Everybody is trying to capitalize on the “green is good” craze lately, even the plant industry. Hence, the newest line of designer Chrysanthemums. From a company called Vermont Organics Reclamation, Inc.comes the new “Global Warming Mum” series. Here’s the description:
“This series, from breeder Sinclair Adam, Jr, features late bloomers that make their mark after others have passed. This not only gives us an extended season of color, it also gives bees and beneficial insects a food source during the warmer, extended fall months resulting from global climate changes.”
The plants are hardy from Zone 4 through Zone 8 and, according to the plant description, they bloom from September through frost. Ok, frosty temps will end the bloom season. Got it?
There’s only one problem. According to the National Climate Data Center (NCDC), Fall temperatures have declined in 6 of 9 climate regions in the United States. And, since 1930, temperatures have shown an average Fall decline in the majority of the COLDER growing regions of the United States, including the Upper Midwest, The Northern Rockies, and the Northeast States. Lets break it down a bit further. October temperature trends (1930-2011) are down in 8 of 9 US climate regions. NCDC records show the only region that has warmed each month, Sept through November, since 1930 is the Western Region (California & Nevada).
Notice the Northeast states above. Fall temperatures overall (Sept – Nov) have fallen slightly since 1930, about -.03 degrees per decade. October temperature trends above are down -.22 degreesF/decade. This could easily increase the chances that you’ll frost your mums off before Halloween.
In one our coldest regions, the Upper Midwest (USDA Growing Zone 4 & 5), Fall temperatures have fallen .01 degreesF/decade. To be fair, November temperatures show a positive trend in this region at +.26 degreesF/decade. But the Chrysanthemums will face some harsher weather before reaching those Dog Days. Average temperatures in October (ABOVE) are down .28 degreesF/decade. Septembers are down at a rate of .23 degreesF/decade. Lots of potential frost here by mid-fall!
In my home region, the Ohio Valley, its a similar story. The Fall temperature trend (1930-2011) is -.08F/decade. October sees the sharpest drop at -.28degreesF/decade (ABOVE). September trends drop -.23F/per decade. By the time, these poor flowers reach a milder November (1930-2011 Trend is +.27F/decade), they’ve most likely endured a frost or two…or three.
Here are the NCDC Fall Temperature Trends for the 9 US Climate Regions (1930-2011):
Northeast = -.03 degreesF/decade
Ohio Valley = -.08 degreesF/decade
Upper Midwest = -.01 degreeF/decade
Northern Rockies and Plains = -.04 degreesF/decade
Northwest = +.06 degreesF/decade
West = +.12 degreesF/decade
Southwest = +.08 degreesF/decade
South = -.06 degreesF/decade
Southeast = -.04 degreesF/decade
In case you were wondering, propagation of Global Warming Mums is prohibited. Darn!