Perennials vs. Annuals in Tennessee: Spring Addition

red and pink annuals

When choosing plants for your landscape in Mt. Juliet, TN, it’s helpful to understand the difference between perennial and annual flowers and plants. Each plant type has a unique life cycle and blooming season, and your selection should be based on your landscaping goals.

Our experts here at Master’s Landscape Design put together this guide on the differences between spring perennials and annuals, as well as some common native species you can consider for your garden.

The Differences Between Spring Perennials and Annuals


The most significant difference between perennials and annuals is their lifecycle. Perennials have a lifespan of three or more growing seasons, with some lasting for many years. During the colder winter months, plants in this category go dormant, but they grow out in spring to go through their seasonal bloom.

Annuals only live for one season, and you have to replant them every year. Because perennials grow back every spring, you don’t have to replant them, making them a great addition if you prefer consistency. However, if you like to change your garden and try different looks, annual plants are best.

Blooming Period

Annual plants’ lifespan only lasts for a season, but they have a long bloom season. Perennials bloom during the growing season at specific times, but their blooming period is generally shorter than that of annuals.

Annual flowers bloom from a young age, and they remain in bloom from spring to fall. The flowers of annuals are generally bright and striking, and they are ideal for adding color to your flower beds. Perennials are not as showy as annuals, but many species are colorful, and they provide a natural habitat for the butterflies and bees in your garden.

At a Glance: Perennials vs. Annuals

  • Annuals last one season
  • A perennial can last for years
  • Annuals bloom throughout their lifecycle
  • Perennials have relatively short bloom periods
  • Annuals don’t survive winter
  • Perennials are generally resilient and survive easily

Native Perennials and Annuals in the Mt. Juliet, Tennessee Area

A bed of purple pansies on a property in Mt. Juliet, TN

Native plants tend to thrive in local landscapes, and they are a better investment than plants from other states or countries. These plants are adjusted to the local climate. We always recommend our clients use Native perennials and annuals for their landscape projects. Common annuals and perennials we plant:

  • Aster, a hardy perennial with pink and lavender flowers
  • Tennessee coneflower, a rare light pink wildflower and perennial
  • Butterfly milkweed, a perennial with prominent orange flowers that attract butterflies
  • Whiteweed, a perennial that grows easily with lavender, pink, or white flowers
  • Maypop or passionflower, a beautiful, fast-growing perennial with trailing stems for fence
  • Pansy flower, a perennial that grows as an annual in Tennessee with three color patterns
  • Creeping vinca, an annual with a periwinkle blue flower and glossy green leaves
  • Impatiens, annual flowering plants that grow well in the shade with colorful flowers

When shopping for new plants to add to your garden, look at their tags or research them online to find out if they are perennials or annuals. Some non-native plants, such as autumn ferns, Russian sage, or the toad lily, also grow well in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Contact us to discuss all the options of perennials and annuals for your landscape.

Do you need help selecting the right plants for your garden? Contact us to schedule a landscaping consultation and find the best plants for your property. We offer both landscaping installation services and a vast catalog of both perennial and annual plants suitable for growth in Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, and Hendersonville, TN.

By selecting native annuals or perennials for your garden, you’ll enjoy a low-maintenance landscape that thrives year-round. Give us a call at (615) 288-2052.