With its captivating beauty and hardy nature, the Hardy Mum has become a symbol of autumn’s arrival.
What exactly is a “Hardy” mum?
Dendranthema as a genus is considered a true hardy perennial. A basic definition of hardiness is a plant’s ability to withstand cold winter temperatures. These perennials are hardy to at least zone 4, meaning they survive harsh winters to come back year after year. These plants are often low-maintenance in other regards, as well, tolerating drought, heat and neglect during the summer.
Hardy mums come in many autumn shades and the plant includes many layered daisy-like petals or tight button-like blooms that have a compact, bushy growth. They’re usually the last plant to bloom before frost, ushering your garden into the big sleep of winter with a last bang of color.
Mums grow best in full sun. They’re at their best when they get six to eight hours of direct light. Give them too little sunlight, and you’ll get a weak plant that produces few flowers.
Mums are happiest in rich, well-drained soil. Add compost or other organic material to your soil when you plant to give your mum the best shot at being a strong, healthy plant. Soil must be well-drained or your mums will rot.”
Eileen Anderson Product and Trial Garden Manager Green Leaf Plants
The Hardy Mum’s adaptability to cooler temperatures is one of its most remarkable traits. Unlike other flowers that fade as the weather turns colder, the Mum thrives in the crisp autumn air. Its ability to withstand chilly nights and even light frosts makes it a reliable and enduring choice for fall gardens.
What has changed?
Over time the breeding focus for most mums has shifted towards larger flowers and compact habits producing plants that are more decorative than hardy. This trend results in customers buying mums every year for their patios and pots, and once the flowers die the plant gets thrown into the garbage.
Dendranthema Igloo Series
The Dendranthema Igloo series has hundreds of blooms. The plants are called igloos due to their large ball shape and winter hardiness. They are long–blooming and sun–loving from summer to autumn.
The Igloo mum series is characterized by a uniform bloom time, compact habits, disease resistance, Unique flower colors, all with unbeatable cold hardiness! Customers who plant igloo mums in the ground, can enjoy the autumn colors year after year.
The Igloo series is trialed in Minnesota for a USDA zone 4 hardiness rating. Double flowers come in the full range of colors from pure whites, bright yellows, warm oranges, and reds, including some unique flower forms.”
Laura Wagner Senior Product Manager Must Have Perennials
Their domed habit creates a mound of 2 feet tall by 2.5 feet wide. These tidy deer resistant and butterfly attracting perennials will begin to bloom in September the first year, then August in subsequent years. The flowers last well into frost.