5 New Mum Varieties to Make Your Garden a Showstopper

These gorgeous plants offer exciting color combinations, bigger blooms, and even cascading stems.

After a long, hot summer, my petunias, zinnias, and pretty much all my other annual flowers are officially fizzling out. Most of my perennials and shrubs have finished blooming, too. In short, there's not much floral color happening in my garden as the growing season winds down. And that's just about when showy fall mums appear at garden centers and grocery stores, ready to rejuvenate tired containers and faded flower beds with splashes of gold, white, lavender, bronze, yellow, orange, or red.

Every year, I look forward to when the new varieties of mums start popping up, and they're living up to my expectations yet again. Some of my favorite new mums offer larger flowers, bicolor blooms, and even cascading branches perfect for hanging baskets. Keep an eye out for these vibrant chrysanthemums, sure to brighten up your fall garden.

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1. Lively Red Bicolor

lively bicolor mums in concrete planters
Courtesy of Dümmen Orange

Bicolor mums are a big trend when it comes to fall flowers, says Justin Hancock, Brand Marketing Manager at Costa Farms. "In our research, we found that a lot of consumers felt bicolored flowers were a better value than single-color flowers at the same price," he says. If you'd like two colors for the price of one, 'Lively Red Bicolor' is an exciting new variety from Dümmen Orange to look for. This mum boasts orange flowers with red centers. Though it blooms early in the season, the petal colors hold up beautifully in hot weather.

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2. Fire Halo Orange

Fire Halo Orange Garden Mum
'Fire Halo Orange'. Courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Another new bicolor mum variety for 2021, Fire Halo Orange from Ball Horticultural Company has a mid-season bloom time, when it is covered ins bright orange blooms with darker orange centers. The plant is hardy to -10°F, and tolerates both heat and frost well. This robust plant grows 20 to 36 inches across and 14 to 24 inches tall.

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3. Cracklin' Golden Yellow

cracklin golden yellow mum flowers close up
Courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company

Some mums display more than one color even though they're not technically bicolors, explains Katie Rotella, a spokeswoman for Ball. She cites 'Cracklin' Golden Yellow,' another new-for-2021 variety, as one example. Its yellow flowers open with red highlights, especially in cooler weather. Over time, the blooms turn golden yellow.

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4. 24KaraMum Gold

yellow mum in pot with other plants in background
Courtesy of Dümmen Orange

Besides bicolor mums, "another trend we're seeing is extra-large blooms," says Hancock. '24KaraMum Gold' is a newer variety from Dümmen Orange with "blossoms that are significantly larger than some of the mum series that have been around for a decade or more," he adds. Also look for '24KaraMum Bronze' with equally huge blooms that are orangish-yellow.

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5. Skyfall Garden Mum

skyfall garden mum
Courtesy of Royal Van Zanten

Unique cascading mums are also trending. "In recent years, the Skyfall collection of hanging basket mums has been popular," Rotella says. The plants have a more rounded shape, and spread more than traditional mums. They grow beautifully in 7 to 11-inch hanging baskets. Available in lemon yellow, pink, white, red, purple, and yellow, Skyfall mums reach 20 to 30-inches across and 8 to 14-inches tall. You may even find two or three different hues of blooms growing together in one basket for an extra colorful display.

Whichever mums you choose, make sure to shop for bushy plants studded with buds or blooms just starting to show glimpses of color because they will last the longest for you. Then, use your new mums to replace dead plants in your existing containers to dress up your porch, deck, or patio. The mums' plentiful flowers will carry the show well into fall.

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