If you love gardening and are planning to set up a beautiful garden, you will need to have a clear understanding of your outdoor plants. Outdoor plants fall into one of two categories: perennials or annuals. Annual outdoor plants that naturally complete their life cycle in under a year are known as true annuals, but some biennials and perennials may be grown as annuals in certain contexts. For example, some annual outdoor plants may be perennial in their native habitat, but are not hardy enough to survive winter in the environment in which they are grown. Certain root vegetables, such as carrots, are biennials that are treated as annuals, harvested in their first year for the strong root that grows to provide nourishment to the plant in the second year. Popular annual outdoor plants include marigolds, petunias and zinnias, as well as most garden vegetables like tomatoes, beans or pumpkins. Some herbs, like basil or dill, are annuals.
Annual outdoor plants fall into two major groups: summer annuals and winter annuals. Summer annuals go from germination to death within a single season, be it summer, spring, or fall. Many summer weeds are of this variety. Growing annuals gives you the option of redesigning your garden every year and trying out new plants or new combinations of colors. Annuals are usually cheap and fast growing, so it is easier to pull and replace damaged or sick plants.