Garden mums provide unparalleled color throughout the fall months and bloom in almost every color imaginable. There are many different forms of the beautiful flower, from daisy-like, to pompon, spoon-petal, and decorative, which is the most common form with long, tightly overlapping petals. These blooms can last for weeks, not days and the sheer volume of the blooms will convince you that this plant loves to show off. Add the longevity of its life-cycle to its impressionistic abilities, and you have an incredibly well-rounded plant. Mums are a great plant for decorating in fall. Choose golden yellow, orange, bronze or white to arrange with your pumpkins, gourds and straw bales. Most garden mums can tolerate a light frost – making it perfect to last right through to Halloween. Or simply pop them into a clay pot, or line them up in a window box.
If you want to plant your mums, here are some tips to get them through our harsh winter. Plant them in full sun – some varieties can get away with half a day of direct sunshine, but more is better. Really good drainage and fertile soil is also really important. Your garden mum should never be allowed to wilt. Consistent watering is essential, right up until hard frosts keeping the soil moist as winter approaches. If you want to keep your garden clean looking, cut back the plant after several hard frosts and the mums have blackened. Otherwise you can cut them back in the springtime. Mulching over your fall mums to a depth of 3-4″ after the soil has frozen will help ensure their return next spring.