Chrysanthemums, more commonly referred to as Mums, are a top choice for the fall garden. Fall Mums are a go-to way to add zest to the garden as summer draws to close because of their beauty and hardiness. However, there are a few tricks of the trade to keep these stunners making a splash in your garden even when your more delicate summer flowers are beginning to fade away.
Confusion about how to plant Fall Mums doesn’t have to scare you away from your garden goals – especially since now you have all the answers to your top questions right here at your disposal from the pros at Spring-Green.
Here are tips on fall mums to keep your garden looking spectacular this fall and year-round.
Everything You Need to Know about Fall Mums
1. Does it even make sense to plant Mums so late in the year? In a word, yes! While other flowering plants in your garden are fading away for the winter, Fall Mums are a powerhouse of color and vibrancy for any garden. The cooling temperatures of fall don’t bother mums. Their colors get bolder, and their blossoms will typically last until the first extreme frost.
2. How exactly do I care for my Fall Mums? Caring for flowers is not hard, but it may require developing a new vocabulary! Master these terms and your Fall Mums will flourish throughout late summer and fall.
- Pinching – By pinching off the top of the plant, you’ll gain a sturdy, bushier plant with lots of blooms. The rule of thumb for pinching is about one to two inches at a rate of every three to four weeks until early July in cooler climates, the end of July in warmer gardening zones.
- Deadheading – Deadheading, while it might sound like it refers to a popular rock band from the 60’s, is really a term that refers to one of your gardening chores. It is the removal of dead or fading flowers from living plants and is a critical function of your Fall Mums success in your garden if you live in a warmer climate. For those living in cold areas, the arrival of the first frost typically makes this step unnecessary.
- Feeding – Not a new term, but one to keep at top of mind to ensure your Fall Mums’ success. Fall Mums are heavy feeders that require rich soil to thrive. You should feed your Mums every three to four weeks to improve flowering results.
3. Do Fall Mums come back year after year? Mums are considered tender perennials, which means whether come back year after year is dependent on when they were planted. If planted in spring or summer, they are likely to overwinter and become perennials. It is still possible for your Mums to be perennials if planted in the fall if the temps are warmer while the set their roots. The later they are planted and the colder the temps may change them to the category of annuals.
4. What types of Mums Are There? Many varieties of Mums exist, all beautiful but offering different things to the gardener who know what he or she wants to accomplish. Let’s examine a few popular gardening goals, and which types of Mums can help accomplish them.
- Make a statement: The spider Mum is a stunner standing over three feet tall with reddish blossoms demand to be noticed.
- Add bold color: Plant the Jessica Mum with bright yellow blossoms in your midseason to add a splash of color to any garden.
- Add function and beauty: The French Vanilla Mum is a classic favorite with big white flowers that add classic elegance but also work perfectly when creating a mixed border or cutting garden.
- Overcome the cold temps: If you live in a cold climate, the Minnautumn Mum varietal is a great cold-hardy choice for you, and its vivid orange-ish red flowers are showstoppers.
The best Fall Mums bloom schedules will vary based on the type of mum you desire and your climate, but best times to plant generally run from September through October. In other words, it’s time to plant your Fall Mums!