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Autumn in the garden means different things to different people, but most associate Mums with the fall season. But why do Mums and fall go together, you ask? First, Chrysanthemum is photosensitive, which means they bloom in response to day length. In the fall, when day length is similar to night, it triggers them to flower. So, when most summer flowers are finishing, Mums are just beginning to bloom.

Mums can come in many colors. The most popular colors are harvest time colors like golden yellow, orange, red, and bronze. The Mums you purchased in the fall can be kept in pots or even planted in the ground. They prefer sun but will continue to bloom even in the shade. If you keep your Mums in pots, they will need to be frequently watered, but not as much if planted.

So are Mums annuals or perennials? The answer could be both. If you’re planning on getting your Mum and keeping it in a pot until it finishes flowering in October and November, then you might as well call it an annual. Although, if you want it to be a perennial, planting them as soon as you purchase them is best so the roots can grow into the soil and become established before winter. After frost, any of the dead stems and leaves can be pruned off and a little mulch put on top, and as long as we don’t have an unseasonably cold or wet winter, they’ll be back for next spring.

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