It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chapter 8, Page 20, Book 10

Thinking about flowers on this FANTASTIC FRIDAY

Mums the word...

When sweet corn is in tassel mode and the goldenrod begins to break into its autumn hue, gorgeous fall mums can't be far behind.

I love these bright and colorful flowers and have not had much luck at growing them at all. So for my benefit and maybe yours too I decided to investigate just how to grow them. So today's post is all about Chrysanthemums.

Nurseries, home improvement stores and even local grocery stores begin selling fall mums in late August. Sold in full bloom, mums can be planted in the fall garden to fill in empty spots or grown in the container providing weeks of color to brighten your yard. These fall mums need ti be planted in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight.

With the proper care, your perennial mum can actually provide fall color year after year in the landscape. Mums don’t like wet feet, so select a well-drained location. Planting near the house or near shrub plantings offers some screening protection from the wind. The thing to remember is that mums are “short-day” plants, meaning they flower when the hours of darkness are greater than the hours of daylight.

At frost, your garden mums will die back, meaning that the leaves turn black and the stems dry out. When this happens, don’t panic! Your plants may look dead aboveground, but they’re very much alive below the soil’s surface. In fact, you should resist the urge to cut off the dead branches. They provide additional winter protection for the plant, and they can be removed in spring, when new shoots begin growing

You can successfully grow mums as perennials even if you live in the cold climates of zones 3 and 4. But choose varieties carefully and plant them early. Mums are frequently planted in the fall for late-season color. Unfortunately, fall-planted mums often aren’t well enough established to successfully overwinter in cold climates. To overwinter mums successfully, plant small, unblooming plants of hardy cultivars earlier in the season. Once the soil has frozen in the winter, mulch mums with straw or leaves to protect them over the winter.

They truly are the gems of a cold weather garden.

I think I see why I've been having problems...I plant them when they become available to me and that is perhaps too late in the season. I haven't mulched them in the past either.

I still might try a plant or two and hope for the best. Next year I'm going to start looking for them much earlier in the summer.

We'll see...

Have a FANTASTIC FRIDAY everyone!

'On Ya'-ma


jack69 said...

For everyone who can, growing things is wonderful. I love to admire the beauty. But when I touch it I kill it by loving it too much or ignoring.
Best to you on this Friday. said...

The best thing about mums come back every year.
hope u have a good weekend.

Amelia said...

I have a black thumb lol... I love the smell of fresh flowers but keeping them alive or even bringing them to life is a whole other story :LOL


grammy said...

I love Mums
wish I was a better gardener..or had the money to buy them (o:
I would rather vacation at the beach...but this only cost 10 dollars a night to park the camper (o:

betty said...

they are such pretty flowers; I never tried growing them but who knows maybe one year soon I'll develop a green thumb; thanks for sharing this information, Ma, and I hope you have a great weekend!


peggy said...

I once had some white mums and they needed to be divided every year and I ran out of room to put them. Almost all my white flowers do better than the colors for some reason. I was at the Farm Market today, they had beautiful colors of mums, so I would just keep trying. I think you need to prune them back in the spring to make them full.