Caring for Mums

— Written By and last updated by Amanda Crompton

Chrysanthemums, or garden mums as they are often referred to, are a quintessential fall blooming flower for many seasoned and casual gardeners.

Although many people treat mums as annuals, disposing of their plants after the fall decoration season, mums are actually perennials in our area. If properly cared for, they can provide gorgeous seasonal color for years to come.

Early to mid-November, before the first frost, is a great time to plant your containerized mums in the ground. Before you plant them in the ground,  find a sunny, well-drained place in your garden. Mums perform best when given at least 6 hours of sun a day. Make sure you to give your newly planted mums plenty of water as they begin to establish. Aweekly addition of a water-soluble fertilizer during the bloom period is also recommended.

Plant your mums at the same depth as they are in their containers, and apply 2-3 inches of mulch around the plants. Organic mulch will help maintain adequate moisture, prevent weeds, add organic matter to your soil, and help protect the plants during cold winter weather. Pinch off dead flowers throughout the fall to keep plants looking their best.

To ensure beautiful blooms during the fall, when most people expect mums to be flowering, pinch off buds that form in the summer down to a full leaf.

You can do this until the end of July without compromising your fall blooms.

Fertilizer can be applied at the end of May and timed with your pinching back of the buds.

With these few tips in mind, enjoy your garden mums for years to come!