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Mom’s Mums


These chrysanthemums haven’t had the benefit of any fertilizers for all of their life. I guess I should have paid more attention. But every time I looked at them, I felt a bit sad and walked away. Why?

Over 36 years ago, these mums were in a hanging basket in my mother’s back porch. In 1982, when she died, I brought the hanging basket home to my house. I didn’t expect them to come back the next year and bloom, and when they did, the feeling was always bittersweet.

I took more care the next winter to cover them with a patio chair or some kind of loose plastic to keep the worst of the cold off them. It didn’t occur to me to add fertilizer even after I repotted them when they got too big for the hanging basket.

Now, after blooming for the 36th time since they came to live with me, I have finally come to my senses and have decided to give them some fertilizer next spring.

I am grateful for this plant’s tribute to my mother each year, and have been shamed into taking better care of it. Do you think it’s too late for me to get it together?

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

30 thoughts on “Mom’s Mums

  1. Don’t go all crazy with your fertilizer. Try a water soluble type fertilizer. Something like NPK .. 5-10-5 or maybe 11-35-15. You may find it marketed with a catchy name like super bloom.
    At any rate try fertilizing once a mouth at 1/2 the recommended mix rate.
    Avoid anything with a high nitrogen content. Excess nitrogen will produce a lush plant growth but with few spring or fall blooms. To much nitrogen can also (burn) damage your plants root system.
    Good Luck and Happy Gardening

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe you should leave them well enough alone?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How wonderful that you have these. 🙂 They are amazingly long-lived.
    Perhaps you should be cautious? I don’t have much of a green thumb so I may not know what I’m talking about. 🙂

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  4. Bittersweet – the umami of life 🙂
    Life is Good !

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  5. Wow, you are so lucky to have those!

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  6. Some plants are so forgiving! By all means, as others have suggested, tread carefully with this precious plant. But do give it some TLC this coming spring—and that would include a small dose of fertilizer!

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  7. Hi Anneli, Really what a good job you must have done to keep them alive for 36 years!!! I hope the current cold winter doesn’t hurt them !!! Leslie

    Leslie Mackay


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  8. It’s lovely to see that it is still blooming after 36 years. I love white chrysanthemums.

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  9. I have a “Mamaw” plant, Anneli. It was given to my mother when her mother passed away in 1987. Periodically I’ll give it a little fertilizer, but aside from watering, it’s doing great. Enjoy!

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  10. They are lovely and they seem to be doing well with the kind of care you’ve given them. I’m not sure I’d change a thing.

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  11. I have no green thumb, so the fact that you’ve kept these going for 36 years is amazing enough to me even without the fertilizer.

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  12. What a beautiful tribute to your mom! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bittersweet, indeed. But they seem to like being ‘left alone,’ in a sense. Just sitting there as a quiet reminder of your mom’s ever-loving presence. Yes, I’d be careful of overfertilizing something that is everlasting. For me? I’d just put a spoonful of Miracle Grow in the watering can and water. xo

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