Beth Cook, Mammoth Cave Transplants
Chrysanthemums, or as we call the “Mums”, are a sure sign of the arrival of fall. Mums have been around for centuries originating in China. It was cultivated in China as a flowering herb, it was believed to have the power of life. The flower later appeared in Japan. The Japanese were so taken by the flower, they used a single flowered chrysanthemum as the crest and official seal of the Emperor. Bet you didn’t know they had so much history?
Mums nowadays, signify the signs of fall. Mums are widely used in fall decorating, whether planted in the landscape or in containers. There are now a wide array of colors and bloom shapes to satisfy any individual's flower fixation. The newer varieties, however, are not as hardy as the older varieties. They may come back the next growing season, but there is no guarantee. A few things to remember when caring for fall mums are:
The following Spring-To encourage branching and compact bushy growth it is important to pinch the plants in the early spring. Once the plant has reached 4- 6 inches, remove 1-2 inches of the new growth on every shoot. After the plants have grown 3-5 inches from the first pinching, it is time to pinch again (1-2 inches). Stop pinching your plants around mid-July to have beautiful blooms for the fall.
Don’t forget, you can also plant pansies, violas, dianthus, snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and kale to accent your mums. These will last well until frost and possibly through the winter for early spring color.
Mum is the word from Mammoth Cave Transplants!!
~~“If you would be happy for a lifetime, grow Chrysanthemums.” —a Chinese philosopher