Growing guide

How to grow annuals and biennials

Annuals and biennials are fast-growing plants that flower prolifically over a long period. Cheap and cheerful, they are easy to grow from seed in large quantities, to fill borders, patio containers and hanging baskets with colour.

Quick facts

  • Most are easy to grow
  • Plants last for only a year or two
  • Usually prefer a sunny site
  • Sow annuals in autumn or spring and biennials in summer
  • Deadhead to encourage more flowers
  • Allow some spent flowers to set seed to grow new plants for free

All you need to know

Before you get started
Ongoing care
Pruning and training
While we think all this information will be helpful to you, we always recommend to read the instruction labels on your plants.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.