How Are Perennial, Biennial And Annual Wildflowers Different?

Posted on: 30 June 2016

Sowing wildflower seeds is a great way to add color and beauty to your yard or garden. Many types of wildflowers produce bursts of gorgeous blooms within only a few weeks. There are three different types that wildflowers are categorized in. Wildflowers can be perennial, biennial or annual plants. These are the ways that each type of wildflower is different.


Once perennial wildflowers are established, they will return year after year with beautiful blooms. Perennial seeds can be planted in summer, fall or late winter so that there is plenty of time for roots to get established in the ground before the next spring growing season.

Perennial wildflower seeds may not produce blooms until the second year. During the first season after planting, you may only see the green plants and leaves come up instead of the flowers. Some examples of perennial wildflowers (in warm climates) include California Poppy, Blue Sage, Texas Bluebonnet and Sweet Alyssum.


Biennial wildflowers usually grow for two years. The first year you will most likely see the plants have grown and then the blooms will be visible during the second year. However, biennial wildflowers may also reseed and continue to come up even after the second year.

It is best to plant biennial wildflower seeds in the spring so they can grow and become strong and ready to bloom in the second year. Black-eyed Susans, Hollyhocks and Sweet Williams are biennials.


Annual wildflowers grow for only one season. It is best to plant them in early spring so they can be enjoyed throughout the summer. Annuals can also be started indoors as seeds in the winter, and then the plants can be planted outside in the spring. 

Annual wildflower seeds are popular because they tend to produce a large amount of bright, vibrant blooms. There are many different types of annual wildflowers to choose from including African Daisies, Baby Blue Eyes, Blazing Stars, Calendulas and Bachelor's Buttons.

When planting wildflower seed, it is best to keep the soil well-irrigated until the plants have been established. This will ensure the seeds do not dry out and get a good start at developing into healthy plants. Some wildflowers do best in full sun; however, others thrive in full or partial shade. Be sure to follow the planting guide on your wildflower seed packets to determine which area of your land is best for planting each different kind of wildflower seed.