As the summer draws to a close, many people switch the focus of their home gardens to flowers that bloom in the autumn. In this category, hardy chrysanthemums, more often known as mums, are at the top of the list. These plants, which belong to the genus Chrysanthemum, come in dozens of hues and a wide variety of flower kinds to complement your beds and borders. Hardy mums may be grown in the ground outside in the United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, but they can also be grown as annuals or brought inside to be cultivated as houseplants.
Hardy Mums Light Requirements
The hardy mum is a herbaceous perennial that is bushy in appearance and develops as a slowly spreading cluster that is typically between one and two feet tall. Its blooms may be circular and look like pom-poms; they can also be flat and have petals that look like spoons; or they can seem spidery and have petals that are extremely thin. The mum is a photoperiodic plant, which means that in order for it to grow flower buds, it need a certain quantity of light. A signal that causes the plant to begin setting buds is sent to it around the end of the summer, when the length of the nights has decreased to roughly ten hours. It is best to avoid planting your mums in areas where they will be directly illuminated by a porch or street light. The growth of buds will be hampered as a result. In general, flower buds begin to bloom anywhere from six to ten weeks later, although this may vary greatly depending on the variety.
Although the lengthening nights in late summer are necessary for a mother to produce flowers, the plant nevertheless need sufficient light throughout the year in order to thrive and mature into a robust specimen. Although a mum may withstand some moderate shadow, the optimal location for the plant is one that receives direct sunlight throughout the whole day. A place that receives a few hours of mild afternoon shade in regions that get a lot of hot summer heat may help keep the plant from being scorched. To ensure healthy growth, a mum must get at least six hours of sunlight every day; thus, a spot that is completely shaded is not an ideal setting for this plant.
You may also cultivate a potted mum inside as a houseplant by positioning it in a window that faces west or south during the afternoon and providing it with plenty of light. The blooming cycle of the hardy mum, which is a photoperiodic plant, may be disrupted if the plant is situated too close to an artificial source of light. This also applies to plants that are kept indoors. When growing a mum indoors, it is essential to place the plant in complete darkness after sunset from late summer till autumn. This will enable the plant’s buds to form properly. You may provide it with appropriately timed illumination and boost flower development by putting the plant in an empty room or a basement until the flower buds set, or moving it into a closet each night. Alternatively, you can move it into a different closet each day.
The hardy mum is a plant that is simple to cultivate and does not need a lot of additional attention. It may be grown in any garden soil, however the soil that has been modified with compost before to planting is ideal for its growth. The soil in which mums are grown must be kept consistently wet, and as a result, they demand more water during periods of drought. Although a mother does not need to be pruned, pinching back the developing tips of its stems encourages the development of a bushy and well-branched shape in the plant and results in the production of the most flowers possible. When you reach the middle of July, you should stop trimming so that all of the existing stems may establish blossom buds.
When pinching back, pruning, or cutting flowers, it is imperative that you sanitise any cutting equipment, such as shears or other types of pruning tools, that you use. After soaking the blades in Lysol or Pine-Sol at full strength, let them dry naturally in the air.