Chrysanthemums say fall just like turkey says Thanksgiving, they are inseparable. When planning to buy chrysanthemums for fall décor, these tips will help get the biggest bang for your fall floral buck and keep the mums healthy and blooming for weeks.
What to Look for When Buying Chrysanthemums
Unless immediate floral color is needed, don’t buy a pot of mums that are in full bloom but rather a pot of mums that are just breaking bud (flowers just beginning to open) for maximum bloom time.
Pick potted mums up before buying and check for tell-tale signs of a healthy (or unhealthy) flower. The pot should be heavy for it’s size, foliage should stay intact and there should be no visible pest damage on the foliage.
Darker shades of chrysanthemums will look better longer, since the spent flowers will be less noticeable. The same is true for the double flowering mum varieties.
At-Home Chrysanthemum Care
Once the chrysanthemum’s buds have begun to open, you’re almost guaranteed flowers regardless of where the potted mum is placed. However, the mum will produce the best and live the longest when placed in a sunny location.
No need to fertilize potted mums, just keep the soil moist throughout the life of the flower. If the plant should dry out during the fall season, submerge the potted mums in a container of water that is deep enough to allow the water to completely cover the pot (but not the flowers) and allow to soak for a few minutes. This will re-hydrate the soil and get quick moisture back into the flower. A sharp pencil can also be jabbed into the soil in several locations, then water the potted mum as usual.
Extend Chrysanthemum Bloom Time
Remove the spend flowers by pinching them off the mum plant to encourage more blooms. While the fall weather is still warm, deadheading the mum plant will need to be done daily, after the fall weather cools down, deadheading the plant every other day will extend bloom time.
In-Ground Planting of Potted Chrysanthemums
After the potted chrysanthemums are done flowering, cut the plant back to eight inches and plant in-ground in well-drained soil. During the warm weather of summer keep the mum plant pinched back so buds will not form and the plant will continue to bush out. Stop pinching the buds off the mum plant no later the Labor Day and the in-ground chrysanthemum will reward you with lovely fall color for several years.