How to Care For Fall Mums

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One giant Mum grown in organic matter
Caring for your chrysanthemum’s, aka Mum’s, is not really a difficult task. If I can do it, I am certain you can! The photo’s above and below were  taken in my flower bed in October of 2011. The last photo was taken yesterday. This purple Mum is about to be in full regalia again. I just love that giant Mum.
Let me tell you about the soil this Mum lives in. We have a very sandy yard which presents quite a challenge for growing anything. We created this island flower bed as a result of not being able to grow grass in this area. Because we live in the country, we are permitted to burn yard debris when weather permits. The location of this Mum and it’s azalea neighbors is exactly where we used to have our ‘burn pile’. We have come to believe that the burn ashes are excellent organic matter for the flower bed. Of course, we rake leaves all during the fall and spring and place them in this flower bed as well. Once per year, we put down fresh pine straw in the bed. In the spring, I add a small amount of manure around all of my plants. During the growing season, we keep everything watered. We recently installed rain barrels in the front and back of our house to be able to give our plants rain water even when it isn’t raining. Keep your Mum’s deadheaded to keep the blooms coming. Some Mum’s will bloom twice per year, if you are lucky.
Mum’s can also be grown very successfully in containers. Mum’s in containers make gorgeous fall decor, especially when grouped together. Be sure to care for them properly and keep them watered. You can plant them in the ground after they finish blooming.

Mum Care

  • Plant directly into the ground
  • Purchase plants with more buds than blooms so you can enjoy the blooms when they pop out
  • Add organic matter to the soil at least once per year
  • Deadhead during blooming to keep the blooms coming
  • Water enough to keep moist, not wet
  • It is ok to group different plants close for a bold statement
How to Shop For Mum’s
When selecting your Mum’s, those beautiful flowers in full bloom will be quite tempting. Try to resist those in full bloom unless you are decorating for an occasion which requires the showy flowers now. Choose plants with lots of buds so you can enjoy the blooms as they come out, these will last longer. A lot of grocery stores now carry seasonal flowers and plants. They usually also offer affordable pricing as well. You can shop at your local home and garden center for a good variety of flowers as well. If you are fortunate enough to have a local farmer’s market, check them out first. They usually have the most healthy plants which are typically grown locally, allowing you to support your local growers.

Lot’s of buds!

 

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