For most gardeners, annuals and biennials mean flowers, and lots of them — in various shapes, colors, and sizes. There are many flowering plants for garden use, but as a group annuals and biennials are considered by many to be the easiest to take care of as well as being the most inexpensive.
By definition, an annual is a plant that grows, flowers, produce seeds or fruit, and dies in one year or less. Many herbaceous flowers and vegetables are annuals. A biennial is similar to an annual except that its life span is two years instead of just one. Most biennial plants produce foliage the first year and bloom the second year.
In mild winter areas, annuals will sometimes grow from the previous years seeds. In cold winter areas, new seeds or plants will have to be added each year.
Annuals can grow in sun or shade, and are great for filling in bare spaces while you’re waiting for young perennials or new ground cover plants to grow. Many gardeners use them for borders, baskets, window boxes or containers. Due to the variety of annuals available at many nurseries, and the fact they are easy to care for, they are a popular choice for many gardeners.