Difference Between Perennials & Annuals

What is the difference between perennials and annuals anyway? Does it even matter? Yes and No - depending on your goals! 

In simple terms anything perennial is a plant that will come back after winter on its own, year after year. A plant that is an annual is a plant that will typically not survive past winter, which means it would have to be replanted the next year. 

Some folks love planting things every year and some annuals are just to pretty to pass up even if they must be planted every year - many flowers are annuals but there are also many that are perennial.

The easiest way to remember the difference is annuals you need to replant annually! Perennials do not. Some are considered annual in some states but perennial in other states.

For example XYZ plant might be hardy to zone 5. That means it can survive winter from all zones up to zone 5 being the coldest temps it can handle. So from zone 5, 6, 7, etc this plant will return next year. For colder zones such as 4, 3, etc  it will not make it through winter and you must plant it the next year.  Always make sure to check out what zone a plant is hardy to before purchasing it unless you don’t mind if it dies and has to be replanted. Most all trees would be considered a perennial, but if you think about vegetable plants in your garden, they die when cold weather comes which would make them an annual.