Planting Chrysanthemums in the Fall —A Guide for Beginners
If you’re thinking about planting chrysanthemums in the fall, now is the time to do it! Chrysanthemums are hardy perennials that can withstand cooler weather and make a beautiful addition to any landscape. These beautiful flowers are easy to grow and add a splash of personality to your yard. Not only that, but they’re also low-maintenance, meaning you won’t have to worry about them taking over or being a nuisance. So if you’re ready to add a little extra beauty to your landscape this fall, give chrysanthemums a try! Here are some planting tips on planting chrysanthemums in the fall.
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Chrysanthemum Planting Tips During Fall
Chrysanthemums are plants that prefer the sun. Although they legally require only six hours of sunlight per day, the greater the light they receive, the better their development, bloom, and resilience.
The photoperiodic nature of mums causes them to bloom in response to shorter days and longer nights. In late summer, when the plant detects a shift in the length of night, it begins to set buds. Planting close to artificial lights, such as security lights or porch lights, can affect the blooming period of your mum.
Mums can live in most soil types but thrive in well-drained, consistently moist soil. Growing mums in hard, dry soil hinder the roots from establishing themselves, but growing them in damp, marshy soil drowns the roots. Finding common ground is essential.
If you have previously planted perennials, you are already familiar with planting mums. To produce healthy soil for your mothers, till the soil to a depth of eight to twelve inches. Add between two and four inches of organic matter, such as compost or peat moss. The ideal soil texture can be determined by squeezing a handful. The soil should not form clumps or fall apart when you open your palm. It should simply disintegrate. Mums prefer soil with a slightly acidic pH.
It is tempting to put mums in close proximity. Mums planted will reach a maximum height and width of 3 feet. As with many perennials, mums typically grow larger each year. Even if your flower bed appears sparse when you first plant your mums, it will fill in over time.
Properly spacing mums is vital for plant health. Overcrowded plants fight for nutrients, have problems with their root systems, attract pests, and are susceptible to disease.
Irrigating Planted Mums
Moms must develop a strong root system. The deeper a plant’s roots, the more likely it is to endure extreme cold and drought. To encourage the development of deep roots, moisten your soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Mums do not like to get dry. Insert a stick into the soil to determine its moisture content. The soil should be kept moist but not saturated. Wet soil can lead to root rot and other plant problems. Once a plant has been overwatered, it can be difficult to recover.
Put an end to watering your mums when the ground cools. It might be around late September or early October. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch to the soil surrounding your plants. This will prevent the soil from becoming overly saturated while retaining moisture. Additionally, it will shield the plant’s roots from severe winter freezes.
Temperature and Humidity
High temperatures, particularly at night, can make the plant flower later than it would otherwise. Heat delay can lead to abnormally shaped flower buds, unpredictable blossoming, misaligned plant crowns, and other developmental problems.
Mums don’t mind it being cold. In actuality, chilly conditions bring out the hues in blossoms and keep them looking vibrant until a hard, fatal frost ends the gardening season.
Pruning for Fall Blooms
After sprouting in early spring, mums may start to grow in a bush-like way. However, depending on the climate and the area, some types will start to bloom in the summer. They get quite tall and slim if they are left to grow on their own without being pruned or pinched.
So long as you don’t mind mums blooming in the summer, you don’t need to pinch or prune them.
Mums must be frequently pruned back throughout the summer if you want them to bloom in the fall. Repeat the process every two to three weeks until about mid-July, starting when the plants are about 4 to 5 inches tall. The plant will become stockier and bushier as a result, and by the end of the summer, it ought to be covered in flower buds.
Mums shouldn’t be pruned once their fall flowering season is over. For the winter, keep all of the dead stems and foliage on.
Dividing Established Mums
Like many other perennials, mums should be split every three to four years. You may notice that your mums are thin in the middle and have strange shapes. Over time, the roots in the middle of the plant may get old and hard. At the same time, the roots on the outside are likely to be younger and healthier. If you notice that your mums aren’t getting as full and round as they used to, you may just need to divide them. Younger plants won’t have enough roots to keep them alive.
The optimum time to divide your mum is in the spring. Choose plants at least 6 inches tall. Take the plant out of the ground carefully and break it into smaller pieces. Make sure you don’t hurt the roots. You can eliminate the plant’s woody middle because it won’t do as well as the younger parts on the outside. Plant them at least 18 inches apart in organic-rich garden soil.
Common Pests and Diseases
Mums contain pyrethrin, an organic compound that works to keep most insects away. Aphids, thrips, and spider mites can still cause harm to mums. Aster yellows, botrytis, viruses, leaf spots, rust, stem and root rots, powdery mildew, verticillium wilt, and other common diseases are also present. Plants with other illnesses should be removed and destroyed even though leaf spots and powdery mildew are rarely lethal.
Mums should receive potassium and nitrogen during the vegetative stage. Feed the plants before the flower buds appear to encourage strong roots, bud development, and a healthy plant. In April or May, start the feeding cycle. A time-released fertilizer (12-6-6) is available. It provides the plants with food for around three months. You may only need to apply this fertilizer once to your plants. As a general rule, start once all threat of frost has passed. In this manner, any new growth that the nutrients force won’t be vulnerable to injury from icy conditions. After July, established plants shouldn’t be fed to prevent frost damage to new growth.