Last year’s Halloween surprise was two small chrysanthemum plants in Halloween buckets. As the season progressed I received a small pot of white mums for free from the nursery. I later found a mystery one with no flowers but healthy foliage for a dollar at another store. Not knowing much about Chrysanthemum’s I just planted them in the back yard and forgot all about them.
Winter gave way to a long, intense summer and I busied myself with summer flowers and plants. I didn’t really pay attention to the mums which remained flowerless and grew slowly and steadily throughout the hot months. Now that the weather is cooler, I have a huge mass of chrysanthemum flowers. The free white ones grew into a small but wide and dense bush filled with white flowers. The mystery plant grew to be medium sized with incredible fiery orange blooms.
But last year’s Halloween gift has been the biggest surprise of all. I watched them continue to grow taller and taller until they are now almost up to my waist. They are both filled with clusters of large perfect flowers of either deep maroon and crisp white.
The maroon flowers are just starting to bloom. The plant is so big and heavy with flowers that’s it’s fallen to the side where it’s settled nicely next to the Thai basil.
The moral of the story is if you have the room don’t throw out those mums once the season is over. Plant them and you will be rewarded with big healthy plants and bright cheerful flowers the following fall.