Annuals, Biennials, and Perennials Explained

Annuals are plants that live for only one season, and produce the next generation from seeds. Annuals germinate, flower and die all within one year.

Biennials have a limited life span as well, although they last longer than Annuals. The complete life cycle of a Biennial is two years. Flowering may occur only in the second year, as many Biennials require a cold weather dormant period (called vernalization) before they bloom. At the end of their life cycle in the second year, they produce seeds to start the next generation.

Perennials live for longer than two years. They grow and bloom in spring and summer. and then in the fall and winter die back. They begin growing again in the spring from their root stock.

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