As a property owner, you can probably resonate with how healthy plants and flowers can completely enhance the features of a landscape and boost its curb appeal. Whether you are looking to add an explosion of natural color or cultivate a cool, relaxed aesthetic with your plants and flowers, annuals or perennials are sure to change your outdoor experience for the better. Annuals are flowers that bloom in a single season and slowly die out. Perennials are long-lasting flowers that remain throughout several seasons and can grow back each year.

So, how do you choose which type is right for your property? Below, we will go over their differences including their lifespans, maintenance requirements, and planting seasons.

Cool-season and warm-season annuals have long blooming periods that last for one season.

The nature of annual flowers is that once they are planted, they begin to grow rapidly, produce seeds, thrive, and die out all in one growing season. While they only last for one season, their blooms last for a few months so you can enjoy their color to the fullest.

Annuals come in two different types: cool and warm-season. Cool-season annuals need cooler soil temperatures to thrive so they must be planted in spring and fall. Warm-season annuals need to be planted in the summer because they thrive in the heat.

If you decide to plant annuals this year, here is some more helpful information that you should know:

  • Unique Colors - Every annual flower has unique characteristics and can provide the perfect burst of color to your landscape.
  • Different Choices in Different Seasons - In Iowa, our weather changes drastically throughout the year. The type of annual that thrives in March won't be the same annual that thrives in September. You have many different types of annuals to choose from throughout the year!

Perennial flowers are long-lasting and will re-bloom each season.

Hydrangeas flowering in multiple colors at a home in Des Moines, IA.

Perennial plants are another popular choice for landscapes in Iowa. Their lifespan is genetically designed in such a way that they can last you for years on end and they will bloom again each growing season. When compared to annuals, perennials take a little bit longer to bloom and their blooming periods are shorter. However, since perennials last a long time, you won't have to worry about pulling them out and replanting them every season like you have to for annuals. Although perennials require some maintenance throughout the year to ensure that their blooms return each growing season, they are great options for property owners that don't have time to keep planting new flowers.

Our experts can help you determine the perfect annuals and perennials for your property as well as the best location to plant them to ensure that they thrive!

Which type of flower should you plant?

Both these flowers are great options and will add beautiful colors to your garden, however, each type of flower has its own pros and cons:


Deep red and pink azaleas blooming near Pleasant Hill, IA.

  • They re-bloom for a few years or longer
  • You won't have to keep replanting flowers to see fresh colors every season
  • They require some maintenance to keep them coming back each growing season


Colorful zinnia flowers in bloom near Des Moines, Iowa.

  • They offer longer blooming periods
  • They are great for property owners that like to switch it up each growing season with new flowers and colors
  • You will have to pull out the dead annuals each season to make room for new flowers

In the end, the decision is up to you and your lifestyle! You can even mix it up and plant both types of flowers for a perfect variety.

Ready to have annuals or perennials installed on your property? Call us today to schedule our services!

At A+ Lawn & Landscape, part of our specialty is transforming landscape beds with annual and perennial flowers. We serve clients in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Ankeny, and nearby areas in Iowa. If you still haven't decided, come to our garden center so that we can help you choose the right plants for your property. If you're ready to have your new plants installed, give us a call today at (515) 289-2020 to schedule our landscaping installation services.