Chrysanthemums from Costa Farms Add Fall Style

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Tips from garden expert Doug Jimmerson to get the best fall chrysanthemums.

Costa Farms Mum, Orange Mum

No matter where you plant them, chrysanthemums look terrific by themselves or when paired with other fall bloomers such as pansies, asters, and ornamental grasses.

Get instant impact by adding a generous helping of blooming chrysanthemums to your fall garden.

Get instant impact by adding a generous helping of blooming chrysanthemums to your fall garden. These hardy colorful perennials are available now at garden centers everywhere. Shop for favorite colors and drop these blooming beauties into your garden beds, containers or window boxes.

Selecting Mums

Chrysanthemums come in two basic types: florist and garden. Florist mums are in gift shops and grocery stores. They make excellent gifts, but are basically indoor plants and won’t overwinter in your garden. Garden mums, on the other hand, are perennials that have been developed to come back year after year in your garden, even in cold climates. As a general rule, garden mums are sold on racks outside the garden center and florist mums are displayed with houseplants indoors.

When shopping for chrysanthemums, look for plants with fresh, firm green leaves and a crown of flower buds just about to open. Don’t buy wilted plants or those where most of the flowers are already open (they won’t last as long). To plant, simply slip them out of their pots and drop them into containers or beds -- wherever a quick dash of color is needed.

Colors and Partners

Garden mums come in a variety of gorgeous colors including orange, red, purple, white, cream, yellow, and pink; choose a shade that complements your home or landscape. Mums go on sale in garden centers in autumn, the perfect time to color coordinate with holiday décor -- choose blooming mums in Halloween and Thanksgiving colors (think orange, rust, and yellow). Colorful gourds, pumpkins, and Indian corn are great accents for mums, too.

There are a selection of flower forms: single, double, and exotic flowers with spoon-shaped-petals. No matter where they're planted, chrysanthemums look terrific by themselves or when paired with other fall bloomers such as pansies, asters, and ornamental grasses.

Chrysanthemum Care

Caring for chrysanthemums is easy. They require a sunny location and slightly moist, well-drained soil. And, because they are relatively frost resistant, they keep blooming even after temperatures get chilly. Most mums will bloom for two to three weeks (keep them well watered). After the flowers fade, clip them off, but leave the foliage intact. If you are growing mums in containers, this is the time to transplant them into your garden if you want to save them for another year. In the North, mulching with a few inches of shredded leaves or straw improves their winter survival. In the spring you’ll see new growth sprouting at the base of the plant. At that time, you can remove the old foliage.

Doug Jimerson is a contributing editor for CostaFarms.com. He has been gardening since he was a little sprout, when he helped his grandparents grow roses and iris in their New Jersey backyard. After college he spent 30 years at Better Homes and Gardens magazine overseeing print and digital garden editorial as well as the test gardens. He has gardened in hot climates (Florida), cold climates (Iowa) and in between (New Jersey). He is the editor of more than 25 books on gardening.

Costa Farms is the largest producer of indoor houseplants in the world. Founded in 1961 by Jose Costa, Costa Farms is a third generation, family owned business that globally stretches over 3,800 acres and employs 2,800 people. Along with thriving indoor, bedding and perennial plant divisions, Costa Farms operations are located in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, and abroad in the Dominican Republic, and Far East.

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Stacey Pierson
@gardenmedia
since: 08/2010
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