Chrysanthemums are often referred to as Mums
As the cool weather rolls in, flowers are beginning to go into hiding. It’s difficult to part with your flower garden come autumn, but there are a few more you can plant before you bid farewell. Chrysanthemums, also commonly referred to as Mums, are a frost-tolerant flower that can give your yard one last hurrah. They are often called Hardy Mums because of how easy they are to plant, and how tough they are against the elements.
Chrysanthemums have been dated back to 8 A.D. when they were grown for herbal remedies in Japan. They were further cultivated in China, and used in everything from tea to medicine. It wasn’t until the 17th century that Chrysanthemums made it over to Europe, and eventually to the rest of the Western world. A number of different varieties of Chrysanthemums have been bred since they first appeared during ancient times, and most of them are perfect for fall gardening. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your front yard or your dinner table with Mums, you’ll be stunned at how easy they are to maintain.
1. How should I begin planting my Chrysanthemums?
Chrysanthemums can be grown from seeds, but the easiest way to successfully plant them into your yard is by buying young Mums when they come into season at your local lawn and garden store. Mums are typically in stock in both the spring and the fall. Pick an area to plant them in that receives partial to full sunlight with well-drained soil.
2. Do my Mums need as much water as my summer flowers?
Even though Chrysanthemums typically don’t endure the scorching summer heat, they still take in plenty of sunlight and require an ample amount of watering. Mums’ roots are shallow, and therefore need to be kept well-watered.
3. Are Chrysanthemums susceptible to many insects and diseases?
Mums aren’t prone to many diseases, but common fall flower pests tend to nest in their leaves, such as beetles and whiteflies. A light insecticide or herbicide should take care of this problem. Powdery mildew may also build up on the leaves of some varieties, but this can be easily prevented by making sure your flowers are in a spot where they can get plenty of sun.
4. Can I buy Chrysanthemums somewhere other than lawn and garden stores?
Yes, you can purchase Mums at a variety of places. Even grocery stores carry Chrysanthemums when they are in season for a reasonable price. Large retail stores with gardening sections will also carry Mums during the spring and fall when they are most popular.
5. How do I maintain my Mums after the first frost?
The leaves of your Chrysanthemums will begin to wither away after the first burst of cold weather, especially if you live in a cooler climate. The flowers themselves will not die, however, so don’t lose hope as you start to lose leaves. Fertilize your flowers regularly with a mix high in phosphorous to promote growth. Put down mulch around the stems as the weather becomes consistently cooler to shield the roots from the changing elements. Remember, your Mums will last longer than most of your fall perennials.