red chrysanthemums

If you’re looking for a full and dense fall bloom that comes in a variety of colors, we have the perfect perennial flower for you. Chrysanthemums reach their prime at this time of year, and they’re very easy to cultivate. Our quick guide will get you started.

Consider size. Chrysanthemums are available in a variety of sizes, from small cushion mums to giant spider mums. Consider the size of your planter or garden space before choosing a plant.

Now, choose your color. You can find chrysanthemums in just about any color, such as green, red, white, pink, orange, yellow, or purple. Scientists are even working on cultivating a true blue mum, though they aren’t quite there yet.

You can choose any color you like, of course, but we’re a bit partial to the fall colors at this time of year. Even better, choose mums in several different colors and group them together. A bright display of orange, yellow, and red mums says “autumn” like nothing else!

Planting your chrysanthemums. Plant your mums now, so that they have time to develop a healthy root system before winter. And, because chrysanthemums are heavy feeders, remember to supplement them with fertilizer throughout the growing season.

The main thing to remember with chrysanthemums is soil quality. Your chrysanthemums will literally rot if planted in soil that is too damp, so choose a well-drained spot. If your soil contains a high level of clay, mix in some peat moss and compost before planting.

Mums love full sun, though some varieties are shade tolerant. A sunnier spot will ensure more blooms, and of course, help to keep the soil drier.

You can also use these perennials in pots (they look fantastic on the porch flanking the front door). Just make sure that you choose a pot that is appropriately sized for their growth.

Pruning. Next year, you can try some interesting pruning techniques on your chrysanthemums. Pinching off early buds before July will double the number of blooms you enjoy in the fall. Or, you can try disbudding in which you remove all side buds to create one large, central bloom.

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