Beyond the Mum!
Fall is pumpkins and mums…right? Well, with a mum shortage this year, fall might just be about pumpkins… and zinnias, marigolds, rudbeckia and crotons! Each of these plants provide tons of bright, big color to fall displays. Keep reading for details about each.
Zinnias are full sun, warm season annuals that grow from spring to fall. They like hot weather but sometimes they can look a little rough by fall if they have been growing all summer. But luckily for us (and for you!) we have some Arkansas growers that grow fresh crops of zinnias for the fall season. They can handle cooler temps and will grow well until we get our first freeze of the season, similar to a mum. If they are placed in a protected area, such as on a covered porch, they will do fine through a light frost. One of our favorite things about this plant is how long lasting the big blooms are as a cut flower.
Another warm season favorite! They don’t mind a cooler temps either but again, much like a mum, a frost will slow them down a bit and a freeze will mark the end of their season. With bright yellow, orange and rust colors, they really add clear, bright color to a fall display.
We shared this picture to talk about annual rudbeckia (a kind of black eyed-susan) but this picture also shows a bit of Intenz celosia (magenta colored flower spikes). As you can see, both of these plants are striking and look amazing in fall displays and in combo pots. Celosia has been in short supply this year too but we have annual rudbeckia available as of today. Rudbeckia is pretty tough, just place in a sunny spot and avoid overwatering. The weather has cooperated this fall and everything with a bloom is selling fast, so plan a trip sooner than later! Annual rudbeckias don’t overwinter so just enjoy the blooms while they last this fall. They should last until our first freeze, which is usually in early November.
Crotons have long been popular houseplants but they also make perfect additions to fall displays! We love that there are different kinds to choose from, that there are a variety of container sizes available, that they do well indoors during the winter, and outdoors when temps stay above 50° F. They can take a good amount of sun, as long as they get adequate water. The Petra variety (shown above) features wide leaves with green, orange, red and yellow highlights. These take more water than Mammy crotons, which have longer, thinner leaves. Avoid overwatering; this can lead to the plant losing leaves.
Often times, fall arrangements are on covered porches and may not get natural rainfall. Remember to check for water and water as needed. A moisture meter can help determine how wet the root area is. Pick up some cornstalks, hay bales, pumpkin, gourds, cabbage, kale, and of course, pansies while you are here to complete the whole look.