Chrysanthemums, often shortened to mums, grow in wide range of colors and sizes. Because the flowers are so versatile and attractive, they are popular garden plants. Chrysanthemums require little care and grow easily when properly planted from the outset. Planting Chrysanthemum seeds isn’t always an exact science, but it should be done on an exact schedule for the best results.
Cultivation -Mums must be planted in a well-drained site where they receive full sunlight, though the flowers will bloom in partial shade. Garden mums are not commonly planted from seeds. Usually, gardeners plant mum cuttings directly into their gardens after purchasing them from a garden store. Growing mums from seeds takes a little longer and requires some special care, but the conditions for the flowers are the same: well-drained, sunny soil is required.
Harvesting and Storing -Gather mum seeds from existing chrysanthemums in the fall, after the flowers are already drying out and wilting. It is important to note that the seeds may not have all the same characteristics as the plant they came from; this is why mums are commonly grown from established seedlings. After gathering the seeds in the fall, store them in a cool, dark place through the winter so they will be ready for early spring planting.
Planting -Plant mum seeds in early spring, either indoors or in cold-protected seed beds. Planting seeds directly in the garden in early spring is not advisable, as mums are not likely to survive the cold. Instead, use grow boxes covered with a glass or plastic hood. Close the hood at dusk to trap heat and block cool night air, and open it to allow fresh air to get to the seeds during the day. Mum seedlings are transferred to the garden around mid-May; plant the seeds in late March or early April to give them six to eight weeks of growing time before moving to their permanent garden location. As long as the plants stay healthy, blossoms appear in summer as part of the normal chrysanthemum growth schedule.
Transplanting -Mums are transferred to the garden in mid May or early June, when there is no longer any danger of frost. As a general rule, mums may be transferred to the outdoor garden when peonies and iris flowers begin to bloom. Gently dig up and lift the whole seedling, then rebury it in the garden while keeping the roots intact. Bury the stem only as deep as the first leaf joint, and water the ground thoroughly after planting. Mums begin to bloom in mid- to late summer.