You Can Plan a Fall Program

Chris Fifo - Product Representative
Monday, March 8, 2021

Anyone who knows me or has heard one of my presentations knows that I have never grown a mum in my life. Thirty years of growing perennials, and a fair amount of annuals, and I have never grown a Fall mum program. Maybe that’s why I have pushed perennials for Fall so adamantly.

What? You haven’t thought about a Fall program with perennials as a complement or premium alternative to mums? It is a program that is gaining in popularity from year to year.

With Spring schedules set and not an inch of space available in the greenhouse to build another program, why not build that program for Summer and Fall sales? Perennials are perfect for this window of opportunity when there is space available in the greenhouse or outdoor growing areas. Plus, perennials will finish much more quickly in Summer production than they do for Spring programs.

There are several considerations when choosing perennials to grow for Summer and Fall sales.

1. First, and maybe the most obvious, is that they need to be first-year-flowering perennials. A creeping phlox or a Spring-blooming Candytuft is not going to fit this model. Fortunately, first-year-flowering items have been a focus for Darwin Perennials (and Kieft Seed) breeding.

2. How long will these crops be in flower? We want to give the customer the most color for their money. There are plenty of perennial selections that will put on a show for many, many weeks. This extended bloom time also makes it much easier for scheduling.

3. Summertime can be a challenging time of year to be growing plants. You have to choose varieties that can stand up to the heat, humidity and light intensities of Summer production. Fortunately we have done that trialing and have that information to share with you.

4. The time to order is now! If you’re starting with unrooted cuttings, March and April is generally when you want to get those stuck. If starting with rooted liners from your favorite supplier, place your orders soon for best availability.

Visit for more Fall inspiration, or stay tuned for my favorites for Fall selections. Check out the video interview below for more insight on success.

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