How to Plant Mums

Опубликовал Admin
2-10-2016, 05:35
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Chrysanthemums, or simply mums, are a species of perennial flowering plants that bloom in response to the shorter days and longer nights experienced in the Northern Hemisphere in autumn. Mums produce hearty blooms that come in a variety of shapes and colors and last for several weeks. Their dense canopy creates a thick blanket of blooms perfect for planting in gardens, landscape beds or large pots. Read the article below to learn how to plant and care for mums.

Get Ready for Planting

  1. Plan to plant mums in the spring. Mums brighten the front of garden centers and grocery stores starting in the early fall, but the best time to plant them is actually in spring. Planting them in the spring gives them time to get acclimated to the soil, put down strong roots, and prepare to bloom in the fall.
    • You can still buy mums and plant them in the fall, when they're already in bloom, but since they'll use all of their energy blooming instead of putting down roots, they're not likely to survive the winter.
    • Get ready to plant mums after the last frost, when the ground has completely thawed.
    • If you live in a place with a mild winter, your mums may survive even if you plant them in the fall.
  2. Decide what variety of mum to plant. There are so many varieties of mums that it can be hard to figure out which kind to buy. It's fine to pick your favorite shape and color (they come in every shade but blue), but it doesn't hurt to know a little more about your options.
    • Garden mums are hardy mums that can last for several years if you plant them at the correct time of year and care for them properly. They produce underground "stolens" that help them live through the winter and come back the next year.
    • Florist mums are less hardy than garden mums. They are usually potted or planted in a garden bed with the intention of removing them once their blossoms are gone. They come in an amazing variety of colors and shapes, but unfortunately they won't live over the winter, no matter how well you take care of them. Florist mums include the following varieties:
      • Pompom mums, one of the most common varieties, are shaped like little balls.
      • Anemone mums have either one or two rows of petals around a center.
      • Daisy mums have a row of petals around a center, like daisies do.
      • Spider mums, which are less common, have long, droopy petals.
  3. Decide where to plant the mums. Mums are hardy plants, but they do best in full sunlight. If you don't have a spot with full sunlight, pick one that gets full sun for at least part of the day.
    • Mums can be planted directly in the ground or in pots, as long as they have well-drained soil.
    • When you choose a place, keep in mind that the mums only bloom during the fall for several weeks. During the winter, they are dry and brown, and in the spring and summer they are nondescript and green. For this reason, you may want to plant them near plants that flourish in the spring and summer, so that when those flowers die, the mums will shine.
    • Mums can be planted close together and are ideal for creating color patterns. Choose one color and make a large plot of mums, alternate colors, or make a mum rainbow.
    • If you're planting garden mums, make sure you pick a spot that's healthy for the plant. If you're planting florist mums, the location isn't as important, since you'll be discarding them after their blooming season.

Plant the Mums

  1. Till and compost the mum bed. Use a garden rake to loosen the soil and rake in some compost to a depth of about 8 inches (20.3 cm).
    • If you have clay-heavy soil, add more compost and make sure it is thoroughly loose, so the mums will be able to root.
    • If you're planting the mums in a pot, fill it with several inches of potting soil mixed with compost.
  2. Dig holes for the mums. Pull the mums from the plastic container they came in and set them where you plan to plant them. Dig holes that are 1 inch (2.5 cm) deeper than the length of the roots, about 8 to 10 inches (20.3 to 25.4 cm). This will vary depending on the size of your mum plant.
    • Florist mum plants don't usually grow much larger than the size they are when you buy them. You can plant them close enough together that their leaves are touching, but make sure their roots have a few inches of space, so the plants don't have to compete with each other for nutrients.
    • Garden mum plants will grow much larger over the years, so they should be planted further apart.
    • Loosen the soil around the edges of the root ball and fan the roots gently prior to planting. The top of the root ball should be even with the top of the soil.
  3. Plant the mums. Set the mums into the holes. Place the composted soil over the top of the root system and lightly tamp it down. If you're planting mums in pots, set the mums on top of the layer of soil, then cover them with more soil on top. Lightly tamp down the soil to set the plant in place.

Care for the Mums

  1. Water newly planted mums thoroughly. Don't completely drench them, but they should never get the chance to wilt.
    • Water mums in the morning, so they have time to dry during the day. Watering at night encourages disease.
    • Avoid watering them when the sun is at its hottest and brightest.
  2. Fertilize the mums. If you planted your mums in the spring, they should be fertilized once a month until they bloom in the fall. Florist mums planted in the fall do not need to be fertilized.
  3. Pinch the mums. Pinching off about half of the new growth on mums as they start to grow in the spring helps the plant grow into a healthy rounded shape.
    • When you see the mums begin to bud, pinch off about half of the new growth, including some stems with leaves and some stems with buds. Continue pinching every few weeks until mid-summer.
    • Florist mums that you buy in bloom have already been pinched.
  4. Overwinter the mums. Florist mums can't be overwintered, but if you planted garden mums, there are a few things you need to do to help them survive the cold.
    • Place mulch made out of straw or hardwood around the plants by 3 or 4 inches (7.6 or 10.2 cm), to protect their roots.
    • Pinch off the dead flowers.
    • Don't prune the stems. Mums with stems left intact have a better chance of surviving the winter.


  • Plant mums next to a building or shrub to offer protection from strong winds.
  • Mums flower when they receive longer hours of darkness than light, so do not plant mums directly beneath any type of light that may artificially lengthen daylight hours.

Things You'll Need

  • Chrysanthemums
  • Potting Soil
  • Compost
  • Small garden shovel
  • Water
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