How to Care for Your Fall Mums

Garden mums have densely massed, 1-to- 2-foot-diameter clusters of blooms. Bloom types include cushions, daisies, pompons (ball), buttons, spiders and spoon petaled.  Garden mums typically attain heights from 7 to 24 inches. Stems are leafy and usually branched near the top, with multiple flower clusters at the end of each.  Garden mums can flower for several weeks, usually in the fall, but they can also flower in the spring, depending on variety and temperate zone.  Garden mum colors include white, cream, red, brown, bronze, butterscotch, red-orange, orange, yellow, pink, lavender, purple and red-violet, as well as bicolors.

Outdoor and Consumer Care

LIGHT: These plants can tolerate and prefer full sun (at least half a day).

WATER: Never allow plants to wilt. Plants in containers should be watered every other day. Newly planted mums should be watered daily during the first week, then two or three times per week. Established plants in the ground should be fine with natural rainfall, but in droughts, supplemental watering will be needed.

GROWING MEDIA: These plants require well drained soils amended with organic matter.   In sandy soils, a 3- to 4-inch layer of peat  or compost should be worked into the top 6 inches of soil.

GROOMING: From late spring through mid-August, pinch or snip off the top 2-3 inches  of budless stems every time new growth reaches 6 inches. Stop pinching around mid-July in the North and the last week of
July in the South. Cut off blooms when they die, leaving the foliated stems. In cold climes, when the stems freeze and turn black, cut them back nearly to the soil level.  In warmer climes, prune old growth
in late winter (early to mid-March).

REBLOOMING: Garden mums are perennial plants, so, with the exception of those planted in extremely cold climates, they should reflower every year—generally in the fall but, in temperate regions, sometimes
in the spring, too. These plants will flower only when nights are long; night length triggers flowering.

Have more questions about caring for your Fall Mums?  Ask us in the comment box below!


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