Last updated: August 14, 2018

What Does Annual Mean?

In botany, an annual is a plant that lives out its entire life cycle in a single growing season. After the growing season all parts of the plant will die, leaving only seeds. The following year, dormant seeds from the original plant will germinate and create the next generation of plants. The total life cycle for an annual plant can last as little as one month or as long as several months.


Maximum Yield Explains Annual

For most annuals, a typical life cycle spans from spring to fall. In this case, seeds germinate in the spring, grow and bloom during the summer months, and will often die during the first hard frost in fall. However, there are some annuals that are considered winter annuals. These plants will germinate late in the year, and will grow and bloom during the winter months.

Some plants can be grown as annuals depending on the climate or region they are grown in. Many annuals are widely used as landscaping plants because they provide color or ground cover for flowerbeds. Some examples of popular flowerbed annuals are sweet peas, nasturtiums, begonias and zinnias.

Annuals are not limited to ornamental plants. Many crops are annuals and their seeds must be planted from growing season to growing season. Some examples of annual crops are peas, corn and lettuce.


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