Perennial Vs. Shrubs – Which one will you choose for your Garden

Perennial Vs. Shrubs – Which one will you choose for your Garden

Plants are one of the most important living organisms on the planet. They are extremely helpful to both animals and human beings. They produce oxygen, which is significant for the survival of living beings. Trees give shelter to animals and are additionally known for their remedial advantages. Overall, various parts of plants have various jobs to perform. They act as a source of food and oxygen and keep up the ecological balance.

Annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees are the most familiar type of plants. Annual plants are the plants that grow, blossoms, and may produce seeds all in one season. Annual plants are the most commonly found in the gardens centers. Perennial plants are the plants that are cold hardy and will again come back each spring. Some perennials are very long-lived, and others will survive only for a very short period. A shrub is a woody plant that has numerous stems and branches at or near the ground. Trees are woody plants with a stem and branches that start from some distance above the ground. Trees are mainly large as compared to shrubs.

Here, we will compare two types of plants, i.e., Perennial Plants and Shrubs. We will compare them in different aspects.

A Brief About Perennial plants

Perennial plants

Perennials are plants that continue for quite a while, usually with new herbaceous development from a part that withstands by season to season. Trees and shrubs are perennial, as are some herbaceous blossoms and vegetative ground covers. Perennials have a  specified blooming period, but, with support all through the developing season, they give a leafy presence and beautiful shape to the garden landscape. Common flowering perennials include bellflowers, chrysanthemums, columbines, larkspurs, hollyhocks, phlox, pinks, poppies, and primroses.

Types of Perennial plants

Most botanists recognize five kinds of perennials. They are herbaceous, woody, monocarpic, deciduous, and evergreen.

  • Herbaceous perennials are generally grasses that develop in fire-prone regions and on grasslands—for example, alfalfa, red clover, intermediate, and Thinopyrum.
  • Woody perennials are discovered everywhere throughout the world and include plants, shrubs, and huge transcending trees that take a long time to develop entirely. Example- maple, pine, and apple.
  • Monocarpic perennials are plants that blossom and make seeds, then die. They are perennials, as it takes them over one year to finish this procedure. Example- Agave and some species of Streptocarpus.
  • Deciduous perennials are the ones which shed their leaves during the fall. Example- Goldenrod and mint.
  • Evergreen perennials are those plants that carry on with long lives and keep their foliage throughout the fall and winter months. Example- Begonia and Banana.

Now Let’s know what their advantages and disadvantages are


There are numerous advantages of growing perennial plants. Some of them are listed below:

  1. Probably the greatest advantage of perennial plants is that they don’t need to be replanted each year. Furthermore, when perennials are built up, they need less consideration as their root system can give them the nutrients they need.
  2. Since perennials stay in the soil for various years, the root system help improves the soil structure. As they develop and spread their roots, the soil is aerated, and channels are made for water to go through the soil. This helps both the perennial plants and different plants in the region to get the oxygen and water they require.
  3. Perennials have a more profound root system than annual plants and can achieve nutrients that are further down in the soil. They carry those nutrients to the surface where different plants can get to them. Nitrogen, for instance, is an especially valuable component for the plant development that perennials help draw upwards.


One of the primary drawbacks of growing perennial plant is the long time it takes them to start giving crops. If you’re leasing and not certain how long you are going to take care of the garden, perennials are clearly not something that you should choose. Unfortunately, unlike annual greenery that you can rotate year after year to forestall illness, once perennial is influenced, it should be dug out and demolished.

A brief about Shrubs

Shrubs plants

Shrubs are any woody plant that has a few stems, none dominant, and is generally under 3 m (10 feet) tall. At the point when much-branched and thick, it might be known as a bush. For instance, lemon, rose, tulsi, China rose, jasmine, etc.

Types of Shrubs

The different kinds of shrubs accessible for landscaping fall generally into three plant classifications:

1. Deciduous bushes-

  • Korean spice viburnum: Also, known as “triple threat,” a sporting blossoms in spring that are aromatic as well as beautiful, plus have a charming fall color.
  • ‘Blue Chip’ butterfly bush: These make your property the go-to spot in the community for vivid butterflies, recorded as a none invasive sort.
  • ‘Goldflame’ and ‘Gold Mound’ spireas: These won’t let you overlook the significance of spring foliage.

2. Broadleaf evergreens-

  • Stewartstonian azalea: This is a variety of a broadleaf evergreen that gives you both a spring show of blossoms and great fall color.
  • Mountain laurel: These are valued by local plant devotees of the northeastern USA as “one of their own,” with showy blossoms to boot.
  • Holly plants: These are important shrubs for those in adoration with “all things Christmas.”

3. Needled evergreens-

  • Yew bushes: These can be cultivated almost anywhere because of its durability.
  • Canadian hemlock: Grown as a shrub instead of a tree, these can be utilized to make extraordinary security support.
  • ‘Gold Mops’ false cypress: There’s no compelling reason to settle with green when you can have gold.

Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of Shrubs.


  • Shrubs can make a superior, and all the more enduring, privacy barrier than any fence you will ever purchase.
  • Evergreen shrubs are healthy, requiring nearly no supervision other than the yearly pruning.
  • Numerous shrubs are exceptionally appealing. They can add visual definition to the front of your home or a spot in your yard. Numerous assortments develop berries or blossoms.
  • Shrubs, primarily privacy hedges, can double as homes for flying creatures and little animals. Yet, in the event that you make sure to plant correctly and far enough away from your home, it can be a special reward.


  • A few assortments develop rapidly and can get out of control before you even realize it.
  • More established shrubs, the most congested, and the most dated are frequently the hardest to evacuate.
  • A few varieties can get into the foundation of your home as they tend to be planted near the walls.
  • They do require some pruning, or their development will get out of control or may end up looking messy.

Comparison Between Perennials and Shrubs

  • Height

Perennials are in various sizes from petite to huge. Petite Perennials are 4 to 8 Inches Tall, Low-Growing Perennials are 12 to 18 Inches Tall, Medium-Sized Perennials are 23 to 35 Inches Tall, Tall Perennials are 35 to 47 Inches Tall and Giant Perennials 59 to 117 Inches Tall.

It is stated that shrubs are woody plants that have a height of fewer than 6 feet. Small shrubs, which are under 3 feet or less, can be maintained in almost any shape or size. Medium shrubs that are between 3 feet – 6 feet), are the most decorative plants used as accents or fillers in a planting bed. Large shrubs that are taller than 6 feet are primarily used as background interest or as screens to block a view.

  • Lifespan

When perennial plants are provided proper growing conditions and good care, then the long-lived perennials often persist for 20 or more years. Short-lived perennials usually disappear within 10 years.

The average lifespan of shrubs is 7-8 years.

  • Watering

Soak the plants soon after planting and keep an eye on them to prevent drying. The general guideline is to include one inch of water every week for setting up plants. Less frequent, however, deep watering urges perennials to root profoundly. Perennials that are said to withstand dry season are drought tolerant only after they are established. The addition of mulch will assist in reducing the requirement for watering.

Water is fundamental for the shrubs to flourish. Particularly the watering ought to be done once in seven days completely. In case you are utilizing a sprinkler, you can adjust the timer for around 10 minutes and see that the lawn has totally absorbed the water, or the soil in the yard is totally soaked up with the water. In the fall season, water your shrubs before the first frost.

  • Best time to plant

Perennials are best planted in springtime (i.e., March to early May) or autumn (i.e., late September to October), while the ground is moist.

For Shrubs the Fall season is the best time to plant, as the plant gets more time to grow before the winter season.


Most perennials will bloom for a restricted time-frame, a month to about a month and a half is normal. Perennials are cold hardy plants and will add color to the garden for a long time. Perennials can be used in containers. Whereas Shrubs are relatively enduring elements of the garden. They are either deciduous, which implies they go dormant and lose their leaves in winter, or evergreen, which implies they don’t go torpid and do hold their foliage all winter. Shrubs are one of the primary approaches to add structure to your garden, in some cases called the bones of the garden. Shrubs, even deciduous shrubs, maintain the presence in your garden.

Here is everything you should know about both perennial plants and shrubs in this article. It will help you in chossing the best one for your garden.