Caring for mums really isn't all that difficult - and you can keep them blooming all season long. In this article, we’ll discuss how to care for them both indoors and outdoors. Regardless of where you plant your mums, choose those with lots of buds that haven't yet bloomed. This will help you enjoy the flowers longer.
How to care for indoor mums
Most people aren't aware of the fact that mums are usually root bound when you purchase them. This means keeping your mums healthy and vibrant requires a larger pot. Be sure to use a quality potting soil mix, placing a layer in the bottom before breaking up roots and putting your mum in the new pot. Once you've re-potted your mums all you need to do is:
- Place your mums in a sunny area in your home. Find a window that allows lots of sun in and be sure it gets at least four hours a day of direct sunlight.
- Keep the soil moist. You don't want to over-water your mums, however the worst thing that can happen is for them to get too dry. If this does happen, you can place the pot in a container or bucket with two or three inches of water in it – so the plant can absorb the water. When you water your mums, be sure to water at the base of the plant just at the top of the soil.
- Deadhead often for lasting blooms. Take off wilted blooms and dead stems/leaves not only makes your mums look more beautiful, it helps your plant to bloom longer as you don't have dead blooms and stems competing for the water and nutrients the newer buds and blooms need to flourish.
- Once your mums stop blooming, you can place them in the ground outdoors once the weather starts to warm. Mums will only bloom once inside but keeping it green until you transplant it outdoors will allow you to enjoy it next season.
Caring for outdoor mums
Much like indoor mums, planting outdoors or in the garden requires abundant sunlight. Be sure to plant your mums in well-draining soil; organic soil or compost will produce vigorous, healthy mums. Other essentials in caring for mums planted outdoors include:
- Give mums plenty of space. It's wise to plant your mums about 18 inches from other plants so their roots have room to expand.
- Water, but not too much. Water beneath the foliage at soil level, as watering the blooms and leaves can result in fungi. After the first week when you'll want to water frequently, ensure mums get an inch of water per week.
- Deadhead. As mentioned above, removing wilted blooms and dead stems or leaves helps your mums bloom for an extended time.
- In colder climates your mums may need to be mulched using leaves, wood chips, or straw. Mulch should be about three or four inches high and surround the entire base of your mums.
- If frost gets your mums, don't fret. Just prune them back to the point there's only about an inch of stems above the ground, and leave the mulch remaining around the plant. Come spring, your mums will regenerate.
Prevent Weeds Near Your Mums
Your mums have an enemy – weeds. Weeds will compete with your mums for space, sun, water, and nutrients. Protect them with proactive weed control, such as using a weed barrier, mulch, and compost. Learn more by visiting our article on How to Kill Weeds in Flower Beds.