Hardy chrysanthemums bring bright colors to autumn planting, giving patio pots and flower beds splashes of bold color before winter. They come in many varieties, including single daisy-flowered forms, pompons, and anemone types with slightly raised centers.
Note: While garden mums look almost identical to their delicate cousins the florist mums, there is a big difference between them. Click here for details.
Garden mums prefer full sun, regular watering, and a well-drained, compost enriched soil and regular fertilizing.
When blossoms fade, cut the flowers off just below the heads, leaving as much stem as possible. Mums need both their stems and their leaves left on so they can keep photosynthesizing to store enough energy for winter.
Water regularly — about three times a week — as long as the soil remains unfrozen. After the first serious frost, mulch them with a 4-inch deep layer of straw or compost. Take care to keep the mulch about 3 inches away from the crown of the plants to discourage fungus diseases.
Mark the mums so they don’t get trampeled during the winter and early spring.When the first new shoots emerge from the soil in spring, it’s OK to remove the dead aboveground portions of the plants then fertilize them again. Keep them watered and they should come up beautifully next fall.
Note: Many gardeners use mums as annuals, replacing them each year with fresh plants.
Type of Plant: Perennial Flower
Distinguishing Characteristics: Hardy, great for pots and flower beds.
Water Use: Moderate
Flower Color: Various
Sun/Location: Full Sun