How to Care For Mums

Chrysanthemums, commonly know as mums, are America's most popular flower. They are beautiful fall plants that come in the most exciting fall colors, such as gold, orange, purple, violet, white, and shades of red and pink. Although most people think they're annuals and replant them every year, mums are really perennials. Mums are easy to grow and care for. If cared for properly mums will give you years of pleasure. Here's a list of what you should know.

  • Planting Select a planting site with at least a half a day of sun. Dig a hole to accommodate the plant and put in organic compost as a fertilizer. Remove the mums from their pot, loosen the soil around the roots and place the plant in the hole. Water thoroughly.
  • Watering Keep your mums well watered. They should get at least 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of water a week.
  • Fertilizing Fertilize the plant once a month from spring until August. Any general purpose fertilizer is fine.
  • Pinching Pinching induces branching and helps the plant develop into a healthy bush. Whenever a new growth is approximately 6 inches (15 centimeters) high, pinch about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 centimeters) off. Begin pinching in the spring, and continue pinching until the end of July. You'll have a beautiful healthy plant when it starts blossoming in the fall.
  • Winter protection It's important to protect your plant so it survives the winter. Keep the soil moist by putting mulch around the bush before the frost season arrives and removing the mulch in the spring.[sources: Mr. Grow, Brenda's Blumen]