be done from seeds, cuttings, or divisions. Perennials are also versatile in where they can be planted. There is a large variety of perennials that grow well in full-sun areas, full-shaded areas, and even a mix of both.



Why Choose Perennials?

Perennials usually cost more than annuals, but they can save a gardener from having to replant gardens year after year. Although the tops of perennial plants die each winter, they grow back from their roots the following spring or summer. Some perennials even hang onto their foliage year-round. Perennials offer a wide variety of colors, textures, forms and fragrances. If planting in a border, place the tallest perennials in the back so they won’t shade shorter plants as they grow. Perennials also look lovely along a walkway or stream. They can be mixed with shrubs and trees or grown in island beds to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Choosing the Right Plants

Be sure to choose annuals that are suited to your growing conditions. In general, plants for full sun can take 8 hours or more of direct, daily sunlight. Part sun plants can take 4 to 6 hours, while plants for shade need 4 hours or less. Also select plants that match your watering routine and can tolerate dry seasons. Plants that need staking, spraying or daily watering will also require more effort. Finally, choose your favorite colors, forms and fragrances and for a big impact, plant in masses. Don’t forget to check out Brady’s Plant Finder to identify the best plants for our region.