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  • Writer's pictureToni Kenyon

What's the difference between an Annual, Biennial or Perennial herb?

It's my belief that a lot of people think that they're killing their herbs when, in actual fact, they don't understand the life cycle of their particular plant.

They simply don't understand the difference between an annual, a biennial or a perennial herb.

So, what's the difference?

What's an annual herb?

Annual herbs germinate from seed, flower, set seed and die all in one year.

What's a biennial herb?

Biennial herbs have a life cycle of two years. They germinate and grow in year one, then they flower, set seed and die in the second year.

What's a perennial herb?

Perennial herbs are everything else. Although they can be tricky, because (dependant upon your climate) they can die down and hibernate in winter, then send up new shoots in the spring.

This means that perennial herbs should grow and flower for many years, but some herbs are only short-lived perennials and may only live three or four years...I'm looking at you Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.

It's important that you know the difference between these herbs.

One of my students said to me recently that she couldn't grow herbs in a herb planter, because they died. It may well have been that she planted annuals and they were supposed to die once they'd bloomed and set seed. Or it could have been that she'd planted perennials and they'd gone dormant for the winter months. If she'd left them in the pot, they would have sprouted again in the coming spring.

We discuss the annuals, biennial and perennials I've planted in my mini-herb planter in the video below.

Make sure to take a look--and don't forget to watch until the end for 'bloopers'!

You'll find full particulars of the herbs and whether they're annual, perennials or biennials when you download the information sheet accompanying our herb planting video.

Love & lettuce,

Toni xx


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