It’s the time of year that the Chrysanthemums (Mums) in the garden are bursting with color. The hardy Mums don’t mind the cooler temperatures at night, they are often the last plant blooming in most gardens in our USDA hardiness zone 4-9. Even a light dusting of snow won’t keep their colors from brightening your autumn garden. Ahh cooler temperatures, I’m so happy! The colors of the Mums in our garden are so wonderfully autumnal. Amber, reds, rusts and deep burgundy Mums are scattered throughout our garden.
Mums are easy to grow and care for. Mums are great for container gardens too. You don’t need a huge yard, etc. Mums need sun for about 5-6 hours a day and other than shallow watering (water the top of soil area and let it work its way through the roots) a couple of times a week they are really a low maintenance plant. Because Mums are a perennial flower (grow back each year) we thin ours out a bit in late autumn and scatter seeds in empty areas throughout the garden in the spring.
In the Spring pick a section in your garden that gets sun about 5-6 hours a day. Turn the soil and add organic fertilizer. You will want to determine your hardiness zone too.
Plant seeds, plants already growing or cuttings at least 18 inches apart. Trust me they will fill in space. Most gardeners grow Mums from cuttings, or plants already about 3-6 inches tall from your local nursery.
Add some mulch for “insulation”
Water twice a week. Don’t soak them. Mums have shallow roots so just water them from the surface of the soil. Most of the Mums in our garden were originally planted using cuttings from our local nursery. But in the Spring when the dry mums are just hanging out in the garden after the winter has passed we do the following:
I’m a rebel so I run with this one for scattering Mum seeds from Mums already growing in your garden. Don’t prune Mums! Wait for them to dry (after the winter) then cup your hands together over a small section of the flowers and rub your hands back and forth ( like making a snake out of clay). Take your seeds (you should have a hand full) and plant them about 4 inches deep and 18 inches apart as described above.
Last month I received a lovely email asking to use my Chrysanthemum poem in their florist shop in Indiana. Of course, I was flattered and said yes. In case you missed it…