For today’s #funfactsfriday let's talk about why many of our seasonal color plants are seasonal! You may have heard of the terms ‘annuals’, ‘color annuals’, ‘winter annuals’, and so on. Let’s dive into what 'annual' means, and why we would use them in the garden as shown in the posts above!
‘Annual’ might make you think of something that comes once a year, and in a sense that is correct. In the landscape world, we use this term to describe plants that complete their life cycle in one growing season, such as summer or winter. This means the plant will grow from seed, flower, set fruit, and die within one season. A good example is the pansies you are probably seeing everywhere right now! Pansies are a winter annual for north Texas, and will complete their life cycle during our winter, typically anytime from October to April or May. They do not regrow from their roots, like perennials or woody shrubs- these plants complete their life cycle over many years. While their short growing season is a disadvantage, there are benefits to having annuals in the garden, especially during winter in Texas. They are great for filling in a pot or bed where you want splashes of color and a focal point, some of them like sweet alyssum and wallflowers impart a lovely fragrance, and many will bloom abundantly throughout the season! The frequency and abundance of blooms requires little more than a good fertilization at planting, and the occasional trim back for trailing annuals if they start overgrowing your pot!