I learned how to grow mums as a child. I grew up with chrysanthemums.
My dad, sister and next-door neighbor, Mr. Hoffman, all grew mums for the Long Island Chrysanthemum Society exhibitions on Long Island.
My dad would enter his flowers on Friday and on Saturday evening, we’d hurry back to see what my dad had won. The following Monday, I would show up at my grammar school with armloads of huge mums. We’d always place a big vase or bucket of them in front of the statues of Our Lady of Victory, for whom our school was named, which stood in the stairwell of the school. I’d make sure my teacher got some flowers, too, and we’d have a huge display of flowers, along with their respective trophies and ribbons, in front of the fireplace at home.
How to Grow Mums for Fall
What do mums need? Here’s how to grow mums for fall:
- Sunlight: Mums need full sun. Make sure you plant them in an area that gets plenty of bright, direct sunlight.
- Plants: Choose plants from the garden center that have tight buds. These will open later and provide good color.
- Pruning: If you have mums growing from last year, cut them back by the end of June. Otherwise, they will bloom during the summer months. Pruning them in late June coaxes them into bloom in September.
- Pests: Plant mums in pots or close the house to try to avoid deer. Deer love them.
My article on the types of mums will help you learn more about the many beautiful flowers available.
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.