Marigolds have unique outer petals giving a real
I love this time of the year where everyone decorates
with pumpkins and old flowers get ripped out and mums go
in. As much as I treasure Belgian mums, I must admit
there is something special about mari-mums. I would be
quick to tell you there is no such thing as a mari-mum
but in actuality, it has won the coveted Texas Superstar
award, not once but twice, 1989 and 2013.
mari-mum is really a concept and a doggone good one.
Mari-mums are the large flower marigolds, known
botanically as Tagetes erecta, that are reminiscent of
chrysanthemums. Many of them really look like the
old-fashioned homecoming mums of the 50ís and 60ís
marigolds are often called African marigolds though they
are really from Mexico. The Spaniards took these
treasured flowers of the Aztecs and planted them in
southern Europe and northern Africa where they
absolutely flourished. They flourish for us too in the
spring but totally dazzle when planted in late summer as
a small bedding plant or larger transplants like you
find at garden centers now.
you live in an area that is already flirting with frost
then you will wait until next year. Here in Savannah and
the South Carolina Low Country where landscapes were
hammered by hurricane Matthew mari-mums can perk up a
home quicker than just about any other plant.
or the marigolds, if you will, typically produce their
flowers before chrysanthemums and are still blooming
when frost actually takes them out.
you associate spider mites with marigolds know that this
is a summer plague and the blooming mari-mum is hardly a
target as the cooler temperatures of fall diminishes the
spider mite reproductive rate.
at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden, we are using
the variety called Taishan yellow. The Taishan series
made its debut in coordination with the Beijing Olympics
in 2008. This extraordinary marigold is named after the
sacred Mount Tai in China, Ďshaní referring to
the years I have come to realize I am a sucker for all
of the Tagetes erecta marigolds and several of their
hybrids when it comes to fall planting. Moonstruck is
one such variety producing huge pom-pom like flower
balls. Itís funny I can spot this variety from a great
distance. Then there are two series that are absolutely
stunning in their design looking just like mums with
their unique outer petals, they are Lunacy and Mumsy
marigold is a fickle market as your local grower can
only produce so many varieties to sell at your garden
center. On the other hand, if you are a marigold nut
like me then you can find the flowers of your dreams via
catalogs so you can have whatever you want for next
spring or fall. As you probably remember from your
childhood days marigolds are about the easiest flowers
to grow from seed.
you are looking for that fall festival-like flower for
your landscape then, by all means, consider the large
flowered marigold. Surprise your garden center and tell
them the new name is mari-mum. Combine them with the
fall blooming salvia, asters, ornamental peppers and a
pumpkin or two and youíll have cornered that
Octoberfest like look.