Fall blooming garden mums are known as the plant for fall.  They signal the return of cooler weather after a hot summer in southern Illinois. Warm days and cool nights make the colors burst with renewed intensity in shades of red, burgundy, bronze, orange, gold, lemon yellow, pink. cream, or pure white.  

Planting and Care of Garden Mums:
-Plant in a sunny location (at least 5-6 hrs. sun per day).  

-Grow in fertile, well-drained soil.   

-Add peat moss or compost & manure to improve the

  soil before planting. 

-Space garden mums 18-24 inches apart. 

-Always thoroughly water-in any newly planted garden        


-Use root stimulator when planting and 2 more times at

  2 week intervals. 

-Use bone & bloodmeal or an all purpose granular   

 fertilizer worked into the soil during the growing   

 season.  Repeat monthly until August.  Liquid fertilizer

  may also be used during the growing season.  

Fall mums can also be added as bedding plants in flower beds with other perennials or shrubs.  They are superb for use as specimens in foundations plantings, massed in beds or grouped in plantings of 3 or 5 for colorful focal points in the landscape.  Fall garden mums can be planted either as young plants in the spring or as flowering plants in the fall.

Beautiful garden mum hanging baskets can also be created to add a finishing touch to any landscape.  They can be started in late spring or early summer from young plants or purchased in bloom and planted in moss lined wire baskets for a stunning display of color.

Uses for Garden Mums:  Enjoy mums as patio plants in pots at entrances, on decks, front door steps, in window boxes, or as fall decorations with straw bales, corn stalks, pumpkins, and gourds.  Their wonderful mounds of flowers are perfect to plant in containers, urns, or whiskey barrels, or set the pots in baskets or other decorative pot covers.  Use them as you would pots of annuals and enjoy the color for weeks in the fall.

Pinching:  To encourage branching and development of compact bushy plants, it is very important to pinch back your garden mums in the spring as soon as the new growth is 4 to 6 inches tall.  Use your thumbnail and index finger to remove or "pinch" about 1/2 of the new growth at the top of each stem.  Repeat the process through the summer whenever new shoots are 3-5 inches long (about every 3-4 weeks). Repeated pinching of new shoots until mid July is important for developing plants which will be sturdy and full of flowers in the fall.  After the last pinch your garden mum will grow to be more than double in size.


Winter Care:  Leave the dead tops of mums standing through the winter (this helps the plants overwinter better).  Prune the dead growth off in the early spring.  Mulch mums in late fall after leaves are dead using straw or evergreen branches only.  Do not use mulch or leaves.  Even with winter protection, fall garden mums are an inconsistent perennial and will return year after year about 50% of the time.  To ensure better overwintering, plant mums in early spring as small plants or in early fall so they have more time to establish roots before winter.

Fall Garden Mums

The most popular fall flower

Plantscape’s Mum list

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