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Planted for their spectacular blooms that come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, mums are the perfect fall-blooming plant. These showy flowers bloom in late summer and continue into the fall, creating dense mats of color. If you're planning on overwintering these plants, plant them in late spring to give them time to develop roots.
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garden plans for Chrysanthemum
With almost every color of the rainbow available, chrysanthemums can enhance any garden or container. Science is even working on perfecting a true blue! Mum bloom shapes and sizes are quite spectacular, with a wide range of sizes including the common small cushion mum to the giant spider mums.
Chrysanthemum Care Must-Knows
Growing mums is an easy task as long as you keep a few things in mind. Plant mums in well-drained, evenly moist soil; this is crucial for healthy mums. Chrysanthemums do not like standing water and will quickly rot if left too wet. If you have a heavy, dry soil, such as hard clay, mums would benefit from added compost and peat moss to loosen the soil. Mums can also be considered heavy feeders; it is a good idea to give them supplemental fertilizer throughout the growing season, especially if you're growing them in pots.
For best results from your mum plant, plant it in full sun, which will ensure a high bud count and improved plant habits. Although some mums are part shade tolerant, overall your mums will fare better in a full sun environment. Too much shade will cause suffering in flowering habits and stem strength. As with many other flower species, there's a greater risk of foliar funus and root rot if not planted in full sun.
Planting mums too late in the fall can jeopardize the hardiness of your plants. Planting them too late does not allow enough time for roots to form before it's time to overwinter them. To ensure that these plants make it through the winter, supply them with a thick layer of mulch.
Pruning and Maintenance
Mums are interesting plants because you can manipulate their flower size and shape with careful pruning. One of the most common ways to use this to your advantage is to keep plants pinched and pruned back in spring before the Fourth of July. Simply pinching the early buds can potentially double the amount of buds your plants will grow in the fall. If you're growing mums for cut flowers, try disbudding, which removes all of the side buds to encourage one central bloom. Another interesting pruning technique is called the thousand-bloom chrysanthemum, or ozukuri, which grows one extremely large plant and carefully trains the blooms to create a giant, uniform mound of blooms.