Plants are an essential part of an outdoor or indoor garden. Not only do plants add color and enhance the beauty of your garden, but they also make the air cleaner and healthier to breathe.

There are many types of plants in the world and they have certain characteristics that set them apart from other plants. If you’re a beginner gardener, you might have a hard time distinguishing an annual from a biennial plant. Knowing the different types of plants and their features will help you decide which ones to grow in your garden.

Before you get in touch with your landscape designer, here are the basics of the different types of plants:

Annuals

Plowed field

Annuals are plants that seed, flower, and die in a one-year period. Once they complete their life cycle, the parent plants die, leaving dormant seeds to sprout and grow the following year. Annual plants usually flower from spring to late summer. Planting annuals gives you the option to change the layout of your garden year after year. Some examples of annuals are aster, marigold, petunia, watermelon, basil, and corn.

Biennials

Biennials are plants that complete their life cycle in two years. This type of plants typically develop leaves during the first year, go dormant in autumn and winter, and then flower during the second year before dying. To make sure your biennials bloom year after year, you need to plant seeds every year. Most biennial plants are actually vegetables such as carrot, beet, kale, and onion. Flowering biennials include foxglove, dianthus, and hollyhock.

Perennials

Perennials plants live for more than two years. Depending on the climate, some perennials keep their leaves through the winter, however, most drop and die then return again in the spring. If you don’t plan on changing the layout of your garden every year, perennials are a great choice. Anthurium, gerbera, water lily, and hibiscus are examples of perennials.

Bulbs

Planting flowers

Bulbs are one of the easiest plants to grow. They provide stunning colors and require little effort to maintain. Tulips and daffodils are the most popular types of bulbs.

Evergreens

Evergreens provide year-round color to your garden. Conifers such as pine and spruce are examples of evergreen trees. However, if you have a small garden and don’t want to grow tall trees, you can opt for blooming evergreen shrubs like laurels, azaleas, and gardenias.

Deciduous

Deciduous shrubs and trees are seasonal plants that provide spectacular colors of orange, red, and gold during autumn. Unlike evergreens, deciduous plants shed leaves each year before going dormant during the winter season. Come spring, they grow a new canopy of leaves.

Vines

Vines or climbers are considered the acrobats of the plant world. You can plant them alongside your trellis, pergola, or fence. Popular examples of vines or climbers are clematis, bougainvillea, honeysuckle, trumpet vine, and native wisteria.

Groundcovers

Groundcovers or creepers are ideal for gardens with a steep bank or bare patches under trees where plants refuse to grow. They are weed-resistant and are available in sun or shade varieties. For sunny areas, creepers such as ice plants and plumbago are a great choice, while periwinkle and English ivy are suitable for areas with shade.

The above are just some of the plants that you can grow in your own garden. You can now decide which plants are suitable for your garden depending on growth habits and bloom time.