Welcome Fall with your Mum

Sep 11, 2023

Chrysanthemums are a fall staple. They pair perfectly with rocking chairs on the front porch, pumpkin decorations, and cool nights on the farm. As fall rolls around next week, use mums as a reliable source of color when the remaining summer flowers begin to fade.
To enjoy your flower’s blooms for the longest time, consider buying mums right now, even if they are not yet in full bloom. Look for a pot that is loaded with flower buds, since the more blooms there are, the bigger and fuller your mums will be. They will soon pop open to reveal the characteristic bursts of yellow, orange, white, red, and pink!
If you hope to keep your mums for longer than just one season, plan to add them to your garden mix. The first question you may ask is what season the best time is to plant mums. For hardy, full flowers that bloom in the fall and can withstand the winter, you should plant mums in the spring. This will allow the root systems to become established before winter and improve the plant’s chances of reblooming the following year.
Mums thrive in sunny conditions where they can get at least six hours of light per day. Those that do not get enough sunlight will grow tall and leggy and produce fewer, smaller flowers. Newly planted mums should be watered thoroughly to prevent them from wilting, while established mums should be given about an inch of water per week.
After the first, hard frost, you should begin to prepare your mums for winter. Mulch up to four inches deep around the plants. Although you should wait to prune old stems until spring, go ahead and pinch off the dead blooms to clean up the plant. Mums may not survive the winter if soil drainage is poor. To increase drainage, add compost and mix it into the soil eight to 12 inches deep or plant your mums in a raised garden bed that drains well.
Many mums will develop new growths once again at the base of the plant in the early spring. Rake away the mulch to allow these new shoots to pop up, and then prune the old, dead growth. However, if you do not see anything growing at the base of the plant, this is a sign that the mum did not survive the winter and can be dug out of the garden.
Our Co-op’s are stocked with supplies for fall. Visit us for seed and gardening equipment to prepare your garden and keep your perennials coming back year after year. Several of our store locations will even sell potted mums this fall, so call ahead to ask about our selection. Find the nearest location here.
For more content like this, check out the latest issue of The Cooperator.

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