The classic favorite annual for fall is the Mum. We grow thousands of Mums late in the season for extended fall color. They are considered annuals because their root base may not be strong enough when planted this late in the growing season to last through winter. We do have perennial mums available in our Perennial Departments at both locations, but if you’re looking for a bright pop of color for your front porch, annual mums are the way to go. Here are some Annual Mum facts to help you choose the ones to use in your fall decor.
Mums are grown in 4″, 8″ and 10″ containers as well as hanging baskets. Most customers leave the larger mums in the pots they are grown in. The potted mums can be set out alongside bales of hay and cornstalks for a fall display. The 8″ and 10″ pots will also fit into most emptied containers you may already have at home, making it simple to switch over to a fall theme in your garden. The 4” pots work best when planted with other fall annuals in a container.
We offer Very Early mums, such as Autumn Envy Bronze, in bloom and on the shelves now. We also have Early (late August-Mid September), Mid (Mid-Late September), Late (Late September-Early October), and Very Late (Early October to Frost) blooming mums. Planting early, mid, and late-season varieties together will give color that can last from now through late fall. Ask our Annuals staff when you visit to show you the different varieties.
Many of the mums are just now budding, getting ready to pop into full color. Why do you want a ‘green’ mum? So you can enjoy the full extent of their bloom time at home, of course!
Colors are many and varied shades of orange, bronze, red, purple, lavender, pink, green, white, and yellow. Bloom time is affected by air temperature, sun, and size of the plant. Once the buds pop open, the 4″ mums will be in bloom 3-6 weeks. The 8″ mums 3-7 weeks, and the 10″ mums will usually give a longer bloom time of 4-8 weeks due to having more foliage and more buds.
Mums perform best in full sun and well-drained, rich soil. Depending on the variety, mums can grow anywhere from 12″ to 24” high by 18” to 24” wide!
Water at the base of the mums directly on top of the soil to avoid breaking fragile branches. Watering in the morning gives the plant time to dry. If there is over a half-inch of rain during the day or night, no watering is needed that day.
Mounded blooms attract butterflies. With the outer flower petals longer than the central petals, mums provide a large, flat space for butterflies to land and feast. Blooms will last longer when taken out of direct sunlight and protected from frost.
If planting in the ground, space your mums 18”-24″ apart in well-drained soil enriched with compost. Make sure to choose a spot where they will get full sun. Mums planted in a garden bed help fill holes left by fading summer annuals, and add rich fall color to the yard.
The 4″ mums come in a variety of colors. Compliment the mum with other fillers, such as Marigolds, Ornamental Peppers, Rudbeckia, Pansies, Petunias, and Dusty Miller.
Add a few plants that will soften the container edges. Spillers include Lysmachia, Petchoa, and Wire Vine.
A thriller grabs attention, giving height and drama to the center or back of your fall container. Try Pennisetum, Millet, Carex, or ornamental perennial grasses.
Use The Potting Bar at our Aurora or Naperville location to create your own fall container. You just pay for the plants, container (unless you bring one from home) and the scoops of soil. Want something done for you? We have a variety of custom designed containers for sale as well as container design services.