Why You Should Combine Annuals and Perennials This Spring in New Jersey

Why You Should Combine Annuals and Perennials This Spring in New Jersey

As the days grow longer and sunnier, many of us start to get our yards ready for the summer. If you’re having a hard time planning out your garden, Chris James Landscaping has put together this guide to help you out.

Here are our tips for combining annuals and perennials in your New Jersey garden.

What Is the Difference Between an Annual and Perennial?

Before we get started on all the benefits of having both perennials and annuals in your garden, let’s discuss the difference between the two. Although they share a few similar traits, they are different in many ways.

Which One Needs to be Replanted?

An annual is a plant that lives for only one growing season. They are not winter hardy and will die off as soon as the temperature drops below freezing. A perennial is a plant that comes back year after year.

There are also quite a few annual varieties that are self seeding and will come up on their own next season. Many plants we call annuals here in New Jersey are actually perennials in warmer climates that don’t experience freezing temperatures.

How Long Do Blooms Last?

You can expect blooms from your annuals from late spring all the way through fall. For many annuals, you can trim off dead flowers and prompt new blossoms to grow.

Perennials, on the other hand, will only blossom for a short period of time. After they are done blooming, the plant will die off and you’ll need to trim it back to get ready for next season.

What are the Most Popular Types?

Common annuals include marigolds, impatients, and sunflowers. Common perennials include lilies, daffodils, and phlox. You can plant annuals in seed form or as plants already in bloom.

Perennials come from bulbs or seeds or you can even purchase them already in bloom. Keep in mind, if you want to plant perennials from the bulb, you’ll want to plant the bulbs in the fall to get spring blossoms.

Add Long Lasting Color Year Round

Perennials tend to bloom for only a short period of time and you can count on their beautiful colors for only 1-3 weeks. However, annuals bloom for much longer with many varieties displaying their colorful blooms all summer. Adding annuals is an easy way to add long lasting color to your garden.

Another benefit of combining perennials with annuals is that many perennials will add green to your garden all year. You can also plant bulbs that will bloom in the winter or early spring. If you plan your garden just right, you can have different burst of color for most of the year.

Reduce the Maintenance Needs of Your Garden

Perennials do require a bit of maintenance at the end of the growing season. For best plant health, you’ll want to divide your perennials every few years. However, annuals require little pruning and other maintenance. You simply remove them when they die off in the winter.

On the flip side, you don’t have to plant perennials each year whereas annuals require you to go through the tedious planting process every spring.

Easily Change Out the Color Scheme

Since you have to plant annuals every year, it’s easy to change the color scheme in your garden. Choose colors that go together and make sure you keep in mind the colors of your perennials.

One summer you can have greens and purples and then the next summer, pinks and whites. Your perennials will be your backdrop to the beautiful art you create with your annuals each year.

Add Herbs to Your Garden

Herbs can be either annuals or perennials. Many herbs such as mint, lavender, and chives will come up on their own year after year. However, herbs such as cilantro and basil won’t survive the cold winter and need to be planted every year.

Combining herbs with your other plants is a popular option for gardeners. Herbs add color and fragrance to your garden as well as help keep pest away. It’s also fun to harvest your own herbs for all your favorite recipes.

We Can Help with Your Garden

Chris James Landscaping is here for all your garden and lawn needs in the New Jersey area. If you need help getting your garden in shape for the summer then give us a call!