Landscaping is an important task for many homeowners, and it can even add as much as 14% to the resale value of your home. However, some plants require different types of care, and this is especially true for mums.
Technically speaking, there are 13 different classifications of mums, and they are often divided into two groups. The cutting variety and the garden variety. Garden mums do best outdoors and can survive in both pots and flower beds. They can also withstand colder weather.
Cutting mums are more decorative and are usually bred for their larger flowers. If this type is planted outside, it’s likely that it will only last for as long as the warmth does.
Both of these varieties can likely be found at your local greenhouse. Mums can function as perennial plants if planted in the spring. However, if planted later in the season, they will be less likely to survive the frost and will function more like annuals.
To prepare for long-lasting mums, the best thing to do is plant them early to give them the best chance of growing to be resilient.
Mums love full sunlight and they will need a lot of it to thrive. Optimally, they should get between six or more hours, but if that isn’t possible, the bare minimum is three hours of consistent sunlight.
The soil you plant them in should be well-drained, and you should give them plenty of water. New plants should never be allowed to wilt before watering, but more established plants can thrive with only watering once a week. Keep an eye on the wetness of the soil and add a water-soluble fertilizer to help encourage root growth. Root growth is essential to ensuring that they can survive winter. If you plant them in late fall so that they function as annuals, fertilizing won’t be necessary.
If you want your mums to last, prepare them for frost as soon as it’s in the forecast. Surround them with mulch bedding up to four inches for insulation. Make sure the mulch is evenly distributed. You should also pinch off any dead blooms, but try to leave the branches intact as much as possible. When pruning old growth, you should always wait until spring.
Once the weather warms, remove the mulch so that new shoots can grow.
Mums are a classical and beautiful addition to any home. However, they do require a bit of care and forethought. Keep these care tips in mind and you can get started enjoying your own mums this season.