This perennial is an excellent addition to a garden that needs a boost of colour in the late summer and fall. Chrysanthemums come in a huge variety of colours and shapes, but for colder Canadian gardens it’s best to avoid the florist favourites and stick to the hardy garden varieties that can survive the winter frost. If you are in a very cold Northern climate, it’s best to try the early bloomers but wintering them might prove very difficult.
Sow seeds in late February or early March and transplant in April or May.
Chrysanthemums have a very long flowering period, which extends all they way from spring to late fall, depending on what variety you’ve grown. Also, cutting back after each batch of blooms helps encourage another batch.
Choose a location in full sunlight with well-drained soil. If you want your mums to last year after year, particularly in areas with harsh winters, be sure to cut your plants back after they’ve finished blooming. Once the ground has frozen, mulch the area with compost, evergreen boughs or straw. The idea is to keep that ground frozen so that thawing and refreezing doesn’t push the plants up out of the ground.
Most commonly hardy to zone 7 (but for colder climates look for new varieties, some of which are hardy to zone 4).