The Q&A Archives: Growing Mums

Question: What is the best way to take care of planted mums so that they will continue to grow and bloom each year?

Answer: Assuming you have planted a variety that is winter hardy, your mums should do well with care similar to that for most perennials. They need a spot in full sun with a rich, moist yet well drained soil. Good drainage is particularly important in the winter. Next, divide them every year or two in order to keep the plants vigorous. During the early spring and up until about mid-summer, pinch them back repeatedly to encourage branching. Make sure they are watered during dry spells and maintain a summer mulch to help keept he soil moist and cool. After they bloom, trim them back to about four inches and mulch around but not over the crowns. In the spring, top dress with compost and/or a complete fertilizer according to the label instructions. Finally, in my experience, small mums planted in the spring so they have plenty of time to become established tend to winter over more consistently than the larger plants set out in the fall.

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