Different flowers have different life cycles. Seasons and a flower’s ability to rebloom should all be taken into consideration when planting flowers. A flower’s life cycle takes into consideration the amount of time it takes a plant to grow from a seed to bearing its own seeds. In regards to annual plants, their life cycle is complete within a full growing season, spring to fall.



Plants with a perennial life cycle normally do not create seeds within their first year. This is also true for biennials. These plants have a much longer life cycle. Perennials makeup for their slow reproduction cycle by blooming more per year. Yes, the blooming may be short-lived, lasting only about three years such as Lupine or Columbine.


Although perennials may have short-lived spreads through seeds or underground rhizomes, you probably won’t even realize when the original plant has died. Their offspring easily replaces the original plant during life cycles. Yet there are some annuals that can reappear after a year. An example of this type of flower would by the Portulaca grandiflora.


The Differences

The easiest way to remember the differences in types of flowers comes down to their latin root origin. Annual is quite similar to the latin word for year, annus. In the word perennial, the prefix “per” infers that there is extra years. Putting together “per” and “annus” is where the root of perennial comes from.

In the flower market, annuals are often sold in plastic six-packs while perennials are sold in solid pots. This is because annuals die after a year so there is no need to keep them in a permanent pot. Perennials also tend to cost more due to their longevity. Nurseries also have to somewhat invest in perennials because they do not bloom the first year, they have to keep them until they are presentable to customers.  This also because they provide more value than an annual. Annual plants are “quick fixed” for flower beds because they provide a lot of color but need to replanted. Many prefer perennials because they do not need to be replaced each year which will cut down on costs and the work replacing your flower be