Sunday, June 10, 2012

Chrysanthemums Growing Tips

Accent containers with yellow Chrysanthemums
Accent containers with yellow mums
Chrysanthemums are autumn’s official flower. This flower is widely used in floral arrangements container gardens and many are planted in feature gardens.  Most people refer to this fall  flower as the mum. This colorful flower will bloom late summer through the first hard frost. Which means the chrysanthemum, will brighten yards and interior home decor from late September through November. 

I planted yellow mums along my flagstone patio and every June through mid July I need to pinch off the buds so that the plant will grow fuller and the buds will bloom in the late summer and early fall.  The first year I planted decorative mums and they did not grow well and then I learned that there are two types of mums, there are decorative mums they are annuals and are what florists use and then there are mums that you grow from a seed or buy from a nursery.

Buy healthy mums that have many buds. Check the nursery grown plant for broken branches and brown tips on the leaves. Find a mum that has lush green foliage and has a full appearance. If roots are growing out of the pot, it is a good sign that it has a rigorous root.

Start the mums by growing from seed indoors 8 to 12 weeks prior to the last frost in spring or you can buy a hardy mum that has been grown in a nursery pot.  If you intend to plant mums in the autumn it is best to buy a plant in a nursery pot and plant 6 to 8 weeks prior to fall hard frost.

Select your garden site wisely. Mums grow best in a sunny location with part shade in the afternoon.  They also grow well in rich garden soil that is well drained.   Grow mums away from a rock wall, foundation or privacy fence as they need good air flow.

Ready the garden by removing the sod, weeds and us a dig a hole that is the same depth as your nursery pot plus three inches.  Remove the soil from the hole and put in a wheel barrow or bucket.  Work compost or manure into the soil.  Next fill the hole with enough soil to make a small mound in the center of the hole.  This mound will lift the mum up and will aid in proper drainage.  Set the mum in the center of the hole on top of the mound and back fill the soil into the hole.  Firm the soil around the mum stem.  Water the newly planted mum.

Caring for Chrysanthemums
Apply two inches of mulch around the mum.  This mulch will aid in retaining moisture and will deter the growth of weeds.

Water Chrysanthemums in the morning; provide them with moisture up to one inch per week.  If the summer is hot then water the mums three times a week so they do not dry out.

When buds appear in late July or early August remove the buds.  The mum will then continue to grow full and bushy in appearance.  Feed mums in late summer with spray n grow.  Feeding them will produce healthy and large fall flowers. 

 When the weather turns bitter cold the plants will die back.  Cut them down to 1/3 their size and then apply three inches of mulch.


  1. Divide mums every 2 to 3 years
  2. Water mums at the soil line with soaking hose.
  3. The chrysanthemum flower attracts bees and butterflies.
  4. Aphids like to nest in mums during the fall season.
  5. Plant a nursery grown chrysanthemums them in September and keep the soil moist but not wet and enjoy the end of summer and early autumn flowers.
  6. Unlike other fall blooming flowers the chrysanthemum is very hardy and a light frost will not affect them.
  7. Decorate your home with mums by adding dried mums to garlands, wreaths or swag for your door or create a colorful mum and greenery floral centerpiece for their foyer or dining table.  Mum’s are also planted in feature gardens or in containers and are set next to a bail of straw or along the side of pumpkin. 

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