In this part of the country, using the words perennial and mums in the same sentence can be dangerous. I could go into a lengthy explanation about the USDA zone charts, how we land in the 4B zone and mums perform better in zones 5B or warmer. I could explain that yes indeed your grandmother did have old varieties of mums in her garden that came back every year for decades. I could go into hybridization and how the flower power that we want cost a lot in the breeding as far as hardiness goes. And so on and so on.
Instead what I want to concentrate on is the simple fact that if mums are to have any chance at all of overwintering, it is crucial to get them planted as early as possible so they can develop a strong, deep root system. The earliest of our mums are the best candidates, and since they are just starting to show color, this would be a great weekend to plant them in your landscape.
I can’t talk about mums without including fall asters. From the hot pinks to the true blues, asters provide unbeatable fall color. These truly hardy perennials will indeed come back year after year. If you plant your bed with a mix of mums and asters, the asters will fill in if the mums don’t come back.
For the first time, you can now mix and match mums and asters for your quantity discount, $2 off each when you buy 3 or more and $4 off each when you buy 10 or more. This makes planting these two fall favorites very economical. – Bev