Fall Gardening: DC Expert Shares How to Choose and Care for Flowers This Autumn

Tips for gardening in the D.C. area during fall

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The air is noticeably cooler and signs of fall, including chrysanthemums and pansies, are making their seasonal debut.

September is the optimal time to purchase mums.

Isaiah Weinstein is with Seasonal Celebrations and runs the pop-up shop on Massachusetts Avenue outside St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Northwest D.C.

“When you’re looking for mums, you want to get them when they’re in bud versus when they are fully blooming just because they’re going to last longer,” says Weinstein.

When buying chrysanthemums, chose ones that are still in the bud because they'll last longer. (News4/Erika Gonzalez)

According to Weinstein, the most popular color is yellow. Red and orange come in a close second.

Mums like a lot of water so give them a good drink every day. They also like a lot of sun, so put them in a spot where they’ll soak it in.

When adding them to your cart or the trunk of your car, remember to handle with care.

“They’re extremely fragile. When you’re planting them or if you’re sitting them down somewhere just make sure you don’t plop it down. You want to be gentle with them because they will break very easily,” says Weinstein.

The other fall favorites are pansies, yellows and purples in particular. They may be better for novices or more hands-off gardeners.

“Pansies are really easy to care for. They’re super drought tolerant. They like sun and also they come back up in the spring,” says Weinstein.

Unlike mums, Weinstein says these are less fussy and hold up well over time.

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