Mum Prize Picks
Chrysanthemums are a classic fall-blooming plant, most known for the common, decorative type. But other, nontraditional types of mums can really spice up your garden.
'Clara Curtis' was developed to survive winter in northern states and is hardy to Zone 4. This cultivar is a close relative of the classic garden mum but produces pink, daisy-like flowers. Another aptly named variety is the 'My Favorite Mum,' which also grows daisy-like blooms. This favorite is hardy to Zone 3 and was bred to weather the cold.
For a showier look, try 'Barbara,' which will bloom early in the season and produce flashy 3-inch-wide flowers. This is also a favorite for container gardening. Lastly, 'Minnruby' will be a standout in the garden with its 2-1/4-inch-wide, bright red blossoms.
Chrysanthemum Plant Profile
- Common name: Chrysanthemum, mum.
- Botanical name: Chrysanthemum x morifoliumcultivars.
- Bloom time: Late summer through fall.
- Hardiness: Varies by species; often grown as an annual.
- Flower colors: Yellow, white, pink, orange, lavender, bronze, purple and red.
- Flower shapes: A wide range of forms is available. Shapes include button, pompon, daisy-like, semi-double, single, brush, spider, spoon and decorative.
- Height: 1 to 3 feet.
- Spread: 2 to 3 feet.
- Light needs: Full sun.
- Soil type: Fertile and well-draining.
- Planting: Plant bare-root perennials in spring. Hardened-off and container-grown plants can go into the garden any time during the growing season. Spring planting may help perennials survive winter. To further ensure overwintering success, grow mums in protected areas.
- Special care: To promote compact growth for taller varieties, pinch back new growth in late spring or early summer until the plans are about 6 inches tall. Add mulch and cover with evergreen boughs after the ground freezes for cold protection.