Spring is here, which means we will be spending a lot more time at the local garden center or nursery. One of the best parts about gardening is choosing which flowers to grow. There are so many varieties to choose from with most flowers falling into two main categories: annuals and perennials. But there is actually another, lesser known type of flower called the biennial.
What are Biennial Flowers?
A biennial is a type of flowering plant that takes two years to complete a life cycle. During the first season, the plant will only grow a few, low-growing leaves and short stems. The plant will go into a period of dormancy in the winter or colder months. Flowering takes place in the second season, in the spring or summer. True biennials only flower once. In the second year, the plant will produce flowers, fruit and seeds before it finally dies.
Biennials aren’t as popular as annuals or perennials, but they can be useful for gardeners. They are hardy plants and would be able to tolerate colder climates. They are fairly low maintenance and will self seed easily.
With a bit of time and patience, biennials will reward you with the most spectacular blooms! Biennials are especially popular in cottage gardens. The seeds are planted in the summer or fall. Biennials are typically used in spring gardens to fill gaps in the border.
Tips on growing biennials:
- Biennials will bloom at different times of the year. If you plan your garden ahead of time, you can have a blooming garden all year round!
- As biennials don’t flower in the first year, be careful not to inadvertently pull out the leaves when weeding.
- Transplant only in the the 1st year of growth, not second.
- If you let the plant self seed for two consecutive years, your garden will have blooming plants in the next year.
- Biennials do best in full sunlight, rich soil and light watering.
- What’s the Difference Between Annual and Perennial Flowers? (funflowerfacts.com)
- All about Annual Garden Plants (growerdirect.com)
- All About Perennial Garden Plants (growerdirect.com)