Updated: May 3, 2022
Here‘s the simple breakdown of what I should have know WAY before I actually knew this.
The difference between plant types: Annuals vs. Perennials
ANNUALS are grown for one season. They die after they flower/fruit and don’t come back. I have to plant or buy most of my annuals each year, but some do a good job of self seeding on their own.
Examples of vegetables: carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, and beets.
Example of flowers: zinnias, cosmos, bachelor buttons, calendula, snapdragons, and many other cut flower varieties.
PERENNIALS come back. There are three general types: Herbaceous, Shrub, and Evergreen.
Herbaceous perennials will come back, but the foliage dies back after it’s done blooming. Many times it dies back to the ground and looks like it’s gone, but will surprise you by poking through in the spring.
Examples include artichoke, rhubarb, mint, hostas, day lilies, some hydrangeas, iris, peonies, sage, and sedums.
Shrub perennials, also known as Woody perennials, loose their leaves, but keep their stems, or wood.
Examples include roses, some hydrangeas, lilac, apple trees, and crape myrtle.
Evergreen perennials stay green throughout the year, keeping foliage even when they’re done blooming (think evergreen trees, like Christmas trees, that keep their needles).
Examples include rhododendrons, boxwood, hellebore, candytuff, daphne, yucca, and brunnera.
Nature is so much cooler than the simple explanation I give here. Because of this, you might see tags with different classifications such as “biennial” or more specific classifications such as “hardy annual” or “tender perennial” among other variations, but those will be for another post☺️