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Garden Tip: Fall in love with chrysanthemums

Mums bring bright blossoms our containers gardens thlast well inNovember.  |  Courtesy Heather Prince

Mums bring bright blossoms to our containers and gardens that last well into November. | Courtesy of Heather Prince

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Updated: October 24, 2012 6:33AM

The colorful flowers of chrysanthemums are one of the classic signs of autumn. Mums bring bright blossoms to our containers and gardens that last well into November.

With early, mid, late and season-extender varieties, you can enjoy annual mums for months! Pinch spent flowers to encourage new buds and extend their blooming season. The Growing Place offers more than 50 varieties of annual mums that are grown at their Aurora facilities.

Perennial mums can give you years of pleasure with a little care. Plant them soon in full sun with well-drained soil amended with compost to give them as much time as possible to establish. Wait until spring to cut back spent foliage. The stems and foliage will help insulate the plant through fluctuating winter temperatures.

Loosely cover mum stems with pine boughs, hay, straw or other nonmatting material after the ground is frozen. This keeps the soil from thawing out too early in the spring and delays the emergence of new shoots until night frosts are less likely. By April, the plant can be cut back as low as possible, but if new spring growth is visible and a night frost is predicted, be sure to cover the plants.

Garden Tip is courtesy of Heather Prince, The Growing Place, 630-355-4000,

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