Trials For Chrysanthemums My Trials & Tribulations


Some aspects of gardening are a trial not to say a tribulation. This year I resolved to get on with my Chrysanthemums (aka Chrysanths or Mums) and see if I could encourage enough of them to perform to a reasonable standard. So far I am failing for reasons which will become obvious.

Trials not tribulations are the genuine article at the RHS Harlow Carr and so they should be. I am presumptuous in thinking I could even get close to just one of their potted chrysanthemums.

Outdoor Mums in Pots

  • Pot in soil that is well drained, light and loamy.
  • After planting, water generously for 1-2 weeks, until the plants are well established.
  • Mums have a shallow root system so keep the soil slightly moist but not wet.
  • Feed the mums before the flower buds form to promote healthy roots, bud development, and a vigorous plant. I use liquid Tomorite but balanced slow release granules can be added to the soil when potting up.
  • Pinch your mum plant when it’s young to encourage bushier growth and more blooms.

Florists Pot Mums

  • Plants grown for indoor windowsill culture are often of a  variety unsuitable for outdoor growing. As such they should be treated with more care and are unlikely to survive outdoors overwinter.
  • Florist mums will have been treated with hormones and lighting tricks to restrict the growth and encourage flowering.
  • As pot plants the flowers last for 5 -8 weeks and are available in a range of colours including some dyed shades of blue.
  • They are generally available all year round as sold as an in flower gift.
  • The Pot Mum is  effective at cleaning the air through transpiration. Due to this you will need to water quite often as the top soil begins to dry out.

Hardy Garden Mums

  • Some varieties survive the winter out-of-doors and come back and continue performing the following season.
  • Blooming is prolifically from August to the frosts.
  • The habits are neat and compactmaking them suitablel for the front and middle of borders or in patio containers.

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