The Amazing Chrysanthemum: Must Have Fall Flower for Every Yard
Imagine an array of bright yellows, dazzling burgundies, and stunning purple flowers placed elegantly around your yard this fall. Look no further than the amazing Chrysanthemum, nicked named “mum.”
Chrysanthemum plants are the perfect flower for fall. With their amazing range of fall colors, shapes, and sizes these mums will add that perfect pop of color and texture to your yard. They can be an amazing stand-alone plant that sits invitingly at your front door, placed lined up in a window box, or planted into the ground. They are sure to make any landscape shine.
You might even be shocked to know that these stunners are perennials and when planted at the right time, you can have these babies come up year after year. However, if you are anything like me, you might be just buying them now – in early fall. The problem with placing them in early fall is that they won’t have the time to develop deep roots. You can treat them like an annual plant and the best part about that is that they are not expensive.
Where to Buy a Chrysanthemum and How Much
You can find beautiful mums at just about any grocery store and nursery. While it will vary by your local area, to give you an idea of cost in the Midwest, you can get a smaller eight inch pot from Aldi for $2.99. These smaller sized mums are great for window boxes and containers. If you are looking for a bigger plant, at Jewel you can get three large eight inch pots for $12, and at Walmart, you can get a large 8 inch pot for $5.99.
Those can make great stand-alone plants or are great to placed together to add a punch of color to your landscape. If you are looking to add them to your garden as perennials, you might want to find a good nursery that helps to develop the deep roots that are needed to help them survive over the winter.
Keep in mind when you are choosing the plants to find the ones that haven’t bloomed yet. While another great aspect of the mum is that they bloom for almost two weeks, you want to make sure you are getting every day of that time period. In addition, make sure to place the mums together that are in the similar stages of blooming so that they are all shining bright at the same time.
Choosing a Variety
Mums come in two varieties: Florist and Hardy. Both come from the same mother plant from China which is a golden yellow daisy like mum. If you are looking to make some beautiful bouquets or place flowers in a vase by cutting the blooms, you will want to pick the florist. Hardy mums are meant to flourish for a longer period inside the garden.
Planting and Caring for Chrysanthemum Plants
When deciding how to care for your mums, it is important to determine if you are going to use your mum as an annual or a perennial. The following are top tips for mums:
- If you choose to use your mums as an annual, you want to make sure that your plant is placed where they will get at least six hours of sun and to make sure they are in a place where they get good drainage.
- If you are planning to use your mums as perennials, you will want to plant them in the spring time so that the roots have time to take so they can survive the winter.
- Plant your mums about six to twelve inches apart in well-drained soil.
- Over the winter you will want to protect your mums with a covering of some kind. Use about four inches of straw, mulch or shredded wood shavings. When they start to emerge again in the spring you can move the mulch back and cut back stems to help make sure they bloom well.
- If you are noticing your mums are blooming in the spring, you can choose to pinch them off to ensure that they will bloom in early fall.
- If you are planning to winterize your mums you will want to make sure they get a fertilizer with a high-phosphorus fertilizer to stimulate root growth. You can add a 5-10-10 fertilizer. If you are planting your mums as an annual, you will not need to fertilize them.
Watering Your Mums
- You will want to make sure they get watered when you place your mums into whatever spot you choose, and continue to water them about every other day.
- If you notice brown stops or them starting to wilt, that might be a sign that they need more water. This is a great time to use Root Sticks. This is an aeration tool that will make sure that the water is going directly at the root source. This will help generate deep root growth and to ensure the healthy and longevity of your mum plant.
If you are looking to place your mums in a window box, a good thing to keep in mind is the rule of odds. In a lot of design, objects in three, fives, and even one, tend to be more pleasing to the eye. While two mums might fill up an entire window box, it might be more pleasing to the eye to add space and leave just one mum in the box.
When it comes to colors, you have a lot of different options that this amazing flower provides.
Better Homes and Garden gives some great design tips:
- If you decorate for fall with pumpkins and gourds, choose orange, bronze, yellow, and creamy white mums.
- If you have a lot of evergreen plants that provide a backdrop of varying shades of green foliage, try bright pinks, lavenders, pure whites, or reds. With such bold colors, a large grouping of mums can excite even the most drab of fall landscapes.
In addition, you might find it helpful to stick to two of your favorites to help the look from far away. Or another option to think about is to look at the colors that are already in your yard and work off of those. For example, if you have a yellow house and you are putting mums in window boxes, choose colors that could complement the yellow like pink, orange, bronze, lavender, and even white.
Nothing speaks fall gardens like the amazing Chrysanthemum. For a great price, you can make your home sparkle with incredible fall flavor and impress all who drive and walk by. Their flexibility, paired with their stunning colors and shapes, make them a must have for your garden this fall. Stop by any local grocery store and start making your garden shine bright with color.
Have you planted mums before? What is your favorite color? How have you used them: window boxes, garden, potted? We would love to hear your thoughts.