CARING FOR MUMS: EASY GARDENING TIPS FOR MAXIMIZED FALL COLOR

A pop of color. It’s what gives flavor to our landscapes in the fall. Mums–formally known as chrysanthemums–add much-needed color to our porches, decks and yards after our bright summer annuals have faded.

Mums are a fall favorite. Get the most bloom for your buck with these gardening tips:

Selecting
Mums bloom for about a month. When selecting plants, choose those that still have plenty of buds that haven’t opened yet to maximize the color you get to enjoy in your yard.

Planting
Mums love sun. While they can survive in a partially sunny area of the yard, they may grow leggy reaching for light if they aren’t getting enough sun and have fewer buds and blooms than those that get full sun.
Mums actually do best if planted in the spring so that they can establish their root systems prior to blooming. However, most mums are purchased in the fall since it’s the time when they are in full color. Just be sure to plant yours prior to the first hard frost.

Watering
Whether your mums are planted within the landscape or in container gardens, be sure that the soil is well-drained. Water every day when it’s dry. Keep the soil moist but not wet.

Deadheading
Remove or deadhead browned flowers by pinching or cutting them off above the leaves on the stem. Some say pinching may damage the stem so cutting the dead flowers may be your best bet.

Fertilizing
Chances are you just purchased your mums. And in this case, they have plenty of fertilizer in the soil already. When your mums grow back in the spring, feed them monthly until August.

Overwintering
Many people purchase new mums each year, but did you know that mums come back each year if overwintered properly? Once your blooms have all browned along with the stems, allow them to go through several hard frosts as they are. Even if they aren’t too pretty on the eyes! Your mums will come back larger next season if you wait until spring to remove the browned portions of the plants. But you can always cut them back after a few frosts if this is your preference and cover them with about three inches of mulch.

Pinching Back
Come spring, you’ll begin to see green shoots peeping from the mulch. Pinch back the new growth until mid-July to increase the number of side shoots and maximize blooms.

Want to learn more about gardening with confidence? Join renowned author and garden expert, Helen Yoest, at Garden Supply Company this Friday, October 31 at 10am. Learn more.