planting fall flowers

Planting Fall Flowers

It’s not too early to start thinking about your Fall landscape. Now’s the time to decide on the best show of flowers for your yard. Let’s talk about a few choices you have for a beautiful display of Fall color –

Chrysanthemums (“Mums”)

Plant fall-blooming annual mums for seasonal color. Mums remind us of football and Halloween. These fall favorites ignite a landscape with blazing color. The first step is to buy the right kind of mums. Not all garden mums are created equal in terms of surviving winter cold.  When buying garden mums, look for tags that say hardy mums or garden mums, as opposed to the less hardy florist mums or cutting mums.

The best time to plant fall purchased garden mums is the minute you buy them, which should be as soon as you see them for sale. Early planting—even as early as September —helps plants develop a strong root system. Plant garden mums too late, and winter freeze-thaw cycles can shove plants out of soil, a condition known as frost heave. Without early planting to permit strong root growth, shallow rooted garden mums don’t really stand a chance.

After planting garden mums, don’t forget to water throughout fall. It’s also wise to add mulch at planting time over plant roots. Once soil freezes, add another mulch layer around the base of garden mums to help insulate soil and prevent frost heave.

Marigolds

Marigolds come in a variety of warm colors. Other than mums, there aren’t many plants that give exceptional fall color. Factoid: African marigolds planted in fall will out-bloom any chrysanthemum.

The best time to plant marigolds in the garden is during the first few weeks of September. Even though they are often thought of as a spring through summer flower, they really perform much better from late summer up until first frost. You can use them to fill holes in your borders, add color to your fall display, and to mass plant. Tip: Plant marigolds around your Fall vegetable garden to deter insects because of their strong fragrance.

To ensure success with marigolds, establish your beds with good soil prep and proper drainage, and always hand-water the first several weeks to allow roots to establish. Don’t give marigolds any shade at all. Do not over water or give them less than full, blasting Texas sun.

Zinnias

Plant some dwarf  (low growing) or giant (reach up to 4′ tall) zinnias for a vibrant bright display of color. Zinnias are annuals, so they grow for one season and make great cutting flowers, but do not come back in subsequent years.

Usually, fall zinnias of all types begin showing up in Texas garden centers in September. They need full sunlight for a half day or more, and will thrive as long as they have moderate water and are planted in a well-drained soil.

Zinnias are one of the easiest annuals to grow. Outstanding in beds, borders, and containers, and they attract butterflies to your garden.

Let us know your favorite Texas Fall flower! And if you need help planting, call First Response Lawn Care today at (214) 701-7622!