​What Is an Annual Plant?

Posted by Amber Williams on 9th Nov 2023

​What Is an Annual Plant?

You’ve likely come across words like annuals, perennials, and biennials in your gardening adventures. If you’re new to gardening, these terms often cause confusion. Well, we’re here to demystify the term ‘annual’, giving you a helping hand while picking your next seasonal plants.

So, what is an annual plant? Let’s get into it.

What does the term ‘annual’ mean?

To put it simply, annuals are plants that last just one growing cycle. They can come in all shapes and sizes, and this really depends on the plant. Annuals can be compact, they can trail, and they can grow tall. There's no limit to their achievements!

Annual plants are often chosen for their ease – they’re easy to plant, to grow, and to care for. They can be planted almost anywhere and aren’t usually that fussy. As long as they get watered daily, especially if they’re grown in containers as they drain so fast, they’ll thrive.

When do annuals flower?

Annual plants are usually divided into three categories.

- Frost-hardy. This includes annuals like Forget Me Not’s, which love colder temperatures in early spring or late autumn.
- Tender. This includes annuals like petunias and marigolds, which will flower in late spring or summer.
- Half-hardy. Can tolerate a bit of cold and a bit of heat, usually flowering mid-summer to early autumn.

If you’re wondering what time your annual plants and blooms will grow, we always recommend checking the growing information while buying. This is because flowering times will differ from plant to plant!

Annuals to know and grow

Image: Dianthus annual plants

Popular annuals include pansiesprimulascalibrachoas. They’re gorgeous in containers and hanging baskets, some trailing and some not. But that’s not all! You also have begoniasgeraniums, and dianthusBusy lizzies and even fuchsias! The world is your oyster, and the world of annual plants is so large, that you’re bound to find a variety you love for your seasonal garden.

Want to see what to shop for this season? Explore our range of annual plants on our website! They’re affordable and top-quality, perfect for adding colour to your beds, borders, containers, and hanging baskets.

Want more info on annuals? Keep reading!

From knowing ‘When to plant winter bedding plants’, to understanding ‘What is a perennial plant?’, we have a selection of blogs to help guide you on your growing journey. Never grown plug plants before? Our guide on ‘How to grow plug plants’ will show you exactly how.