Annuals vs. Perennials

Heat Tolerant Perennials

Perennial plants offer the advantage of coming back every year without the need to plant anew each spring. In South Florida, gardeners have the very real concern of locating plants that can also withstand the high heat that summer brings. There are actually a number of heat tolerant flowering perennials that provide brightly colored blossoms and food for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

  • Monarda, also known as bee balm, attracts honey bees and butterflies, is deer and rabbit resistant, and blooms July-Aug. The foliage also emits a minty scent. Seek cultivars that are mildew-resistant.
  • Coneflower features a variety of colors, is deer-resistant, and grows 1-3 ft. tall. It provides three months of bloom from June-Aug. and can be used as a cut flower.
  • Coreopsis is a low-maintenance perennial that will even grow in soil that’s rocky or sandy in nature. It’s sometimes called tick seed due to the appearance of the seed capsules. They’re deer-resistant and butterflies flock to them.
  • Gaillardia, also known as blanket flower, is native to Florida and features a wealth of red and gold blooms. It can bloom year-round, and is also salt tolerant for locations near the ocean.
  • Pentas are native to Africa, producing clumps of flowers in a wide range of colors. They’re attractive to butterflies and available in low-growing and taller varieties.
  • Phlox is heat tolerant, mildew resistant, has showy blossoms, and makes an excellent cut flower for indoor use.

It should be noted that many flowers considered annuals in northern climates will easily self-seed in Florida and come back year after year. Morning glories are one such climber and they’re available in day and night blooming varieties. The low-growing portulaca, also known as moss rose, is another species that will readily reseed itself and generate many years of blossoms from the original sowing.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Annuals vs. Perennials

Flowering plants create an ever-changing perspective in landscapes and provide an important source of food for butterflies, hummingbirds, and honey bees. Individuals can choose from annuals, perennials or a combination of both to produce a bounty of blooms. There are also biennials that live and flower over the course of two growing seasons.

Annuals

Gardeners typically plant annuals in the spring and summer months. These are the plants normally found in abundance at nurseries and popular chain stores. They grow and flower for a single season, then die. However, due to South Florida’s unique weather and growing conditions, some annuals may reseed themselves.

Annuals will require more work since they need to be replanted each year, but the trade-off is a profusion of spectacularly colored blossoms. Deadheading annuals will keep them looking neat and encourage new blooms. One of the advantages of annuals is that they bloom over a longer period and do so freely. They’re an excellent way to have showy flowers between the bloom cycles of perennials.

Planting annuals ensures a continually changing kaleidoscope of colors, but they do require more fertilizer and watering to remain healthy. If a gardener plants a variety they don’t care for, they can simply plant something different the next year. Annuals are also less expensive than perennials. Popular annuals include petunias, zinnias, pansies, marigolds, begonias, snapdragons, and impatiens, along with moss roses, geraniums, celosia, and calendula.

Perennials

These are an ideal solution for those that want to “plant it and forget it.” While they’re not entirely maintenance-free, they grow and multiply each year without any help from gardeners. Depending on the type of perennial, they may need to be trimmed or cut back at the end of their bloom cycle. Some types may need to be divided periodically to prevent them from overgrowing their allotted space.

Perennials have a stronger and deeper root system that enables them to adapt to extremes in weather. Their root systems also require less water and fertilizer since they forage for nutrients from deeper in the soil. Those same roots help hold and stabilize soil and aid in minimizing weed growth.

They’re more expensive since they’re a one-time purchase, but younger plants can be obtained at less cost for those that are willing to watch them grow. Perennials include a variety of flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, and lilies. Other perennials encompass delphiniums, phlox, some carnations, coneflowers, bleeding hearts, and lavender.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more