There are few things that signify the changing of summer into autumn like beautiful fall mums. Growing mums is easy, growing perfect mums, not so easy. We have a few tips to care for your favorite chrysanthemums.

There are few things that signify the changing of summer into autumn like beautiful fall mums. Growing mums is easy, growing perfect mums, not so easy. We have a few tips to care for your favorite chrysanthemums.

Chrysanthemums – often referred to as mums – are a classic favourite and go to flower for fall gardening. They flower in bright reds, yellows, oranges, and other rich colours brightening gardens, as the weather turns chilly. You may not know that the Hardy Mums that we grow at Heeman’s are actually a perennial in our zone and if planted in the ground will grow and flower again each fall.

Mums traditionally bloom in the fall and are in tune with the day lengths, hence why they trigger blooming when the days get shorter. Growers like us can actually speed up the blooming time of a mum by altering how much sun they are exposed to on a daily basis and after several weeks the plant is tricked and begins the blooming cycle. For this reason and the many different varieties of chrysanthemum you can get plants that bloom at the beginning of September and the end of October.

Caring for your Potted Mum

Caring for mums in pots is one of the easiest jobs a gardener can have. Simply select a compact plant with lots of branches and set buds. The biggest part of caring for your mum is selecting the right one so making the flowers haven’t expired or will bloom when you want them to is very important. Most mums will give you colour for 3 to 4 weeks so purchasing mums in full bloom will limit the amount of time you can enjoy them.

Once you have your mum at home and it is in bud or blooming you can place it in nearly any sun location. Water it regularly and fertilize once a week with 20-20-20 to keep your blooms going as long as possible.

Caring for your Garden Mum

Starting your mums at homeMums are a sun loving plant and prefer an exposure with at least 6 hours of sun per day. Choose a spot with well-drained soil for your mum. When purchasing your mum for planting, plant it as early as possible and water well for the best chance of survival. Fertilizing in the fall is not necessary for your mum. When blooms have expired do not cut the plant back.

In the spring and early summer, prune or pinch your plant once a month to between 3-4” (7-10cm). This pinching will start to form a tighter, more compact plant with strong branching which results in a fuller, stronger plant with more flowers. You should do your last prune around July 1st for early flowers or July 15th for a more traditional flowering time. It is at this time that you should make your last fertilizer application (we recommend a 20-20-20).