In September 2017, as I entered the grocery store after work, these large and luscious yellow flowers with their rich, deep green foliage were the first to catch my eye. I was so awestruck by their beauty, I almost forgot what I had come into the store for. The only thought running through my mind in that moment was; I had to have these.
So, I picked one up and studied the small, plastic pot in efforts to find out more about these flowers. The label on the pot offered only the following information: “4 Inch Disbud Mums”. I asked a teller at the checkout how to care for Disbud Mums — as I was still so new to the realm of gardening at that time — but she couldn’t give me much more information on these flowers.
I later found out that Disbud Mums are a member of the Chrysanthemum family and I also read up on how to properly care for them. But if my memory recalls, I spent very little time reading up on them.
It was all trial and error from the get-go, but the techniques I adopted for caring for these fall blooming beauties proved successful.
The first thing that I learnt about this plant when I bought it was that the stems needed to be tied to stakes. The moment I transplanted these flowers into a larger pot, they flopped right over. The flower heads were much too dense and large for their sturdy stems to hold them up. At first I used short, wooden rods, but those weren’t strong enough to hold up the stems. So, I drove a half an hour down the road to my favorite garden center and found just what I needed: green-painted, steel rods.
These rods did the trick. Of course, as my plant grew and bloomed, I had to secure the stems in more than just one place on the rod.
I used to be under the impression that Chrysanthemums were annuals, but with the right care, they are perennials.
Once the flowers died back, which was in November where I used to live, I cut the stems back until they were only about 1–1.5 inches above the soil. I then overwintered them in the garage. It was cold and dark in there, but it was dry and thankfully there was one window. So, I made sure they were placed underneath the window where they would receive light throughout the day.
In the spring, once the temperatures had warmed and the threat of frost had passed, I transplanted them into a larger pot where their roots had more room to grow.
I also learnt that Disbud Mums preferred full sun and moist soil. They thrived best in those conditions.
I used Miracle Grow as my potting medium because it retained enough moisture which saved me from having to water them so frequently, even throughout the hot, dry summer months. Then, towards the fall, I moved them to an area of our deck located beside a set of sliding, glass doors leading into the dining and living room area. It was also an area that received direct sunlight for more than 6 hours a day.
My Mums bloomed like crazy there!
I never planted my mums directly into the ground. I always kept them in a pot simply because I loved seeing their large, cheery flowerheads whenever I glanced out the dining room window. The very sight of them always put a smile on my face.
Even though my Mums bloomed vigorously, they were tall and leggy. That was because I pruned them back severely after they finished their blooming season. If and when I do purchase Mums again, I would care for them a little differently so that they would also be much more bushy.
- For optimal growth and health, don’t cut your Mums down after their blooming season has ended. Instead, remove their dead flower heads. This can be done in late fall or early spring.
- For bushy Mums, pinch off the tips of the stems every two weeks until mid-July. This encourages branching.
- If planting Mums in the ground, make sure to plant them in well-draining soil in an area that receives 6–8 hours of direct sunlight. Plant your Mums in the spring after the last frost as that will give their roots time to develop and harden before the onset of winter.
- If planting Mums in the ground, also make sure their hardiness is well suited to the hardiness zone of where you live.