Hardy mums start blooming profusely in mid September and continue into the fall. Space plants on 24″ centers. Plant in a sunny well drained area. Spade in a 2″ layer of Nature’s Blend Compost along with 20lbs. of Gypsum per 100 square feet to loosen tight clay soils. Use granular Fertilome Start N’ Grow at planting time and then every 1½ months thru the growing season. Water with liquid Fertilome Root Stimulator at planting and repeat in two weeks to promote new roots.
Extend fall blooms by covering plants to prevent hard freeze damage (flowers can tolerate a 27 degree frost). After several hard freezes when the tops turn brown, prune off most of the brown top growth. Mulch mums in December to prevent drying out damage during the winter. Remove the mulch in late March when new growth starts. Divide older mums at this time if needed and re-plant on 24″ centers. Pinch or shear out the growing tips monthly to produce short mums that will support many blooms next fall. Stop pinching by July 15th to allow flower buds to set. Unpinched plants will be too tall and have few flowers. Plants pinched too late in the summer will not have time to set flower buds.
Mums are fairly problem free, but keep an eye out for aphids and spray if needed.
Compact: slightly taller than cushion, great for cutting
Daisy: open, conspicuous central flower disk
Decorative: many layers of close petals curving toward center
Duplex: two rows of flower petals (similar to daisy)
Pompon: small globular flowers
Quill: petals straight, long, and tubular with spoon like tip