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How to grow fall mums in your garden

How to grow fall mums in your garden


Ken Johnson

JACKSONVILLE — As the calendar turns from August to September chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum x morifolium), aka mums, start appearing in nurseries and garden centers. These plants are a staple in many landscapes in the fall and can provide some much-needed color to our landscapes when most other garden plants are starting to decline.

While we commonly treat them as annuals, mums are hardy from zones 5-9, meaning they can survive outdoors in Illinois (Illinois spans zones 5-7a). However, many people struggle to get mums to survive through the winter. So, what can be done to help mums survive in our landscapes?

The most common reason mums fail to overwinter is that we typically try to plant mums when they are most commonly available in the fall. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best time of year to be planting them; spring is. Planting in spring gives the plants ample time to establish themselves in the landscape. So, if you’re planning on planting your mums this fall, get them in the ground sooner rather than later.


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