Monday, November 10, 2008

Plant of the Month-November 08

Can there be any other choice for November's Plant of the Month other than the chrysanthemum? Nope, not in my garden anyhow. I love the mums! Can I say it enough? Let me tell you why. This plant is easy to grow, drought tolerant, deer resistant, easy to propagate, readily available, looks good all season, blooms for more that 4 weeks, and comes in a wide variety of colors. How great is that? The one pictured above even rewards the gardener with two colors. It bloomed white and is now fading to pink.

This mum was a gift I acquired while on a Master Gardener tour a few years ago. It is not the original mum, but one of about 100 offsprings of this particular late blooming mum. I take cuttings each year and make more. I just can't help it, and when the fall comes I remember just why I did take all those cuttings. I don't know what particular cultivar this mum is, but it is a late bloomer and will probably still be blooming on Christmas Day. We'll see.
These are also the same mums I posted about in Mistakes in the Garden. There are only two mums pictured here. Whew! While they are beautiful and light up the landscape (in more areas than just here), they are too big and smothering coreopsis underneath their foliage. Plus they are-well-just kind of big. I have since moved these mums, though I sacrificed this gorgeous foliage and blooms to do so. Sigh.
Now these mums are more like the normal mums you purchase in the store each year. Their growth habit is more rounded and cushion like. I like the neatness. What you can't see in the picture from above is the other five yellow button mums planted just on the other side of the red mums. They are all in full bloom now, with these three colors (my rainbow) being early bloomers. You can see those purple ones are very robust and a great bloomer. I have not had to fertilize any of these mums and all of the pictured mums were planted in their spots just last fall as 6 inch cuttings. I like to think they are happy in my garden, but honestly mums are happy in any garden. They are so easy, colorful, and perfect for fall plantings, and perfect for November's Plant of the Month.

in the garden....


  1. HI Tina, I'm with you, the mums are the perfect late season flower. They are really the only flower still hanging on here although we have lots of color from foliage still and will have all winter with the careful selection of evergreen trees, shrubs and perennials. I have spread the yellow buttons, will we ever find out the names? They open late and are always still in bloom for my big Thanksgiving fiesta when all the family comes. They always want some of them and I can easily comply. We need to find the name!

  2. Wow Tina, those yellow mums are HUGE! I've never seen mums that large. I haven't tried mums here because of the all shade. In my last house though, I had several different colors. They'd been planted by the previous owner, and returned reliably every year. They started so easily from cuttings too.

  3. Like Garden Girl, I have never seen mums as huge as those yellows! They are plotting to take over that bed, good thing you put them in their place :)
    Mums are a fantastic plant and I have a late bloomer that is looking perfect right now. A great choice for Plant of the Month!

  4. Great choice! But more than that....don't let D know her baby Bella made a appearance looking upward!

  5. I couldn't agree more Tina--mums are the plant of the month for me starting late September. I have a tiny bunch that grow in the ground, all the others I buy in containers. Yellow is my favorite. I group it with bronze or red and pumpkins. Mums just say "fall" to me!

  6. We always pot them up, vs plant them. I should have more in the landscape but they don't last long in my garden, probably because I don't give them added winter protection. Many years ago my Mum gave me a clump of her mums, they were a deep maroonish-orange color, and beautiful. I kept them for about two years, but then got tired of the extra work to overwinter them. Yes, I'll admit it, I've gotten lazier with age. ;~P

  7. Tina,

    I love your mums! ( Your mum is quite lovely a person, too!) I could find a home for those giant mums, wow they are huge. Your sweet puppy lets us see HOW Big the giant mum really is! I must try to find this girl for the garden! I have great hope for the sheffies from Frances!


  8. Those are beautiful, Tina. I can see why they are you plant of the month.

  9. Tina, that is one huge mum! You're right about mums being the perfect plant for this time of year. Now I'm feeling rather guilty about all those I bought this fall to place around the house and yard--I ran out of room, time, and warm weather to plant them permanently:)

  10. They really do well this time of year. Ours have faded mostly leaving the seed heads behind. That yellow mum look really big in the picture!

  11. Well, I wish you would come here and tell me what it is I do wrong with mums. My husband bought a gorgeous one with copper-colored flowers, as they were selling them for their childrens' school. They had something tied around them, and when I went to plant them in the ground and snipped it, they just fell over and died. I absolutely love those top yellow ones. Never knew they got that big!

  12. I love that large mum. Between your mums and my neighbor's patch, I'm going to give it a try in my yard. They are perfect for a fall bloom in my zone 9 garden.

  13. Congratulations on your mums! Truly gorgeous mounds of color.

    I've had off-and-on luck with those at different homes. Right now, my only mums are in planters.

  14. Mine have never overwintered well, but I always buy them and I'm giving them another chance in the ground this year. I'll have to look and see if I can find some that will come back better in this climate. Yours look spectacular.

  15. Good Morning All,
    Terrific pics Tina. I've never seen a mum that large. It seems to be happy where it is. I have mums in pots placed in different places to achieve the look I want. The yellow one is about done. My white one is just now beginning to bloom. The other colors are starting to fade. I was hoping they would hold out till Thanksgiving.
    Maybe I should take cuttings just in case I loose them. Of course the white one I've had for 3/4 yrs.
    Here's hoping that all have a lovely day.

  16. They must be VERY happy to be so big in one season. Amazing. Bella looks just as happy!!

    Thanks Gail....takes one to know one.

  17. Good choice Tina. Your stunning pics say it all...

  18. Those are some gigantic yellow mums Tina! Wow, spectacular. I hardly have any mums, one to be exact. Your garden has lots of color in it because of them (unlike mine) so good choice to name them "plant-of-the-month."

  19. I love mums too. They always bloom later than I expect and they always delight.
    My biggest problem with mums is figuring out where to put all their progeny. Since they easily root from cuttings, I can rarely trim them without needing to save the cut stems. To do otherwise would be murder.

  20. 5:30 and I am just now turning on the computer! Been a busy day with the Saint getting off work early. Tomorrow, we work in the yard so will be another busy day...

    Now here I kind of thought that Camellia would beat out he Mum for the plant of the month but sees fitting that more people have the mums and so easy to grow although, Mine are not doing too well. If I were to take them out of the shade and put them in a sunny spot, they would do better for me. I meant to do that back in the summer but with the heat and drought, no way I was going to dig in the dirt! lol, A few are blooming though so not a total loss for me. The ground is now soft so hope for them to be moved yet! Working on a new planter so maybe they will find their way there instead of the woodsy area.... Can you root them in just plain water (like a philly) or do you have to do the food stimulator bit?

    Hope you are having fun today Tina...

  21. These are definitely deserving of November's plant of the month. Mine didn't start blooming till a week ago or so ago & have been blooming nonstop!

  22. Yes, what they said! I've never seen that white/pink mum before, its a color combo I like a lot... is there a name for it?

    Your garden looks beautiful!

  23. mums are great but i never think to plant them i usually buy seasonal ones and use them in displays.
    yours are magnificent and stately.

  24. I love mums but I had bad luck growing them in zone 10b

  25. I'm not the biggest fan of mums, mostly because garden centers act like they are the only fall blooming plant in existence. But, I admit it, you do make a good case for them in your post...

  26. Good morning all! I was out of town yesterday visiting someone (my daughter) who is planning a wedding-so NO blogging. But I am back now.

    Frances, I am going to try hard to find the name of this yellow button mum. Until then, I love your name of the yellow button and that is what I think of it as now.

    Linda, I love the mums. Those yellow buttons are really quite large and I am always happy to share if you need some:) Great yours return each year-the best!

    Cindy, Yes-I think they are plotting to take over! I have since learned to plant them out of the way as they are not picky. Great mums though for the color.

    Dawn, That dog is always hunting for squirrels. Let me tell you the squirrels know it too and just tease the heck out of Bella. I HOPE she gets one and told Christine. She was not happy though.

    Linda (MT), I just love the mums too. Grouping the yellow with oranges would be perfect. I should stick a pumpkin in with mine. Hmmmm....

    TC, Your Mum gave you some Mums? Ha! You really must make the effort to save them in the garden:)

    Gail, Thanks! Those sheffies will do great! I have a super pic of the ones Frances gave me so I need to post it soon. Gee, I guess I should've posted it here too but saving it for something special.

    Marnie, Thanks!

    Rose, Just keep them in the pots until spring. They should be fine. They do so well in the landscape and I bet in your road garden they would look fabulous.

    Dave, That yellow mum is actually two mums. 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide. They leaned a bit so they look even larger. I do cuttings each year and will save one for you.

    Brenda, HI there! I tell the secret to mums is to get the right type. Not all types work well in the ground. So when buying them in the fall plant them out by mid October and see which ones come back. Then stick with those ones. They do get much larger in the ground. I have to provide support just like with peonies. But oh do I love them. Your poor little one gave me a laugh for sure.

    Susan, Hello and welcome! I would be over at my neighbor's asking for cuttings for sure:) Mums are so easy from cuttings and bloom the same year.

    Cameron, Thanks! I just love them but they do take a bunch of room. Are you going to plant your mums out at your garden? I am told these are deer resistant though we know the deer will anything if they get hungry enough.

    JGH, Being up north it might be a bit more difficult. One tip I have heard is to leave the foliage as a protection for the root ball. I think in NY I would go one step further and make a basket full of leaves around the root ball too. Good luck!

    Lola, Thanks! This mum is a keeper. Yes, do cuttings. Just stick them in the dirt and they grow. So easy! I had the best day-thanks.

    Mom, That Bella loves it here but is missing her mommy.

    Kanak, Thanks! Do you grow mums in India? I guess this is the wrong season for it now.

    Kathleen, Thanks! One mum is a great start to a garden full of color.

    Weeping Sore, I feel the exact same way! When I am trimming them I always JUST HAVE to save all the progeny too. What a chore trying to find spots for them. Can you tell I am a plant collector/saver rather than a designer? I am never short on color though so that is a good thing.

    Hey Skeeter, The camelia really should be plant of the month but you are right not as many grow camelias as the mums. Plus I truly hope the camelias are still blooming in December:) Yes-do move your mums to the new planter bed. The bananas would love some company. We had a good time yesterday. My daughter tried on 5 dresses and I think she found just the one she loves. Not one she would've picked off the shelf so that is funny. I have pictures so I will probably talk more on it at some point. I think she would be shocked to look in here and see herself on here though.

    Racquel, The mums are so fun for late season interest. I know you are enjoying yours very much.

    Anne, I should research that white mum. I won it at a garden club function last year so I have no idea what kind it is. I just realized I don't think I have ever seen mums with the cultivar names. Weird. But maybe most white mums do this? Check around for when they go by and you might find one. I just love the pink even better than the white.

    Marmee, Most folks toss their mums after the season but they winter over SO well here. I just adore them. Try it out if you still have yours. It might not be too late.

    Rusty, I can see where they would struggle in southern Florida. I think mums are more of a cool season plant. The bonus is you probably have tons more colorful plants that work for you down there.

    Fern, Hello and welcome! Yes, many think mums are passe and overused. I just love them because of their long bloom and ease of growth. Overuse means the plant is a good plant. At least that is my reasoning:) Just look at Stella. So many get tired of it but what a great plant?!

  27. I may be weird, but I like the looser, bushier look more than the neat little rounded mound.

  28. No MMD, Not weird at all. It is great you love the looser fluffier look. There is a mum for everyone for sure:)

  29. Great post - confirmed garden mum admirer, here... Deb