Mums in Michigan

The chrysanthemum, more commonly known as the mum, is a perfect flowering plant to add some color and pizazz to your fall landscape. Originally from China, the chrysanthemum flower was boiled to make “chrysanthemum tea”. According to Chinese folk medicine, the tea was quite the remedy for the flu. In the United States, the chrysanthemum serves a much different purpose, adding depth and beauty as a popular landscaping choice in the fall. Mums are well suited, given that they bloom late and have tremendous eye appeal.


Decorating with Mums

Mums are terrific for complementing a fall landscapes as they come in a variety of colors. From white, off-white, yellow, gold and bronze to red, lavender, burgundy, pink and purple, the mum is extremely decorative. They’re also quite versatile, meaning that they work great for both mass planting and in small decorative pots next to the front door.

When looking to add mums to your fall decor, choose colors that complement your landscape design. In other words, to add depth to an outdoor display, try mums in gold, yellow or off-white to highlight the orange and browns of pumpkins and hay. Another trick- try mass planting with a gradual color shade change or to get the most dramatic effect, use only two colors. Remember, mums also look great in small containers by the front door. They’re super simple choices for lining a window box or for the center of a pot with trailing foliage. Make certain to visit Uncle Luke’s Feed Store for all your gardening needs from small clay pots for your doorstep to fertilizer and soil for your garden.


Florist Mums Versus Hardy (Garden) Mums

Florist mums are large-flower plants with a variety of different bloom forms. They’re almost always grown in greenhouses and used as indoor plants. Try to plant a florist mum outside and you will quickly see that it will not survive the winter, regardless of much protection you offer it. On the other hand, garden mums produce an underground stolen and as a result, can survive the cold weather much better. In general, garden mums are much tougher than florist mums and in certain zones, are perennials.

In Michigan, if you’re considering planting mums, coordinate your plants with the weather. Remember, while most garden mums can withstand a light fall frost and will do fine this year, if you’re trying for perennials, it’s best to choose hardy cultivars to plant in the spring so they have a chance to establish roots before the really cold weather hits.



Mums are perfect fall plants because they add so much color to an otherwise drab looking landscape. However, before planting your mums, choose an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. This is critical because if your plant doesn’t get enough sunlight, it will grow fewer, smaller flowers.

As for the soil, well drained is best. In fact, you may want to consider raising your plants if your growing area is too wet. Plant about 1 inch deeper than the original nursery pot and be sure to spread the roots out carefully. Adequate water is important when you first plant your mums. Make certain to give them enough until they are fully established. After they take hold, reduce water to about an inch per week. Fertilizer is not necessary if you plan on planting your mums in the fall for annuals, however, if you plan on overwintering, fertilize once or twice a month until colder weather sets in.


Decorating with mums in the fall is an easy and inexpensive way to add color and pizazz to your home or business. Remember to choose complementary colors and don’t forget to visit Uncle Luke’s Feed Store where you can find everything you need to create the perfect fall landscape.

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