Garden mums (Chrysanthemum) are readily available in a wide range of colors for adding Fall season color to your garden or your front porch. Display beautiful mums to help celebrate the changing of seasons.
Care of Mums
Mums are generally considered low maintenance plants.
To Re-Pot or Not
Our fall mums are grown onsite at Reseda Nursery. Many of our customers choose to leave their mums in the original pots. Be sure to check soil moisture daily and water mums when the top 1 inch of soil begins to dry.
Re-potting your mum can increase its longevity by expanding room for the plants roots. To re-pot, choose a container that is a little bigger than the original container. Fill the bottom of the new pot with a good quality potting soil. We highly recommend Baccto Lite. Break up any roots you can, but do not damage the roots.
When you put the plant in the new pot, the surface of the soil should be an inch below the lip of the new pot. Make sure you have soil, not air surrounding the roots. Tamp down soil gently. Give the pot a good watering until it flows out of the bottom of the pot.
When their leaves are drooping, which can happen ridiculously quickly, it is an indicator of a watering issue. This is the leading cause of premature mum deaths.
If the weather has been hot for a period of time, test the soil by sticking your finger, up to the second knuckle into the soil to see if it feels dry. If it is dry, water your mum. The hotter and drier the weather, the more you will need to water. On the other hand, you can also over water your mum. If the leaves of your mum are drooping and the soil is wet when sticking your finger in the soil, then you are over watering it. During periods of rainy or cool weather, you will want to cut back to every other day when watering your mum, especially if the soil feels wet. Make sure the spout of watering tool is not placed over the blooms. Water towards the roots.
Planting Fall Mums
When planting mums in the fall, it is best to plant them before they start flowering in early September. Planting them before or during bud stage ensures that their energy is not completely going to their flowers yet. Adding a thick layer of mulch can help maintain an even soil temperature throughout winter by providing extra plant protection. Leave the foliage on the plants until spring. Do not prune them back after frost has turned them brown. Research reveals that allowing it to die back naturally over the winter produces a stronger plant. Simply clean up the dead stems and foliage in the spring.
It is important to provide nitrogen and potassium to mums during their vegetative phase. Feed the plants before flower buds form to promote healthy roots, bud development and a vigorous plant. Start a feeding cycle in April or May. You can get a time-released fertilizer such as Osmocote (14-14-14), which feeds the plants for about three months. With this fertilizer, you might only need to feed the plants once. The general rule of thumb is to begin after all danger of frost has passed. That way any new growth forced by the nutrients will not be in danger of damage from icy weather.
Pruning for Fall Blooms
Mums sprout in early spring and then sometimes start to grow in a bush-like fashion. But, depending on weather and the environment, if left to grow naturally without any pinching or pruning, some varieties will start blooming in the summer and grow quite tall and leggy. This being said, you don’t have to pinch or prune mums if you don’t mind them blooming during the summer months.
If you want fall flowers on your mums, you will need to trim the plants back periodically throughout the summer. Start when the plants are about 4 to 5 inches tall and repeat every 2 to 3 weeks until about mid-July. This will cause the plant to get stocky and bushier, and by late summer, it should be covered with flower buds.
Do not prune mums after they have finished blooming in the fall. Leave all dead foliage and stems on for the winter.
Botanical Name: Chrysanthemum
Common Name: Garden mums, garden chrysanthemums, fall mums, hardy mums
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial flower
Mature Size: 4 to 36 inches tall, 12 to 36 inches wide; size varies depending on variety.
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Type: Humus, fertile soil that is moist but well-drained
Soil pH: 6.5 to 6.7
Bloom Time: Late August to frost
Flower Color: Various shades of yellow, white, red, orange, purple, and bi-colors
Hardiness Zones: 3 to 9
Native Area: Native to Asia and northeast Europe; most species come from eastern Asia.