Mums offer a variety of interesting shapes, from the daisy and spoon types to spider and football mums. Plus, they come in multiple colors: yellow, red, white, pink, orange and purple, as well as combinations of these.

Plant mums in areas that receive sun for at least half of each day. Rich, fertile soil high in organic material is best, along with good drainage. Mums prefer constantly moist—but not soggy—soil.

Don’t fertilize when you plant your mums. Simply mulch with straw after the first few hard frosts. In the spring, remove the straw and dead plant material. Then, after new growth appears, mulch around each plant using a hardwood or cypress mulch.

To encourage compact bushy growth, pinch back your mums in the spring. When new growth reaches 6 inches, pinch 2 to 3 inches off every branch. Repeat whenever a branch grows another 5 to 6 inches. Stop pinching as summer ends and plants begin developing flower buds.

Reprinted by permission from Floral Retailing magazine.

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