'Tis The Season of Mums and Kale

Sep 9, 2014

Decorative kale
Credit Henry Homeyer

Gardening Guy Henry Homeyer talks about mums, decorative kale and cabbage, and preparing for fall.

Fall is on the way… what are you doing to prepare?

Summer flowers that are looking tired can be made to look pretty darn good in the fall… I cut them back right about now… I give them some liquid fertilizer and they’ll re-bloom nicely in two or three weeks.

Are there fall plants we should consider buying now?  

Absolutely. I love chrysanthemums, decorative kale or cabbage, and fall asters. I treat them as annuals.

What about mums?

Mums are great… they’ll have up to 300 blossoms in an eight or twelve inch pot. Fabulous color and relatively inexpensive. They’re sold as perennials but I don’t find them worthy as perennials. Next year you might only get fifty blossoms. The main thing you need to do if you’re keeping them in a pot is to keep them well watered.

Is decorative kale the same as decorative cabbage?

It is. It’s an annual usually in greens and purples and sometimes you’ll have a white center. The great thing is that it’s very frost-hardy; if you buy it now and keep it hydrated, it’ll look good almost until Christmas.