Darrell Blackwelder: Mums add a splash of color to the landscape

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 17, 2021

Planting chrysanthemums in the fall is an annual event that adds a splash of color to our planters and landscapes.  Chrysanthemums, also known as “garden mums or hardy mums” are sold by local garden shops, grocers and other retail outlets throughout Rowan County.

Chrysanthemums are used as accent plants providing color between shrubs or as a border. These plants can be massed in beds or used as simple pot plants as focal points on terraces or decks.

The preferred blossom color of Salisbury and Rowan County residents is yellow, but other colors and combinations are now available. Over 30 different varieties are grown by local growers in Rowan County.

Chrysanthemums are usually purchased as annuals; once the blooms are spent the plants are tossed, making way for another flowering plant. Some have inquired if they could keep the plant so they can have them again for the next seasons bloom. If you decide to keep them you must realize that the plants will not return as compact and tightly budded as those produced by commercial producers. Intense labor and careful fertilization are very much a part of chrysanthemum production. They will return in the summer tall and lanky, not the intensely blooming, mounding plant purchased earlier in the fall.

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.