Garden Mums - Knowledgebase Question

Oregon City, OR
Question by dinglaurie
September 4, 1999
I can't find any information on planting garden mums anywhere on the net. Can you help me? I need to know if they should go in the middle of my garden or front? I also need to know how to care for them when we have a freeze. Please help me decided where to plant my 8 garden mums.


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Answer from NGA
September 4, 1999

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There are about 160 species of chrysanthemum. The most commonly grown is C carinatum, the garden or summer chrysanthemum, which blooms in the summer and fall. The cushion mum is the Florist's Mum (Dendrathemum x grandifolium). It's a perennial plant that dies back in the winter and produces new sprouts in the spring. It's also the most varied of all chrysanthemum species in regard to color, growth habits and flower forms. The flower forms include 'spider', 'spoon', 'semi-double', 'pompom' and 'daisy'.

Chrysanthemums do well in a rich, moist yet well drained soil in full sun. To produce nice bushy plants with lots of blooms they should be pinched back regularly until July when they should be allowed to set buds which will eventually open in the fall. Note that some varieties of mums are reliably hardy and some are not. Overwintered mums often require division each spring so that the old center can be discarded and the newer more vigorous outer edges of the plant can be replanted and grown on. This is also a good way to increase the number of plants in your garden. These plants will appreciate an annual topdressing of compost, a few inches of organic mulch year round (around but not touching the crown) and an early spring application of a balanced granular fetilizer according to the label instructions.

Since we don't know exactly which mum you're growing, it would be safest to plant them in the center of your garden (their size ranges from 12"-24") and plant lower growing plants in front.

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