The Q&A Archives: Canadian Pot Mum

Question: Hi, my mother, who was recently admitted to a nursing home, recieved a small Canadian Pot Mum for a gift. She asked me to plant it outside so she can see what it will look like when it blooms. It looks to me like it's a house plant. What should I do with it? If it dies, I'm in deep doo-doo.

PS. You guys/gals are great.

Answer: Boy, I'm a little nervous, don't want Mom coming after ME if it dies. However, we should be OK...lucky for us, you can put it outdoors. You and Mom are both right, it is a houseplant and a garden plant. "Pot Mums" are simply regular chrysanthemums that the nursery person has used chemicals on to dwarf the growth. The grower also manipulates light exposure to make the mum bloom when they want it to. You can replant the mum in the garden where it will revert to it's natural growing habit. Place it in a spot with good drainage that is brightly lit but not exposed to direct midday sun. Fertilize it with a 5-10-10 after transplanting outdoors. Keep it well watered until it establishes itself. (Be sure not to overwater though).

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