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Annuals are a wonderful, colorful, and integral part of the plant world. By definition, an annual is a plant that flowers and dies in the same year or growing season. Some flowering plants are perennials in warm climates and annuals in colder climates such as the Calibrachoa plant. In gardening, most people think of an annual as a plant that grows, blooms, and dies in one growing season. Some perennials are treated as annuals because they cannot survive the winters in cold climates. Tomatoes, sweet potato vines, and peppers would be examples. Some ornamental annual perennials are impatiens, snapdragons, coleus, and petunias.
Annuals only last one year but they provide so much color that they are an integral part of most landscapes. They provide color in shady areas and other small spaces in the landscape. The multitudes of color you can obtain from nursery grown annuals can just light up a yard. When some spring flowers fade, only an annual can provide quick color in that empty space.
Colorful annuals are available for shady, sunny, or partial sunny areas. They can be containerized, planted in beds, placed in window sill boxes, hanging baskets, and accentuate other perennial plants in the landscape. Annuals are available for early spring flowers, mid-season flowers, and summer flowers. Only your imagination can determine the limits of what you can do with an annual.