If you pinch those mums back, they will grow more branches at the pinching point and give you more blooms.
Garden mums will be a solid performer in your landscape from late summer until the first hard frost.
Most growers don't call them hardy mums anymore. They just say they are garden mums versus the patio or floral mums that can not withstand cold temperatures.
Garden mums will usually flower from year to year because they have a stronger root system. If they are a bit protected, they have a better chance of survival.
The National Chrysanthemum Society says mums are the most widely grown pot plant in the country and the longest lasting cut flower.
You could plant the landscape in front of your entire house with just mums and it would be packed. The society says they are related to dahlias, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias, and cosmos.
Not all of them look like a huge yellow football. Even the beginning gardener can spot those classic up-curved petals on a Bola de Oro or Bob Dear. Other varieties such as Crimson Glory look like a daisy. But many mums have bright petal colors.
Pin cushion mums are tight globes that look like they would hold sewing needles. Anemones are mums that are a mix between daisies and pincushions. They have a tight middle, and little daisy petals around the edge.
Seaton's Toffee is a beautiful salmon-colored quill mum. Its petals look like tubes coming out of the center of the flower. And almost every formal flower arrangement you have seen has a few spider mums in them. These big and beautiful mums have long tube petals that coil or hook at the end.
Spoon mums are my daughter's favorite. Each petal starts out as a quill, then flattens out as a dainty spoon. If you are purely looking for colors, consider Encore, Illusion, or Nicole for white mums.
Donna, Goldmine, or Target are nice yellow varieties. Look for Debonair, Stardom, or Sundoro if you need something pink. And Ginger, Triumph, Bravo, and Remarkable are good choices in bronze or red range that will grow well in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio.
Most mums will usually come back every year, but you need to keep them in shape for the best blooms. The foliage grows easily, but can sprout out of control. To keep the sturdy shrub-like flower from falling over, you need to trim it back.
Early July is the best time of year to do this. Your plant is already starting to put on a flush of new growth at this time of the year. It will continue strong growth through fall. It is important to keep it in shape during this flush of growth so it will produce as many buds as possible.
Cut each stem back, leaving only a couple of shoots behind. The branches should be about three or four inches long when you are done. It may seem a bit short, but your plant will actually thrive because of this pruning treatment.
The Ohio State University extension office says most chrysanthemums will grow more branches from the pinched end and more branches means more flowers. Keep pinching off that new growth off until about August. Then let the plant put on as many flower buds as it can until they bloom in the fall.
If you plant new mums every year, plant them only as deep as they were in the container. Water them well and top them off with a dash of slow release fertilizer. Feed your mums, but not with the same fertilizer you use for your lawn. Look for a bag that has a low first number, that's the nitrogen. Something like a 5-20-20 will add morphospherousus anpotassiumum to help the flowers and roots, more than its foliage. Once they start to bud in July, stop fertilizing them.
They will be one of the most colorful plants in your fall landscape until the first hard frost. Jack Frost will usually turn them black.
Chop off the dead tops and cover the base with about four inches of mulch. This will help those garden mums make it through the winter and greet you again next year and will be ready for another season.
Contact Kelly Heidbreder at firstname.lastname@example.org.