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Annuals vs. Perennials: How Can You Choose?

Planting in the spring or summer in hopes of a year-round payoff? You’ve likely already heard much about annuals and perennials, but how do you pick between the plant types, and when should you plant them? Before you settle on your new blooms, let the professionals at Cerbo’s guide you in the right direction to create a yard you’ll love all year!


Many people think that annuals will bloom each year, hence the name. However, that’s not the case. Instead, an annual plant will bloom once in a season, so they’re a fun addition to your yard or garden if you’re not into a long-term plant commitment! 

Annuals are the perfect way to add visual interest to your yard for a season until you switch them out the following year for a new annual or a longer-lasting perennial. They give you some flexibility since you can add them to planters, hanging baskets, or flower beds, so they can be used in a variety of ways, depending on your needs. 

Some annuals to consider include the canna lily, spider flowers, begonias, sweet alyssum, verbena, cascading angelonia, and perky sunflowers. These annuals are simple to grow and water and tolerate heat well, but canna lilies bloom best in partial sunlight instead of direct light.

Canna Lily


Perennials are the plants that always come back. Season after season, you can count on perennials to come back, at least for a few seasons, with the right care. Perennials may grow slower than annuals and don’t always bloom in their first season, so keep that in mind during springtime planting. 

However, if you’re looking for immediate beauty—Cerbo’s Parsippany Greenhouse sells perennials while in flower.

Some low-maintenance, lovely perennials to plant include leafy hostas, bright shasta daisies, daylily, phlox, yarrow, goldenrod, asters, coneflowers, coral bells, lavender, sage, and Russian sage. Some of these do double duty as glorious ground covering.


The Beauty of Both

The best landscapes combine annuals and perennials for a vibrant mix of plants. There are multiple reasons why adding both types of plants to your yard can be beneficial and affordable. 

Annuals offer lots of visual appeal during the summer, with bold blooms and flowers that sprout during summer heat. Annuals require replacement each season, so many people consider more expensive perennials to be the better deal since it’s more cost-effective than replacing plants each season.

Also great to fill in empty spots, annuals offer a more instant payoff than perennials for those in need of filler plants immediately. Incorporating annuals and perennials means your garden or yard has just the right combination of color and texture. 

You can change up your annuals each season to avoid repetition or use them to fill in empty spots while you’re waiting for other plants to grow. Using a mixture of both plants means you always have plants to enjoy no matter where you are in the growth cycle. 
It may be helpful to consider water and light requirements for each type of plant before you grow, to cut down on maintenance and ensure your yard is simple to keep up. Not sure where to begin? That’s where Cerbo’s comes in. Contact our expert growers today for top-notch gardening advice and a beautiful backyard.

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