Chrysanthemums, sometimes called mums or chrysanths, are flowering plants of the Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae. Chrysanthemum flowers are a classic addition to brighten the autumn garden and they flower for months on end, throughout the summer and autumn.
Growing chrysanthemums is not complicated once you learn the basics of chrysanthemum care.
Chrysanthemums need a sunny position, preferably sheltered from cold winds, and good, humus-rich well-drained soil. They will also grow perfectly in containers.
Mums also prefer a sunny spot in the landscape. Chrysanthemums will grow in partial shade, but may get leggy when reaching for sunlight. Shade grown plants will have weaker stems and exhibit less flowering.
After following these growing suggestions, you’ll want to practice the most important technique of how to care for mums: pinching. When growing mums, this simple practice ensures the most abundant show of late summer and autumn blooms. Begin pinching back growing mums when new growth is 4 to 6 inches, removing the stem above the second set of leaves. This directs the growth downward and ensures your chrysanthemum flowers don’t bloom too early. Continue pinching new growth on all shoots through June. This plant material may also be rooted as cuttings for additional mums for the garden. Some of the newer chrysanthemum cultivars do not need pinching, but most benefit from the practice.
Other tips on how to care for mums include fertilizing in spring with a time release fertilizer and planting them far enough apart that the plants get good air circulation. Also plant mums where they are somewhat protected from windy conditions, as in a bed sheltered by a building. A heavy layer of fall mulch is appropriate chrysanthemum care in areas that experience winter freezing.