THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW!
If not a law, than at least a warning in big bold red letters for everyone to see. There’s nothing more irritating than going to garden center and seeing novelist who loves gardening, but may not have the experience to pick the right plants, searching the benches looking and choosing a plant that is wrong for them. As a professional in the landscape business, it infuriates me to see garden centers selling plants that are really not meant for the climate you live in or are being sold out of season.
Everyone likes try new plants and colorful plants just called you to try. But it does the gardener an injustice when you try to sell them plants that are out of season or out of the climate zone that they should thrive in, without explaining to them what they’re getting into.
Seasonal plants should be displayed as seasonal plants! With the explanation to the consumer that they are not hardy plants and might need some extra care. Down here in the South a perfect example are potted Chrysanthemums.
Oh, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve bought a Mum or two out of season, and who can blame me? Their bright colors just screams fall is on its way. If you happen to live in the north you know that this is perennial fall plant. But, I know what I’m doing and I realize these plants are not able thrive in heat of South Florida for long without blooming out. One of the biggest complaints I hear from customers is that they bought a Mum and it only lasted a few weeks, at the most. I honestly think if people knew ahead of time that these flowering plants had a short term flowering cycle in a hot climate, they wouldn’t be so upset. They would still buy them because they are beautiful and enjoyable, but their expectations would be lower and they would be treated more as a florist type of plants, then a gardening plant.
So, you’ve heard my personal rant and I hope that somebody out there will take note and at least put up a sign in front of those benches of Chrysanthemums, warning the poor southern consumer that they are short-term plant and enjoy them while you can.
Gardening should be an enjoyable experience. Whether you’re in the South or the north and part of that experience is picking out the right plants for your garden. As a consumer, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know the type of plant that you are interested in. Most employees working in a garden center love to talk gardening and would be happy to answer your questions.
So, the calendar says that fall is here, even if the weather hasn’t cooled down. Go ahead and grab a big pot of Mums and put by your front door. Here are couple of hints for its care: try and keep it out of the hot afternoon sun, keep it well watered and be prepared to replace it a few times over the fall season.
Enjoy that Mum, and know that the cooler weather is just around the corner!