An annual usually germinates, flowers and dies within one year or season. Although many customers tell us they want to use only perennials in their landscapes, there are some advantages to annuals…
Many of them do not get very tall so they work well for those areas where you want short bedding plants.
If you use them judiciously in combination with perennials, you won’t find yourself using up entire weekends every year planting huge annual beds as many imagine when they think of annuals. And your landscape always seems fresh and new when you pop in a few new annuals at the change of the season.
Because they only have a short time to reproduce themselves, annuals tend to bloom prolifically. Because of this they add lots of color to your landscape and do so without breaking your budget since they usually cost less than perennials. Annuals are especially economical if you purchase them early in the season when packs are still available. Typically at that time, you can purchase plants for under a dollar each. And even though they do not usually live from year to year, many annuals reseed, sometimes giving you years of color in your garden for only one inexpensive purchase.
And don’t forget, not all annuals do well in our heat and humidity.
In the right place, perennials live for three years or more (some of them for many years). You should be aware however that some perennials that are hardy, and possibly even evergreen, in South Florida may not survive our winters at all or they may be tender perennials here.
At the same time, there are wonderful perennials that thrive in the north or out west, but they will not perform well here in Tallahassee. Once they’re established (and if they’re planted in the right place), most of the perennials you’ll find here at Native Nurseries are going to thrive beautifully in Tallahassee with minimal care.
However, we would not recommend you discount others just because they are not quite so hardy. There are some tender perennials that are well worth the extra effort to protect them through the winter. Pentas, for example, should be heavily mulched over the winter to protect their roots. But they are one of the best butterfly plants, and so many gardeners consider them well worth the trouble.
There are perennials for sun and shade, some like it hot and dry while others thrive in rain gardens. Many perennials attract butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. There is a great variety of perennials to choose from with heights from 3 inches to 10 feet or more and many, many colors of flowers and foliage.
Come on in and let us help you choose the best perennials, but (as with annuals) be prepared to answer some questions about your yard that will help us to help you pick out the best perennials for you and your landscape.