Mums overwintering - Knowledgebase Question

Oxford, MI
Question by poobelly
December 6, 1997
I live in Michigan (zone 5) and received some Lynn garden mums from my church which they were throwing out. I planted them, trimmed them to 3", mulched them heavy with bark and straw. Will they survive the winter or did I waste my time? If I've done something wrong or you have a better solution please tell me.


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Answer from NGA
December 6, 1997

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No, I don't think you wasted your time. Although many mums are labeled "hardy"...many don't make it through the winter...but some do!

Often, when mums don't make it through the winter it's because they have poor drainage.Although mums require lots of moisture during the growing season, they do NOT appreciate soggy, clay soil in the winter. (Be sure to work in some compost when you plant them next time. They'll appreciate it!)

To prevent alternate freezing and thawing, try covering them with straw or evergreen boughs. Even an inverted basket may prove helpful. Another thing that can be done is to dig up the root balls and store them under mulch in a cold frame for the winter.

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