Perennials, Biennials, and Annuals

What’s the Difference?

One important aspect of gardening is understanding the differences between certain plants. One key distinction between plants includes their life cycle, which effects when you will have to replant. Understanding the differences of plants’ life cycles will help you better understand the growing cycles of plants, and help better ensure a consistently colorful and vibrant garden. The three main terms used to determine a plants life cycle are perennials, biennials, and annuals. Here’s the difference between each one along with some examples of those types of plants.


Scotch Broom - Perennial - Goffle Brook Farms

Perennials are plants that have a life cycle of three or more years. Though, it can be shortened from other conditions such as poor weather or other inadequate conditions. Some common examples of perennials are black eyed susans, asters, coreopsis, and goldenrod, though there are plenty more. Perennials will continue to return, year after year after they go into dormancy during the winter.  Unlike regular perennials, evergreen perennials will retain any foliage during the winter time. Some evergreen perennials include hellebore, English ivy, or bergenia.


Foxglove - Biennial - Goffle Brook Farms

Biennials, as their name suggests, are plants with a two year life cycle. During the first year, they will produce roots, leaves, and stems, and during the winter enter dormancy like other plants. Many biennial plants will require a cold treatment before they are able to flower. During the second year, biennials stems grow longer, start to produce more flowers along with seeds or fruits, and then die afterwards. Depending on what you’re growing biennial plants for, you may only need to grow them for one year, but you may need to grow them for two for flowers.


Lantana - Annual - Goffle Brook Farms

Annual plants are also named accordingly. Their life cycle is fully completed in one year and then starts over from previous seeds/cuttings. Annuals come in many varieties, including cold and warm season annuals, perfect for ensuring continual color in your garden. Annuals are also great for color as most of them produce long-lasting blooms that will look great all season. There are plenty of great annuals like impatiens, marigolds, purple petunias, snap dragons, and zinnias. There are plenty of great colored annuals for you to choose from.

While Goffle Brook Farms is still closed, the winter time is a great time to start figuring out your spring, summer, and fall gardening plans. If you’re planning to stop in during the spring to purchase any seeds or cuttings to plant at home, you can check out what we’ll have for flowers on our website! If you want to know what type of annuals we sell, click here. For any perennials, click here. We also have plenty of delicious herbs and vegetables available to plant as well… no matter what you’re looking to grow this upcoming season, Goffle Brook Farms has a nice selection of annuals, perennials, and biennials for you to choose from.

Bergen County’s Best Kept Gardening Secret

Goffle Brook Farms – Garden Center/Farmer’s Market

423 Goffle Road Ridgewood,NJ 07450
(201) 652-7540