Get MUM-ified This Fall

Article written by Saturday6' blogger Kim Wilson from Sand&Sisal

Wrap your home in heart-stopping color this fall with beautiful chrysanthemums. Mums are the go-to plant for fall decorating. They are easy to grow and add instant curb appeal to your yard or front porch. Many mums can live year after year in the garden while others make their pretty appearance for only a season. Here are a few tips for fall mums.

Garden or Florist

Be aware of which type of mum you are buying. Mums come in two basic types, garden mum s and florist mums. Garden mums can be found in many forms and colors. In garden centers you will find them sold in pots. They have a rounded, bushy form with small and compact clusters of blooms, each ranging from 1-2 inches wide.

Florist mums typically have larger, showier blooms and can have two colors on each flower. Some varieties you might be familiar with are quill, pom pom and spider mums. Their long stems make them a popular choice for bouquets and floral arrangements. Expect cut mums to last a little over a week.

Beds and Borders

Garden mums can be a beautiful addition to garden beds and borders and will come back year after year. Choose garden mums that are loaded with buds and just barely beginning to bloom. You will be able to enjoy the color longer throughout the season. Treat hardy garden mums as perennials and delicate florist mums as annuals. Garden mums can grow from 1-3 feet tall and most are hardy to Zone 5. They can be transplanted into the ground from your pots before the first hard frost. In the spring they will emerge again.

Colorful Containers

If you want instant color, then choose a potted mum that is partially blooming. If it is already in full bloom, plan on having color for just a few weeks. Group mums in containers with showy ornamental grasses and cabbage, kale, aster and pansies. Mums in containers need to be checked daily to make sure the soil is moist. Do not let the containers dry out. Water regularly. Pinch off spent blooms to keep the fall planters looking tidy and encourage new growth.

More creative ways to display garden mums is to cluster several smaller pots together and surround them with pumpkins and gourds. Or cut open the top of a craft pumpkin and place a small pot of mums inside the pumpkin. It makes a pretty centerpiece.

Enjoy the cooler temps, the changing foliage, the colorful mums and all the beauty of autumn!