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Annuals and Biennials

Annuals and Biennials

Annuals are plants that complete their entire lifecycle, from seed to flower, in one growing season. All parts of the plant die annually but the dormant seeds can continue the next generation of growing the following year. Many different forms of bedding plants fall within this category - this is an economical way to purchase annuals as they are young plants sold in packs of 6, 12 or 24. Examples of annual plants include Cosmos, Petunia and Busy Lizzie (Impatiens)

Biennials are plants that need two years to complete their lifecycle. In the first year the plant grows a green set of leaves near the soil surface and during the second year the growth stem elongates and flowering can occur, followed by seed formation. The parent plant dies after the second year. In other words, biennials are short-lived perennials. Examples include Foxgloves (Digitalis); Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) and Honesty (Lunaria).