Chrysanthemums are gorgeous flowers that thrive in the fall. There are many different varieties of mums that differ in shape and size. Mums also come in almost every color, perfect for creating a beautiful fall landscape or garden. If taken care of properly, hardy mums may come back year after year. There are also Dendranthema, which are perennial mums. These tend to have a wilder structure and also bloom in the fall.
Mums can be planted in the spring or in the early fall. Springtime gives them time to grow strong, healthy roots so that they can last through winter while also providing colorful blooms in the fall. If planted in the fall, it is important to plant them in early fall, weeks before any frost may occur.
Mums thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. If the soil is not well-drained or collects water, your mums may die. However, it is important to water them frequently, especially in full sun with little rain or if the plants are wilting. Water the base of the plant rather than the foliage to get the best results.
If planning to overwinter your mums, make sure to fertilize them to promote strong root growth. Providing your mums with slow-release fertilizer in the spring can greatly help their roots. It’s crucial to not apply any more fertilizer after mid-August otherwise the plants will try to continue growing rather than getting ready for dormancy in the winter.
Overwintering hardy mums can possibly be done outdoors. Heavy mulching is important to do if keeping your mums outside. The mulch can help prevent the roots from undergoing repeated freezing and thawing cycles throughout the winter, which is more damaging than if the plant remains frozen. This mulch can consist of straw, leaves, or even grass clippings. Ensure to trim off any withered or dead stems and cover them with mulch following the first frost.
Planting in the Spring
If you brought your mums indoors for the winter, you can re-plant them back into your gardens once the soil warms up and there is no threat of freezing. It will help to add compost along with fertilizing the soil to help them establish their roots back into the ground. Once planted, cut the stems and foliage back to right above the soil level to help encourage new growth.
After the first winter, mums planted directly into a landscape will not need to be brought indoors again. Their roots should be firmly established in the soil, and they are able to survive through the winter. Keeping their foliage intact during following winters is advisable, to add protection to the mums from the cold and harsh winds of the winter season. You should still add mulch to add more protection to the plants. Come spring, you can cut back the foliage to help new growth. Pinch back mums until around July 10th for a bushier plant.
Come visit us at 229 Seymour Rd. in Woodbridge, Connecticut. Our staff is very knowledgeable and we can assist in helping you with your garden and planting needs!