Mums and Pansies: Color Made Easy
Just because summer's gone doesn't mean flowers don't still have time to shine. Fall is known for its array of colorful foliage, but flowers can add some vibrant punctuation to the landscape. Annuals like mums and pansies are favorite standbys as fall flowers, with good reason. They look great, they can grow almost anywhere in the country and they're usually easy to find at garden centers. The best part is, they'll add color long after summer annuals die back and perennials go dormant.
Natives Are a Must In Fall
For best results, choose plants native to your geographical region to easily enhance your fall garden. Some good choices include California poppy in the West, blackfoot daisy in the Southwest, big leaf aster in the Southeast and New England aster or boltonia in the Northeast and Midwest.
Provide a Healthy Home
Whether you choose mums and pansies or try your hand with local native flowers, you'll get the best results if you give them a good environment for growing. For in-ground garden plantings, that means improving your soil by incorporating products such as Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers & Vegetables. Follow spacing and planting directions on the individual plant tags. For container gardens, use a specialized potting soil such as Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix.
Feed Your Flowers Regularly
As the summer sun's rays begin to fade, your flowers will benefit from more nutrients. Feed your fall plants with a food such as Miracle-Gro® LiquaFeed® Bloom Booster® Flower Food starting two weeks after planting. Follow a regular feeding schedule (once every two weeks), observing your flowers for signs of its nutrient needs. Abnormally yellow, brown or pale leaves can be an indicator of nutrient deficiency.
Water According to Your Climate
While summer's heat may have passed, you still need to water your flowers frequently if you live in the Southwest or coastal regions with warm winters and sandy soil. In areas such as the Northeast and Midwest, fall usually brings plenty of rain, but be sure to check the soil and water your plants as necessary to provide your plants a steady supply of moisture for continuous healthy blooms.
Don't Forget to Deadhead
When it comes to plants, brown usually isn't a desirable color. Your fall flowers will produce more blooms for a longer period if you deadhead, removing flowers that have faded, started to turn brown or are malformed. Pluck the flowers just below the bud.