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New Queen Of The Fall Garden

It's mid August, hotter than a two-dollar pistol and both you and your landscape plants have the late-summer doldrums. This means it is much too early to plant pansies (they will stretch badly in the heat) but Old Man Summer has hammered most of the earlier planted annuals to a frazzle. Is there a shining knight that can rescue you from these doldrums? You bet there is and it's called a mari-mum.

The name mari-mum is derived from a combination of the terms marigold and chrysanthemum and denotes large-flowered American marigolds which possess a similar flower form and are used as a fall crop like chrysanthemums. The marigolds which best fit this concept are hybrids characterized by earlier blooming, larger flowers and high levels of uniformity.

Their Attributes Abound

Several years of testing by Texas Agricultural Extension Service horticulturists in both south and north central Texas have revealed many desirable attributes exhibited by mari-mums. For example, they: When compared to fall-planted chrysanthemums, mari-mums:

Spider Mites Not A Problem!

At this point many of you are thinking how beautiful mari-mums will be as a fall crop but you're worried that spider mites, the arch enemy of marigolds, will make their ugly presence known.

Spider mites love hot weather but their rate of reproduction is greatly reduced by cool fall temperatures. By first removing any mite-infested plants from the flower bed and then planting fresh marigold transplants in mid August, you can avoid significant mite injury, all without the use of pesticides

Recommended Cultivars

The super mari-mum cultivars currently recommended are 'Discovery Yellow' and 'Discovery Orange', dwarf plants 8-10 inches in height, and 'Voyager Yellow', a somewhat larger cultivar at 14-16 inches in height.

Mari-Mum Culture At A Glance

Landscape Uses

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