How to Choose Between Annuals and Perennials

Associate Garden Editor Rebecca Reed outlines the benefits of planting annual or perennial flowers.


Hi, I'm Rebecca Reed, Associate Garden Editor at Southern Living. If you want your garden to make a statement, let your annuals and perennials do the talking. You don't need to plant a lot of flowers to make a big impression. Just follow this rule, one flower, one color, one mass. Sometimes it takes several seasons to figure out what works in your garden. This is why annuals are a good choice. If you don't like the look, you can try something different next year. When you find a combo you do like, stick with it or plant perennials that will come back year after year. For those who aren't afraid to make a bold statement, New Gold Lantana looks smashing with Serena Purple Angelonia. [MUSIC] Every color makes a different statement. [MUSIC] White is a great choice for a formal home or the garden enjoyed after dark. These caladiums are a summertime staple. [MUSIC] Synonymous with pretty and sweet, pink conjures images of a cozy home complete with gingerbread detailing. It is the most feminine of colors. [MUSIC] Cool in tone. Blue and purple blend effortlessly with other colors in the landscape. [MUSIC] Whistling your name from across the street, yellow, orange, and red sun drenched brights are guaranteed to perk up the been there done that border. To make the most of your color, remember these tips. Plant into prepared beds that have been amended with a complete fertilizer prior to planting. [MUSIC] Supplement fertilizer once flowering begins and again late in the season. Either a time released granular, water soluble fertilizer or organic such as composted manure is fine. Just follow the label directions. [MUSIC] Before installing annuals, water beds so that the soil is evenly moist. Also, prior to planting, soak overly dry annuals in a bucket of water to rehydrate the root system. [MUSIC] Mulch. It reduces weeds and retains moisture. Remove spent flowers by pinching or sniffing to keep the show going. For more ideas on how to make your garden beautiful, pick up a copy of Southern Living magazine and visit
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