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Darrell Blackwelder column: Chrysanthemums can add a splash of color to your landscape

Many are planting chrysanthemums as an annual event to add a splash of color to our landscapes because many of the summer annuals are beginning to fade. Chrysanthemums, also known as “garden mums or hardy mums” are being sold as a fall color necessity at local garden shops and other retail outlets throughout the county.

Chrysanthemums are often utilized as accent plants providing color between shrubs or as a border. These plants can also be massed in beds or used as an addition to potted plants adding color to terraces, porches or as specimen or accent plants to entryways.

The preferred blossom color of Rowan County residents is yellow, but many other colors and various combinations are also available. More than 30 different varieties are grown by local growers in Rowan County.

Chrysanthemums are usually purchased as annuals and once the blooms are spent, the plants are tossed to make way for another flowering or accent plant. Some homeowners choose to keep the plants for next year. However, those that choose to keep them in the landscape must realize that the plants will not be as compact and tightly budded as those produced as annuals by commercial producers. Intense labor during late fall and careful fertilization are very much a part of annual chrysanthemum production.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu .

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