Mums provide fall color

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 17, 2012

With the start of sugarcane harvest and football season in full swing, fall has officially arrived in South Louisiana. Chrysanthemums, more commonly known as mums, are a favorite flower this time of year. They provide the perfect pop of color to any fall landscape. Flowers of yellow, pink, white, bronze, lavender and purple can be found at your local nursery or garden center.  Two-toned bicolor flowers have also recently been introduced.

Mums may be kept in large pots or planted directly into well drained soil. The best mums for planting in the landscape are garden mums.  When planting select a spot that receives full to partial sun, six to eight hours is best.  Prepare the soil by aerating or tilling to a depth of about six inches. A yearly addition of organic matter is also beneficial.  Allow plenty of space between plants to encourage vigorous bushy growth. Mulch with a half to one inch layer of pine straw, pine bark or a similar material.

Maintain mums by watering when needed, never allowing the plant to wilt. Keep an eye out for aphids, caterpillars, grasshoppers, leaf rollers and leaf miners, which can attack mums. Catch insect pests early to prevent any serious damage.  Mums will continue to bloom through December but generally stay in full bloom for about three weeks.  

For more information contact the St. John Parish LSU AgCenter Extension Office at 985-497-3261 or visit

Mariah Bock is the LSU AgCenter County Agent for St. John Parish, she can be reached by email at