Mums are versatile when matching with other flowers and ornamental grasses in beds and borders. These lovely, deep maroon blooms are no exception. Plant your mums in a sunny spot away from artificial lights, and make sure to give them plenty of water—especially right after planting.
Long a favorite in Europe, the easy-to-care-for Sheffield mum tolerates drought and can be pinched to encourage more blooming. Mums purchased in the fall will not require pinching, as the grower will have done it earlier in the summer (most varieties should not be pinched after mid-July).
This seasonally festive pick mimics the dappled quality of sunlight in autumn, don't you think? To insulate mums for winter in cold climates, spread a couple inches of mulch or straw over the beds (to be removed in late winter so you don’t inhibit the plant’s springtime growth).
“They’re easy to take care of, mesh right into the fall, and they come back every year,” says Patricia Lapide of Plantology by Lapide in Brooklyn, NY. Cushion mums come in a variety of colors and will last long in a bouquet, saving you a trip to the florist.
This quill-shaped, two-toned chrysanthemum is a real show-stopper, and it's easy to grow. Unlike some decorative varieties, Matchstick requires no staking. Make sure to leave plenty of room between plants, as these mums are likely to reach full size early.
With blooms and colors that echo the cheerful daisies of warmer months, this massive plant allows you to extend summer a little longer. Developed at the University of Minnesota, Daisy Mammoth requires no pinching, pruning, or deadheading. It can withstand temps as low as -30 F. Now that’s a hardy mum!
Wisp of Pink
The dusty pink of this unique bloom will make your garden the talk of the neighborhood. Mums are classified by their shape: quill, spoon, cushion, pom pom and anemone are just a few. The distinctly shaped Wisp of Pink is a brush, or thistle, mum.
Spider mums have long tube-like petals for which the flower earned its name. Planted in well-fertilized soil, this variety will reward your care and attention with big, beautiful blooms that are excellent for cutting and use in arrangements. Somewhat less hardy than other types, you might choose to grow spider mums in containers that can be moved indoors when the weather gets too cold.
French Vanilla, a type of spider chrysanthemum, prefers full sun on its cream-colored petals, and like most mums, it will bloom continuously through the fall until a hard freeze. Deadhead the spent blooms to encourage new ones to flourish.
More Fall Gardening...
Give the special gardener in your life a little love this holiday season! Go now to see Bob Vila's best gifts for green thumbs.