gardening installations in MN

After a cold and white winter, it’s only natural for Minnesotans to want to see some spring color on their property. Whether it’s at home or at the office, being able to see flowers blooming can provide a great boost to your day. Also, it is the much-welcomed sign that spring is finally here.

When you are at your local garden center or picking out plants with your landscaper, how much do you know about the plants that you’re looking to purchase? Do you choose annuals or perennials for your property? Perhaps no one has told you which is which. 

This can mean that a plant you’ve purchased and are expecting to bloom again next year possibly won’t simply because it’s not built to survive the harsh Minnesota winters.

Instead of blaming your lack of a green thumb, we’ve put together a guide to explain the difference between perennials and annuals as well as what you need to know about caring for them so you can choose the plants that are best for you and your property.

What Is An Annual?

Annual plants will grow and flower for one season, and then die. Simply put, they won’t re-grow the next year. With annuals, you can purchase both cool-season and warm-season varieties. Cool-season plants are great for early spring, as they can survive a sudden frost. Warm-season annuals, however, will need to be planted after the last frost date, but this means you can have beautiful flowers in bloom throughout the summer months.

If you’re looking to have annuals planted in your garden or install hanging baskets along your patio, here are a few great options for both cold and warm weather seasons:

Cold-tolerant Annuals

  • Daisy
  • Pansy
  • Dianthus
  • Petunia
  • Snapdragon

Warm Season Annuals

  • Bacopa
  • Begonia
  • Celosia
  • Coleus
  • Cosmos
  • Impatiens
  • Lantana
  • Verbena

What Is A Perennial?

A perennial will grow, flower, die back, but will regrow throughout every spring or summer. There are several different types of perennials, with some being able to live for many years. Some perennials are evergreen and will form a permanent fixture in the garden when they’re not flowering while others will die back completely or will only a few leaves throughout winter. As you choose your garden’s perennials, it’s important that they have grade four hardiness to survive the harsh Minnesota winters.

Here are a few great perennial options that you can confidently plant in your home or commercial landscaping area:

  • Russian Sage
  • Sedums
  • Hardy Geraniums
  • Cone Flowers
  • Ornamental Grasses such as Calamagrostis, Miscanthus, and Panicum

Perennials vs. Annuals: What To Consider When Purchasing

Now that we understand the difference between both plants and have an idea of what varieties are best suited for the MN climate, we need to ask ourselves what type of plant we are looking for. There are pros and cons to both perennials and annuals, but if you utilize them both in complementing fashion, they can provide an amazing landscape feature for your home or business.


Annuals, either cold-tolerant varieties or warm season varieties, are great options as you’re looking to add a pop of color to your home or commercial property. These types of plants are known to be much more vigorous, colorful and flowering than perennials. They keep their bloom for much longer as well and are relatively inexpensive.

As you’re considering your garden or landscaping design, be sure to remember that annuals only last one growing season. After you’ve gone through the effort of planting annuals and watering them at the right times each week, seeing them die away can seem like a lot of effort for something that won’t return next year. However, if you do plant annuals, you’re able to transform your garden’s style every year.


The main benefit with perennials is that once you have planted them, they will come every year. As they come alive each year, they provide much more benefit to area pollinators as well. Also, if you are making sure to purchase grade four plants, they’ll be able to survive the Minnesota winter without a problem.

While planting perennials seems like the best choice for yearly landscape features, they do have a few characteristics to consider. These plants need certain amount of upkeep and may require feeding at certain times of year. It’s important to remember to only purchase perennial varieties which will survive Minnesota winters.

Quality Garden Enhancement Services

If all of this information seems like too much to handle on your own – don’t worry. The professional gardening team at Ground One Landscape Design + Build + Maintain can help. We’ve been serving the greater Twin Cities area with landscaping services since 1989 and can help design, plan, and build any planting projects you want to install. Together, we can create something beautiful.