Esbenshade’s Greenhouses, Inc was founded by Lamar and Nancy Esbenshade in 1960, along Route 322 in Brickerville, PA. Lamar and Nancy’s passion for plants was passed on to their children, and today the company is owned and operated by four of their sons: Fred, Roger, Scott, and Terry.
When gardeners think of Esbenshade’s they think of quality plants and products. “Quality plant material sells itself. These plants set us apart from the mass marketers. You do not cut corners when you grow quality plants,” says Roger, who oversees the growing process at the 16-acre wholesale facility in Lititz.
Taking care of their large facility is the primary responsibility of Scott and his crew of dedicated workers. Scott relishes the day-to-day challenge of finding and implementing solutions to problems as they arise. “Seeing the positive affect my parents have had on others by living their lives with integrity, diligence, generosity, purpose, and a genuine care and respect for others regardless of who they are, has challenged me to live my life by the same principles,” Scott says of Lamar and Nancy.
Like many people who work in the green industry, Fred Esbenshade enjoys the variety of work and the changing seasons. “I love seeing the change from spring to fall to Christmas, or, stated another way, from bedding plants to fall mums to Poinsettias.”
Esbenshade’s Garden Centers bring customers the finest in plants, gardening products and services. “We grow our own plants with great care, so you know you’re getting the best quality and selection at the best price.”
We asked the experts at Espenshade’s to tell us a little more about everyone’s favorite fall plant: mums!
Are your mums winter-hardy?
Yes, all the fall mums from Esbenshade’s Greenhouses are winter-hardy. However, many factors play a role in the winter survivability of mums, including: the harshness of the winter, how exposed the mums are to winter winds, how well the mums can establish their root system before the ground freezes, and even the variety of the mum itself.
How long will mums bloom?
On average, mums will provide good flower color for 4-6 weeks once flowers begin to open. Bloom time is effected by temperature; mums will bloom out faster in warmer weather.
How do I care for my mums?
If you plan to leave them in a pot as fall decor, make sure the mums remain moist, but never soggy wet. No fertilizer is required as the mums are fully grown and do not need it this year any more. Mums will perform best in full sun, but can tolerate shady areas if they are just to be used for decoration.
If your plan is to plant them in ground as a perennial, select a well-drained location as water-logged roots in winter will kill the plant. Choose a full sun location (minimum of 6 hrs. of direct sun a day) and apply a low nitrogen fertilizer in the spring. Esbenshade’s Greenhouses sell Belgian mum varieties, which are self-branching varieties that do not require pinching to produce full, compact plants. If you prefer to pinch your mums to delay flowering, July 4th is the last recommended date to allow for bud development for fall.
Do I need to do anything special when I plant my mums to ensure they survive the winter?
Make sure the location you choose for planting does not remain overly wet in the winter as this can quickly rot the roots. Also, do not trim the dead stems of the mum back before spring. They will help to insulate the plants by trapping leaves and snow.