To grow healthy chrysanthemums, plant them in a location that receives full morning sun, use well-draining soil and pinch the ends back regularly. Plant large chrysanthemums against a wall, or attach them to stakes to give added support and prevent limbs from breaking. These supports can also act as a wind block.
Chrysanthemums require a bright location that receives full sun either in the morning or afternoon. Too much shade produces leggy instead of bushy plants and weaker limbs. The planting site needs to have well-draining soil with a 6.5 pH. Before planting the mums, work a generous amount of compost or peat to the soil to aid in draining and add nutrients. Place the plants between 18 and 24 inches apart to give them enough room to grow and provide air circulation between the plants, the lack of which can lead to fungal infestations and rot.
After planting the mums in the spring, add a time-release fertilizer. Repeat this process every year. As the plant grows, pinch back the tips of the limbs to delay flowering and encourage the plant to become bushy. This also helps to produce more brilliant flowering in the fall. Before winter, place a thick layer of mulch over the plants to protect the roots from the cold.