Patricia M. Arledge, Sharpe, Kenneth W. | 11/14/2015 2:59:12 AM
News Article for October 19, 2015:
In my early years there were growers of cut flower mums that were grown for All Saints Day. This time of the year as the mums begin to show color it was beautiful to go into the fields and see thousands of mums of various colors and sizes that would be used for decorating graves.
Mums were a high labor crop. Farmers had certain varieties that they could no longer get so they kept plants growing year round to have access to a certain size and color flower that was popular. They spent most of the late summer pinching out flower buds so they could have flowers blooming for that one day.
Mums are also a part of many of our fall decorations. They are readily available in pots and you can have them blooming between October and early December. Potted mums are usually grown as lots of small flowers that come in almost any color except blue.
The key is to purchase flowers that will make it as far into the fall as you need before you are ready to switch over to your Christmas decorations or other fall annuals. The cooler the weather the longer your blooms will last. Blooms will fade fast in hot weather. Select plants with dark green foliage free from any brown spots. You can only expect two to three weeks of blooming so do not select a plant in full bloom if you want it to last for a month.
After blooming mums can be left in the garden as a perennial and you might even get a second bloom if you cut off all the old flowers and we have a mild winter. Most people opt to just use mums for fall color and then remove them from their garden landscape or pots and replace them with petunias, pansies or some other cool season annual.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture