The Q&A Archives: Chrysanthemum Care

Question: I have read that many of the Mums are truely not hardy. I want to dig up all of the Mum plants I invested in this year and store them to ensure that I can enjoy them next year. I had read here previously in another reply that they cannot dry out during storage. Can you give me specific instructions on how to properly store them?

Answer: Chrysanthemums can endure cold winter weather, but the roots will rot if the soil is soggy. It's not necessary to dig your 'mums if they're planted in beds with soil that is well-draining. If you decide to dig them, wait until they're completely dormant, dig, shake the soil from the roots, and place them in moistened peatmoss. Keep the medium barely moist all winter long so the roots don't dry out - but not so wet that everything is soggy, because that will lead to root rot. You run the risk of molds and mildews forming if there isn't adequate air circulation while the roots are in storage. Be sure to check them every few weeks, stir things around to ensure everythings as moist as it should be, and that no molds are growing.You may be better off leaving the plants in the ground, or simply potting them up and placing the pots near the foundation of your house, under overhanging eaves that will keep excess rainwater off the plants.

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