Northwest Missouri Master Gardeners
Featured Article October 2011
Growing Mums - Care of Chrysanthemums
By Marilyn Weimer: Master Gardener

Have you moved your mums in the last two to five years?

In the winter months hardy mums that are planted in the ground should be covered with a mulch of pine needles or evergreen branches. If you have a cold frame it is advisable to move mums in to the frame for a better winter protection. Wait until spring to divide and transplant.

Every two to five years older established plants need to be divided in the spring as soon as they start to grow. Leave one to two sprouts to each of the outer sections before planting. Discard any diseased or dead woody parts. Plant the divisions in loose, well drained and rich organic soil. Newer plants will grow better and faster in a new location that is less crowed than if left in the same soil every year. The hole should be extra deep to prevent the roots from getting too wet.

During the late summer months when the plant height reaches 6 to 8 inches tall nip the buds at least twice. Leave the top bud. August is the best time to start. The plant will gain strength and not produce weak flowers. Every two weeks add a light fertilizer. They are sun loving and most hardy mums bloom the best in September to November until a heavy frost.

Mums can be started by seeds, cuttings and division or purchased from small containers up to a gallon or larger sizes.


About our author: Marilyn Weimer

Marilyn is a beginner to the Master Gardening training. She started in the spring of 2010

Marilyn has gardened for years in four different states.

She has been a resident of Gower, Mo for twelve years. She and her husband planted over five hundred Missouri Conservation trees on four and half acres that first year. The local neighbors no longer laugh and say “those trees will never make it”. The land is surrounded by large beautiful white pines and four other prolific species of conservation trees.

Marilyn is retired from American Family Insurance of St Joseph.

Marilyn also is a watercolor artist and art instructor.