The flowers may have died off, but if it still has green leaves, plant it!

Hi all. Paul’s sister Donna here again. I did a bit of research on planting my mums. I have done it in the past, some survive and some do not, so I decided to check with some of the experts and here is what I have found out.

Chrysanthemums or mums, as most people refer to them, are long lasting, low maintenance flowers that come in many bright and eye appealing colors. We buy big pots of them to either plant in the ground or decorate our porches, walkways, garden tables and many other areas that may need color.

Difference between Hardy Mums and Florist Mums

if you are planning to keep your mums through the winter, there is one very important distinction to make as to the type of plant you have. The decorative mums widely available in September and October are usually winter-hardy varieties. With a bit of protection, these hardy mums will come back in your garden. But if your mums come from a florist, the plant has most likely been cultivated in a greenhouse, bred especially for looks rather than hardiness. These mums are difficult to grow outside and are best treated as annuals if planted outside.

Steps to take for planting:

  1. Water mums daily while they’re blooming.      The potted mums you buy in the fall dry out quickly since they are usually      top heavy with bloom and have a relatively small amount of roots. Keeping the soil moist will help plants stay healthy until you are ready to plant them. 2. Get mums out of their pots and into the ground soon after purchase. This gives the      roots the maximum amount of time to become established before a hard freeze. If you prefer to display mums in the pots they came in, plant them  promptly once their flower display is done.3. Don’t cut back the foliage of mums in the fall. The above-ground growth offers the plant an extra layer of winter protection. It also serves as a good  reminder in the spring to search for any healthy new root growth under the ground. If you feel you must trim off something, remove the spent flowers only, but leave the rest of the plant alone.

    4. Provide mums with a generous layer of a light mulch as soon as the ground freezes. Mounding pine needles, straw or evergreens around the plant will help prevent the roots      from heaving out of the ground during repeated freeze/thaw cycles. If  using leaves, be sure they are shredded so they won’t form a sodden mat over the plant.

    5.      Try to create a microclimate in which the plants will be protected from winter winds. A location on the south side of a building or      other sheltered spot is ideal. You can also protect potted mums by planting them in a cold frame.

    6.      Continue watering mums even after their blooms have faded to encourage new root growth. Keep in mind however, that mums demand good drainage. They will not survive the winter if planted in soggy soil.

Thank you for reading and visit next week. Paul and I will be writing about Christmas Trees!