I'm absolutely the worst when it comes to this time of the year because I'm so totally head over heels in love with mums. Drives my husband nuts because my love for them is so much that we take a three-hour drive each fall just so that I can visit a greenhouse that literally turns a hill into a mum display.

I love mums and I find myself biting at the bit this time of year every year wanting to buy mums for my yard, but not wanting to buy them too soon that they die before I have a chance to enjoy them.

Through research, conversation, and visits to my mum hill place, I've learned a whole lot about the plant that I love, including which ones are the best to buy this early on in the fall season.

If you'll be mum shopping this weekend, try to buy ones that haven't "blossomed" all the way yet. Full bloomed mums are so pretty, but if you want your mums to last until Thanksgiving or even longer, pick up ones that aren't full yet.

A lot of people buy perennial mums, plant them, and then are upset when they don't come up the next year. Not always, but more often than not, the reason for this is because this late in the growing season, mums won't have time to establish roots before the winter freeze. If you want fall mums, your best bet is to plant mum seeds in the spring so that the flower has enough time to get situated and establish strong roots.

Mums love the cooler weather and don’t like hot weather so much, much like me. These 80-degree temps we've had the past several days aren't a friend of mums. When it's this hot, mums tend to wilt and turn brown, so try to wait until the temperatures have cooled off for the season before buying them.

Mums love sunshine, so if you live in a shaded place, mums might not be the plant for you and that's sad. If you live in a place that gets a bunch of sunshine, just remember that for as much as mums like the sun, they also love water which means you should water them regularly. Don't drown them, but keep their soil moist.  Another tip to keeping your mums beautiful is to dead-head them when the flower part starts to turn brown or wilt. If you cut that part off, you'll prevent deadness from spreading to healthy blooms.

If you've got mums that come up every year and they're looking a little dingy- did you remember to cut them back a little?  Mums need to be cut back a little bit from time to time to help them fill out even more in the fall, but don't do it now because it's too late- just memory bank that you should cut your mums back before July next year.

[via Helpful Gardner]