Mums: Their Popularity Continues To Grow

'Daybreak Appleblossom' from Fides Oro

Chrysanthemums are the quintessential fall plant. They have been around for generations, and no porch would be complete without these color-popping plants once autumn rolls around.
Just because the crop has a long history, it doesn’t mean that the product line has gone stale. Breeders are continually updating the plant selections available.

“We have a very active breeding program, and our breeders are consistently improving mums to come to the market,” says Liz Hunt, senior marketing manager for Syngenta Flowers. Syngenta offers Yoder mums, one of the mainstay names in the chrysanthemum universe.

While improved breeding is important, it’s also imperative that growers know what is hot in mum trends so that they can offer retailers the best selection for their areas and customers. Hunt and Bernard Chodyla, GroLink’s Belgian mum technical support for the U.S. and Canada, point out some high points for mums.

Trend Watch: Combination Planters

Both Hunt and Chodyla confirm that mixed-color containers are rising in popularity again. These mixed containers can include pairings of colors or three varieties that complement one another.

“Families in particular are easy to use in combinations,” Hunt says. “Colors can also appeal to different markets.” Hunt has noticed a trend where consumers want “fresh colors,” such as lighter pinks first, followed by the traditional harvest tones, such as oranges, later.

One combination that Hunt sees rising is non-traditional mum colors paired with pinks or whites. “More pastel-y colors work. Our two-tone Peach Fusion and Orange Fusion have been great with pinks and whites to complement them,” Hunt says.

“Mixed-color containers are definitely coming back,” Chodyla says, noting that he likes the Padre family of combinations. “Padres are a very popular family that has been around for about 10 years, and they are great for these containers.” He recommends using 10-inch or larger pots for the combinations. Nearly every large grower has to dedicate a portion of containers to mixed colors now, Chodyla says.

Bigger Plants = Bigger Profits

Chodyla has also seen a rise in retailers wanting larger products and pots to offer to consumers. While growers can start with packs and quarts early in the season, retailers are looking to finish out the season with a bigger bang. “Everyone wants larger mums now,” he says.

 Chodyla has seen a rise in interest for 24-by-24-inch mums as well. He attributes this to some of the larger home-improvement stores competing with one another for bigger sales.

Mums Go Red

Red has always been a popular fall color, although red mums have had a tendency to fade and lose color in the past.

GroLink developed a line of Red Elite Belgian mums that includes a winner for each part of the season. ‘Granata Red’ and ‘Camina Red’ are for early September; ‘Pobo Red’ and ‘Amadora Red’ are for mid-September; and ‘Pavia Red’ and ‘Savona Red’ are for late September. ‘Lava Red’ is best in early October, while ‘Contiki Red’ finishes the season in mid-October.
Syngenta also has two new reds from the Yoder mum line: ‘Wanda Red’ and ‘Danielle Red.’ ‘Wanda Red’ has a bold color that will fit in well with the rest of the family. ‘Danielle Red’ has a perfect, sphere-shaped habit for a midseason red decorative. It can be used as a red with the new Chelsey family, as well as in combinations with the new ‘Danielle Purple.’

Yellow Still Tops In Popularity

“Yellow is still our most popular color by far,” Chodyla says. Yellows are a little more popular in the South than in the North, but overall they make up 35 percent of GroLink’s mum demand.

GroLink added three new yellows to its line for 2013: ‘Espero Yellow,’ ‘Amiko Yellow’ and ‘Aluga Yellow.’ All three have the traits for which Belgian mums are known. Belgian mums are no pinch, so they save labor and are easy to grow. They are easy to ship without breakage and have more flowers that provide a better show and sales at retail. Plants also have the traditional ball shape of Belgian mums.

Joe Bergen, project manager for mums for Fides Oro, agrees that yellow is still the top color. Fides Oro has seven yellow variations in its new Mystic Mums line.

Syngenta’s new ‘Babette Yellow’ is a rich-yellow, late-season extender decorative mum that times well with the Barbie family. This Yoder variety has a 7.5-week response in shade and a natural-season response on Oct. 16. Plants have a mounded habit and are recommended for natural-season production.

New Family For Midseason

Syngenta is offering the new four-member Chelsey family from Yoder to fit the midseason flowering window. The family is positioned to upgrade the Victoria family in the future, and it has larger flowers, a rounder plant habit and more uniform flowering. Flowers are decorative and are available in yellow, pink, coral and white.

All four Chelsey members can be used in combinations to create a unique look for fall. Plants are very versatile so they can be used for spring, shaded, West Coast and natural-season production.

Fides Creates New Mystic Mums Program

Fides Oro’s Mystic Mums brand represents more than 45 years of chrysanthemum breeding experience and grower support. The 27 mums in the series are bred to have larger flowers, a flexible mounding plant habit, unique colors, great color retention and outstanding shelf life.

When choosing the mums to include, Fides Oro went to the source. “The selection process was done all with American growers,” Bergen says. For the past three years, growers have been critiquing the plants to be included. However, the process doesn’t end there. Bergen drives around the country and grades the mums so that Fides Oro has accurate data regarding response time and flowering.

The Mystic Mums brand also uses a unique naming convention based on meteorological terms. “We were breeding for a simpler system,” Bergen says. “The series of names makes sense. Once you’re familiar with the system, you can see the whole program.”

The series starts with ‘Daybreak,’ and then progresses to ‘Sunbeam’, ‘Meridian,’ ‘Eventide’ and ‘Afterglow,’ with each name flowering later in the season. The entire line was also bred to resist white rust, Bergen says. Since the largest mum consumers are in the Northeast, it was important to keep white rust in mind, he says

A Mum For Everyone

The outlook for mum’s continuing popularity is bright. To help growers do their best with these plants, Syngenta created growing charts that are tailored for product categories, including West Coast, big containers and spring crops, to name a few. “We are trying to provide programs that specify what growers need,” Hunt says. She has confidence that mums are here to stay.

Chodyla agrees. “Mums are easy to grow,” Chodyla says. “They will stay popular.”

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Mums: Their Popularity Continues To Grow

  1. Oh how I wish that for folks here in Maine…they'd STOP calling them Hardy Mums…they're not hardy and last 2-3 weeks then get hit by frost…by far the perennial fall mums are so much more beautiful…and it'd be nice to see some further research in that area….it is tiring to arrive every fall and see the mass crops of them personally….don't grow them, don't buy them don't sell them….

  2. Kyle, maybe you know about this already, but the cultivar 'Samba' is one such hardy perennial chrysanthemum you might enjoy. It has genetics from the old-fashioned 'Sheffield Pink'. I started some in the landscape this past spring and over the course of one season they were able to grow large and produce many flowers. Obviously, the biggest test-to see how they do over our Wisconsin winter-remains to be seen. But so far, I really like the Samba.

Latest Stories
Laura Drotleff

December 6, 2016

Are You Driving Young Growers Away? [Opinion]

In a time when the industry is facing a critical shortage of both labor and skilled, educated growers, it's important that grower operations don't unwittingly turn candidates off to a career at their business or in the industry in general. Take a closer look at your hiring practices to ensure you are being inclusive and not breaking any laws.

Read More

December 6, 2016

America In Bloom Moves Forward With New Management Comp…

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, management of America In Bloom will transition from AmericanHort to Second Wind Management, which is owned by long-time AIB Executive Director Laura Kunkle.

Read More
bailey-nurseries-team-feature

December 5, 2016

How Bailey Nurseries Has Found Solutions To The Labor S…

A changing seasonal workforce led this Minnesota-based company to explore new labor sources through the H-2A program and refugee organizations, and it’s working out for the better.

Read More
mycoapply-from-mycorrhizal-applications-feature

December 5, 2016

New Growing Media Advancements Giving Growers More Opti…

With innovative, sustainable growing media components, growers will be able to improve plant health, achieve consistency among crops, save money, and reduce inputs, while saving space on storage.

Read More

December 5, 2016

Benary’s Jennifer Calhoun: How We Can Make Plants…

I see one main issue facing our industry in getting more people to buy plants — we assume that the way we used to sell plants is the way millennials will want to buy them. Nothing could be further from the truth. We sell plants in small packs that you plant in a hole in your garden, with a generic label that says “blooms all season.” Millennials don’t have gardens, so they want a plant they can put on their fourth floor apartment balcony, or better yet on a shelf in their living room near a window.  We give them too little information to help them be successful under those circumstances. But what we don’t realize is that if the plant dies, they feel personally responsible for killing another living thing which is so painful that they would prefer not to take the chance a second time. If we sold […]

Read More

December 5, 2016

A Visual Guide To Garden Retail Merchandising

Antje Verstl, a German visual merchandiser who has worked with many high level garden retailers in Europe, has a lot of practical, and inspirational advice on how to transform your plant yard into an exciting place to shop. Take a look at this gallery, and enjoy a visual guide from Verstl. Her book, “Eagle & Frog!,” is now available for purchase by an American market through her website.

Read More
mikaela-hermstedt-penn-state-university

December 4, 2016

Shinoda Foundation Names Penn State Horticulture Major …

Mikaela Hermstedt, a 21-year-old senior from Lincoln, DE, plans to pursue a career in commercial greenhouse production of flowering plants.

Read More
all-america-selections-new-website-home-page

December 3, 2016

New Mobile Responsive Website From All-America Selectio…

All-America Selections has launched a newly redesigned and revamped mobile-responsive website that includes a more attractive design, enhanced search tools, and easier and simpler navigation.

Read More
Sea Breeze Catharanthus combo

December 2, 2016

Four Mixed Container Trends To Watch

Mixed containers are still one of the best-selling SKUs at retail. Pay attention to these four trends that are making their mark on multi-liner mixes and combination containers.

Read More
kelly-norris

December 2, 2016

Kelly Norris: How The “Me Too” Philosophy Affects Plant…

When you’re selling the exact same thing as everyone else, it’s unrealistic to expect customers to buy only from you.

Read More
mcconkey-plastic-shelves-feature

December 1, 2016

How Color Point Is Stopping Cart Theft With Plastic She…

Plastic shelving on carts acts as a deterrent to theft, and employees enjoy the benefits of being able to handle the racks without difficulty or injuries.

Read More
oasis-water-valve-feature

November 30, 2016

How You Can Water Plants Based On Basket Weight

The Oasis from Control Dekk is designed to reduce water use by giving baskets the exact amount of water they need.

Read More

November 29, 2016

How Changes In Plant Patent Law Could Affect Your Varie…

There is an ongoing discussion happening among plant genetics companies about the current laws and ethics of plant breeding, and what the future holds for the improved lawful protection of genetics.

Read More
foxglove-aphid

November 29, 2016

How Greenhouse Growers Can Manage The Foxglove Aphid

Recent research is shedding new light on the foxglove aphid. Understanding host plants, identification, and biology will help growers deal with this pest.

Read More
endless-summer

November 29, 2016

Endless Summer Hydrangeas Will Soon Feature New Identit…

Bailey Nurseries, which first introduced the reblooming hydrangea a decade ago, says the new identity will feature a more contemporary look to appeal to current and future gardeners.

Read More
Trays move on an overhead conveyor to the end of the production line, where workers carefully pack the cleaned, sized, graded, counted and sorted Calla tubers

November 29, 2016

Texas Judge Halts Overtime Rule; Here’s What It Means F…

According to Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort, the injunction against the overtime rule is welcome news for horticulture.

Read More

November 29, 2016

How The Industry Is Ensuring Consumer Success With Plan…

Greenhouse Grower RETAILING reached out to growers and suppliers for their ideas on how to attract and keep new plant customers. Here's what they had to say about ensuring gardening success.

Read More

November 29, 2016

Heroes To Hives Seeks Veterans For Beekeeping Training

Michigan State University is bringing together two great causes of our times — supporting vets and boosting pollinators — in its new program aimed at teaching professional beekeeping to former soldiers.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]