Last Updated on June 12, 2023 by Real Men Sow
Growing chrysanths for autumn is something most gardeners know about – either with their own eyes or thanks to family and friends. But, what about those chrysanthemums that are supposed to be the specialty of mid-autumn? The flowers of these chrysanthemums can bring the harvest season indoors in September and October if you choose them carefully.
Growing Chrysanths for Autumn
When to Plant Chrysanthemums
The spring planting of chrysanthemums gives the perennial plant enough time to grow and adapt to their new home. Mums can be found in nurseries and garden centers in fall and spring. However, planning ahead is crucial for successful planting. Although it’s tempting to purchase the large, beautiful autumn mums that you see in the fall season, they are more durable and will last longer. However, planning ahead is key to successful planting. A spring planting will result in a larger bloom the next season. Some mums that are planted in the fall can survive winter, but chances of survival are better for mums that were planted in spring.
Garden centers often refer to chrysanthemums as “hardy moms” because they are hardy. Most mum varieties are hardy in Zones 5 to 9. Some varieties, like Mammoth Daisy, are winter-hardy in Zones 5 through 9. The varieties that are native to your area will be available at local nurseries and garden centers. Avoid buying from florist shops as their mums may be less resilient.
Although they can live in any soil, Chrysanthemums thrive in well-drained soil that has consistent moisture. Mums that are grown in dry, hard soil will prevent roots from growing well. Roots that are planted in wet, boggy soil will drown them. The key is to find the middle ground. If you have ever planted perennials before, you will already be familiar with how to plant chrysanthemums. For your mums to have healthy soil, you should work the soil to 8-12 inches deep. Add 2 to 4 inches of organic material such as compost and peat moss. You can test the soil texture by simply taking a handful of the mixture and squeezing. The soil should not clump together or rapidly fall apart when you hold it in your hands. It should crumble.
The sun-loving plant Chrysanthemum is the sun-loving one. They only need 6 hours of sun each day. However, they will grow and bloom more easily if they get more light. To prevent scorching, mild shade is recommended in warmer areas to protect the plants from direct sunlight. The plant sets buds when it senses an increase in the amount of darkness in the late summer. Your mum’s bloom time can be affected by planting near artificial lightings, such as porch lights or security lights.
It is tempting to plant many mums at once. Spring mums are smaller and don’t take up much space. Keep in mind, however, that most mums, properly planted, will reach a height of 3 feet by fall. Mums will grow larger every year, just like many perennials. Your mums will grow larger each year, even if you have a small flower bed. Too many plants can compete for nutrients, cause root system problems, attract pests, and even become ill. The following plant spacing guidelines will help you to maintain a healthy garden.
General Care Guide When Growing Chrysanths for Autumn
Mothers need moisture to grow. It is important to water your plants regularly in the spring, summer, and fall. Watering should be done consistently throughout the year, regardless of whether the ground has frozen. Mums prefer to water directly at the roots. This helps prevent moisture from getting trapped in thick leaves. Soaker Hoses can deliver consistent, even moisture to the ground. A water timer also saves you the effort of manually watering.
You don’t need to worry about how to prune your chrysanthemums. Mums are not “pruned,” they are simply pinched during the growing seasons. This allows the plant to grow, become fuller, and bloom more often. Simply pinch 1 inch from each shoot when your plant grows to 6 inches in height in spring. This can be repeated every 2 to 3 weeks up until the beginning of summer. Deadhead spent flowers will continue to bloom throughout the fall. After the plant has been dead for the winter, it is best to not cut it back. Research shows that plants are stronger if they are allowed to die naturally over winter. You can simply remove the foliage and dead stems in the spring.
All plants need nutrients. For best results, fertilize your mums to ensure they have the right nutrients. Spring and early summer are the best times to grow chrysanthemum varieties. Chrysanthemums can be heavy feeders. Your mums will grow bigger and produce more flowers if you apply quality fertilizers consistently from the spring through July. You should wait until spring to fertilize fall mums. Fall fertilization can reduce the ability of chrysanthemums, making them less able to withstand cold winters.
Increase Winter Hardiness
Consistent soil temperature is the key to winter survival. Frequent freezing and thawing cycles can damage roots and confuse plants. A thick layer of mulch, up to 4 inches, can be applied to your soil to maintain a consistent temperature. A loose mulch like straw can help reduce compaction and improve insulation.
Propagate chrysanthemums using basal stem cuts in spring. You should take them when there are healthy new shoots at the base of your plant. The shoots should be about 6 cm above the ground. The day before, water the parent plant. Use a sharp knife to remove the cuttings and then cut off the lower leaves. You should leave at least three leaves on the top of your cutting. To give the cutting a straight, clean finish, trim the base. Place the cutting in a pot of pre-watered cutting compost.
Cover the pot with a propagator or a clear plastic bag. Place the pot in a warm, sunny place. Once you notice good growth, remove the bag from the plant and let it grow in a warm place.
Pests and Diseases When Growing Chrysanths for Autumn
If plants are provided with the right conditions, they will be less likely to become infected by diseases or pests. White rust is one of the most common conditions. This fungal disease is most common in autumn and late summer. The leaves surface is covered with sunken, light brown spots. On the underside, there are off-white pustules. The less severe brown rust can also affect Chrysanthemums.
Wet autumns are worse than any other fungal disease. The plants will look terrible and become weaker and more stunted. If you notice the problem, remove infected leaves quickly and burn them. The fungus can survive winter on rootstocks. Use a suitable fungicide to treat the fungus and do not take cuttings of diseased plants.