Updated: Feb 23
The first day of fall is just weeks away and here at Bath Garden Center & Nursery we are ready! Besides autumn décor and fun spooky gifts, we are starting to move the Chrysanthemums, or Fall Mums, from our greenhouse where we lovingly care for them all summer, to the shelves for our customers to decorate with for the season. Mums add beautiful colors to any fall décor. Whether you are using them for an annual display or perennial planting, your choice of plant and the way you care for them will make a difference in the quality and number of blooms you will get. Here are some tips for buying and caring for mums to enjoy the full bounty of this lovely flowering plant.
When To Buy Mums
Our opinion is that the best time to buy fall mums is NOW, before they are in full bloom! This way, you can enjoy them for a longer period of time. However, the answer to this basic question can depend on when you want your flowers. If you want immediate blooms, go ahead and buy a plant in full bloom. If you want them to reach their peak in the days or weeks after you purchase your plant, choose one that is loaded with flower buds. Another key factor in timing the blooming of mums is to remember that they are a cool weather flower. They can continue to bloom for up to a month in cool temperatures but for only a few days if it is hot out, so keep this in mind as you plan your purchase. If you time your purchase just right you can get maximum blooms and enjoy them for weeks.
Think Outside of the Pot
Of course you can keep your mums in the pot in which you bought them, but you can also plant as a permanent addition to your flower beds. It is important to get your plant in the ground, and preferably established before the first frost. Here in Fort Collins, the average first frost occurs around October 2nd. You should plant them in a sunny place and in well-draining soil that should be kept moist. Mums are one of the flowers that benefits from timely deadheading, so make sure to visit your plant often and remove dead flowers.
Caring For Planted Mums for a Fall Bloom
When you have an established mum plant in your flower bed and want them to have a thick layer of blossoms for the fall, there is a secret: well-timed pinching. As buds start popping out through the summer months, just pinch them off. The result will be more branching and more flowers. To keep the blooms coming year after year there is another trick to remember. As the season comes to an end, leave the foliage to wither in place over the winter and clean it up as part of spring cleaning. Plants allowed to wither in place have stronger roots and come back more vibrantly in the spring. These little secrets will have people amazed at your fall mum blooms! If you have any other questions about mums or are ready to add some autumn colors to your seasonal décor, stop by Bath Garden and Nursery today. We have over forty colors so you can find the exact one to make your seasonal décor perfect!
Caring for Potted Mums
Mums like consistent weather conditions. They will not thrive in conditions that experience vast changes in temperature, and like we said above, they are a cold weather flower, so they will grow the best in consistently chilly temperatures. While they don't love the head, mums do best outside in full sun. Use your hand to check the soil every day. If the top inch of the soil is dry, water your mums and let the water drain out the bottom of the pot. If you have a saucer that catches the drained water, make sure to dump the excess water out. Prune off dead flowers to encourage more blooms. There you have it! Easy, vibrant color!
Have questions? Let us know! We are always happy to help in any way we can!