what is the proper care for mums - Knowledgebase Question

Avatar for carmen_farro
Question by carmen_farro
September 24, 2010
My mums are usually very pretty but they don't come back the next year. I pinch the spent blooms. Is this the wrong thing to do? I have two or had two in my flower bed watered the same and pinched spent blooms but one died and the other is still looking good what can I do to better my chances of having this plant return next year. My husband calls our house the plant cemetery.

Answer from NGA
September 24, 2010
There are two types of mums - garden mums which are perennial, and florist's mums which always seem to die in the winter no matter how well you care for them. Garden mums should be available in garden centers now and they can be planted in the ground. Choose a sunny site and amend the soil with compost prior to planting, just to ensure the soil drains well. You can prune off the spent blooms, along with some of the flower stem. The plants will die down by the first week of December. When they do, prune off all the dead stems and foliage and cover over the top of the plant with a few inches of mulch material (straw, pine needles, shredded leaves, etc.) In the spring new stems will sprout. You can either leave the plant alone and it will grow into a big clump, or you can dig the entire plant and divide it into many new plants. As long as each division has a stem with roots attached it will grow into a new plant. Hope this information helps!

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