Chrysanthemums are commonly seen during the late summer and fall months.
It seems that I see lots of homes and gardens decorated in different colored mums along with scarecrows, pumpkins and other Halloween or Thanksgiving decorations. I also see a lot of colors of mums in home and garden stores and local nurseries more this time of year than any other season.
Whenever fall comes around, I always want to get a new mum in a nice planter to put by the front door. For some reason this flower seems inviting to me and a great, inexpensive way to perk up your yard or front porch for the coming holiday season. For a minimum amount of money, this flower by itself can make your guests think you have really outdone yourself.
Mums come in beautiful shades of reds and oranges and other colors that are perfect for autumn.
Mums are often thought of being only a one season type of plant. These plants are actually perennials and not annuals though. It might be hard to grow these flowers for more than 2 winter seasons if you lie in colder climates, but you can often get them to grow for a few years if you live in warmer areas and take proper care of them.
It is actually very easy to get these plants to come back in the spring, summer, and fall months the following year. You can always buy more mums every fall season, or you can try some very easy steps and save some money and be rewarded year after year.
The one thing to remember is that you need to plant early! Do not wait until the fall to buy these plants and assume that you will be able to grow them back next season. The roots need a long time to be stable in the soil before winter comes. This is really important if you live in northern colder climates where frosts can come before late winter.
You also need to buy mums from a nursery or other type of flower dealer. Most discount stores will sell ones that are more cost efficient, but might not be as sturdy as ones that are especially grown for your climate.
When you bring your mums home, make sure you find a sunny spot in your yard to plant them. Also make sure there is ample room for each plant.
Start by digging a hole at least 2x as big as the pot it came in and just as deep.
Sit your mum inside and them add some compost or fertilizer right in the soil and cover it up firmly.
Make sure to water enough to ensure the ground is moist and place a layer of pine needles or mulch on top.
Your mulch layer should be at least an inch to 2 inches thick before the winter freeze.
Mulch will not only allow the ground to stay moist but also allow water to not puddle up on top which might freeze and create solid ground, covering your root system.
You will need to continue to fertilize your plant at least once a month until winter emerges.
You will not need to use special equipment to prune. Just pinch off the new buds so that even more will grow in. If you do not pinch off the new buds, your mum can grow up to 2 feet high or more and then the plant will not produce as many flowers a short, full bush.
You will also need to water at least twice a week or more to ensure that the area around the plant and roots stays moist.
You might also need to change your mulch before the winter months, perhaps during late fall.
If you follow these easy steps, than you might have a mum that can grow back season to season. Do not be alarmed if the plant appears to die during the coldest winter months as this is usually normal. Just remember to prune back the tops to at least 4 inches or so when this happens.
Not all mums grow back for years, but you will be able to enjoy most mums for at least 2 fall seasons.