Chrysanthemums – Add Fall Color To Your Home And Garden

Chrysanthemums, or “mums,” are popular perennials. They offer a wide variety of flower colors, from white and cream to dark maroon and burgundy, as well as numerous growth habits from small dwarf plants to giant shrub-like Maxi-Mums. Mums are easy to grow and can provide years of enjoyment.

Garden chrysanthemums grow in a wide variety of soils but must have excellent drainage conditions. Growth is poor and winterkill likely in poorly drained wet soils.
Before planting incorporate 2 – 4″ of peat moss, compost, or well-rotted barnyard manure into the soil. If you use only peat moss or do not add organic matter, apply a complete fertilizer such as 5-10-10 or 5-10-5 in the spring. Side-dressing plants with a complete fertilizer in early August, especially in years of abundant rainfall or irrigation. Space plants 12 – 24″ apart, depending on the mature size of the cultivar.

Mums vary widely in cold hardiness. Cultivars listed in the table below have been developed based on years of plant breeding at the University of Minnesota. These plants have been selected for superior flower characteristics, growth habit, and winter hardiness. Most will survive winters in Minnesota.

Plant Division Plants can be dug and divided in spring as new growth begins. Stronger shoots are usually on the outside of the clump. Set the growing tip of each division just below ground level. For an attractive display of color, plant at least three shoots in a triangular pattern.

Florist Mums Are attractive blooming potted plants are available through-out the year from florists. After flowers fade, plants can be cut back to 3 or 4 inches and planted in the garden. Florist mums may overwinter, but usually flower too late for USDA Zones 2, 3 and 4.

5 responses to “Chrysanthemums – Add Fall Color To Your Home And Garden

  1. Thanks for all this information! I just last week planted about a dozen mums of varying sizes in my gardens. I had some years ago, but they were sacrificed (read: murdered) when we had to have a water line repaired. Where I live you have to look hard for hardy chrysanthemums. Most vendors only carry the “garden” variety, which can’t withstand below-zero temperatures. I’m in zone 5. Luckily I found two sources selling hardy mums at reasonable prices, so I’m finally able to plant for beautiful fall color again. I’m sure I’ll revisit this blog from time to time as I raise my “babies” and expand their reach.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t forget to remove old blooms after their spring blooms fad. Removing as much as 1/3 of their top growth will force them to be more bush like and they will repay you with a wonderful full fall bloom set.
      If you fertilize them in summer keep the nitrogen low and the phosphorous high for best blooms something like NPK 10-20-10.
      Happy Gardening

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a potted “mum” that I brought to my place from my mother’s after she died in 1982. It still blooms for me every year. Amazing plants!

    Liked by 1 person

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