Chrysanthemums, or mums for short, produce a variety. From tiny pompom varieties to giant football sized flowers, these flowers typically bloom during the autumn, hence they are often referred to as the Queen of Autumn. You can plant mums from seeds gathered in the fall, however, the mums will not have the same characteristics as its parent.
Pour out seed starting mix into a fine-wire basket or colander. Sift the seeding mix thoroughly to eliminate any sticks, pebbles or bark that can interfere with the mum seeds.
Place the sifted seeding mix into an oven-proof bowl or pan. To prevent any odor while sterilizing the seeding mix, place a layer of aluminum foil over the bowl or pan.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the seeding mix for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool completely before you use the seeding mix.
Fill up a sterilized seeding flat tray of planting cells with the sterilized seeding mix. Make sure seeding mix is filled up to about 3/4 inch from the top.
Mist the seeding mix with water until it’s moistened down.
Sprinkle two or three mum seeds on the surface of the seeding mix every two inches, if using a seeding flat or tray, if using planting cells, sprinkle two mum seeds in each of the cells.
Sprinkle a very shallow layer of vermiculite, about 1/8 of an inch, over the mum seeds.
Cover the seeding tray or flat with a layer of clear plastic wrap. Secure the wrap with rubber bands if needed. If you are using planting cells, place the cells inside of a clear plastic bag. Loosely tie the end of the bag but not so tight that air cannot circulate.
Transfer the seeding tray, flat or planting packs to where they can be provided a temperature of no colder than 68 degrees Fahrenheit and no warmer than 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the seeding mix moist, but avoid watering so often it becomes soggy. Germination will begin in about five to 21 days. Transplant the mum seedlings when they are 3 inches tall.
Choose a sun filled location for the mums. Plan on doing this in mid-May.
Lay out a 3- or 4-inch layer of leaf mold, well-rotted manure or peat moss over the planting area. Incorporate the amendment into the soil about 14 to 16 inches deep.
Mix into the soil approximately 2.5 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer for every 50 square feet you are planting.
Dig holes between 12 and 18 inches apart depending on the variety you are growing.
Remove the mum seedlings from the tray or flat using a spoon to dig them out.
Plant the mum seedlings into each of the previously dug holes. Scoop soil around each of them until the holes are filled.
Water the mums thoroughly. Soak the soil so it reached 5 to 6 inches down. Then plan on watering the mums as often as required so the soil is well moistened. Avoid shallow frequent watering that can contribute to diseases.
Apply fertilizer one time during the summer using 10-10-10 at the rate specified on the label directions.