The Q&A Archives: Annuals vs. Perennials

Question: As I understand it, an annual grows & blooms only for one season, but a perennial does so for several growing seasons? Also, can you give examples of annuals and perennials that are able to grow in the sunny South?

I have another question also. I attempted to grow some zinnias in a sunny flowerbed. They appeared wilted the next day (although they looked healthy when I planted them). I used alot of organic humus along with a potting soil. Please advise on what I did not do right. Thank you.

Answer: You're on the right track. Annuals grow, flower, set seed and then die, all in one growing season. Perennials will grow in the same garden spot for 3 or more years. Annuals are great for seasonal pockets of color; pansies for winter color, marigolds for summer color, etc. Perennials are more like the backbone of the flower bed.

Zinnias can wilt and look pathetic immediately after being transplanted, but they generally recover within a week. Sounds as though you planted them in well amended soil and if you water them deeply every 3-4 days, they should pull through.

Home Depot has a wonderful selection of annuals and perennials. Just decide whether the planting site is sunny or shady and choose annuals or perennials that like those conditions best.

Enjoy your flower garden!

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