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Decorating your porch or veranda is a NO Brainer this time of year. Just about everywhere you turn, from the grocery store, to the local plant seller to the farmer’s market you’ll find Chrysanthemums. They come in a myriad of colors, and provide just the splash we all want as the grass slowly fades and all our summer plantings have passed their glory. Grouped with gourds or pumpkins, they’re sure to make you and your visitors feel festive.
Displaying mums is easy, but there are a few guidelines I use.
- Buy the biggest plants your budget will allow. In this case, size matters!
- Never display more than the number of colors that appear on your favorite football team’s jersey. This gives your display that extra ‘wow factor’
- Group different size pots of your chosen colors along side other fall decorations such as gourds, pumkins, hay , indian corn etc.
- Mums like sun and are generally happiest there. If you don’t plan on planting them in your garden after your display, you can pretty much disregard this tip.
- Water, pinch, pinch. Mums like water, but don’t like ‘wet feet’ . Keep them moist through out your display. A good guide is every day watering during warm days and every other day as the season cools. If you forget to water, all is not lost. Give your mums the spa treatment, by gently poking holes into the soil and dunking them into a bucket (just over the top of the container) of fresh water. Pinch back (dead head) dead and withered flowers. This allows the new flower buds to get the nutrients from the soil and bloom.
- There’s no need to fertilize while your mums are in containers. Once you transplant them to your garden (they’re perennials) fertilize on a regular schedule along with your other plantings. Keep in mind that planting in the fall, lessens their chances of surviving the winter, unless you’re careful to mulch, and pinch back regularly. You can winter your plants inside on a sun porch or in the garage (provided there’s a good bit of light) then plant in the spring.