“Mums” is an alias for “Chrysanthemum.” “How long do mums last” is one very popular question that comes up around fall. You know that time of the year when the gardens are full of attractive flowering pots bearing mums.
It is difficult to place a timeframe to the question, after chrysanthemum flowering. The reason is that several factors affect the lifespan of these beautiful flowers. How long do mums last outdoors or indoors? Keep reading this post to find out.
How long do potted mums last?
So you just bought a potted chrysanthemum plant and you are wondering if it would keep blooming all through the fall. First of all, we should congratulate you on your purchase because this flower is such a beauty.
The first thing that you should note is that there are two classes of mums. These classes are “floral mums” and “garden mums.” Gardeners breed these categories with different intentions in mind so they have two different lifespans.
Gardeners plant garden mums in the spring and they usually bloom all through the summer and autumn. Blooming through this period means that they have sufficient time to grow their roots. As a result, they can last up to four years when they are well taken care of.
On the other hand, gardeners plant flower mums in the fall. Planting them at this period means that the flowers spend all of their energy trying to bloom. While this results in certain spectacular blooms, it affects their ability to produce roots efficiently. This is the reason they only last through the winter.
Do mums come back every year?
Another question that is common is do mums come back every year? The reason for this question is that winter seems to affect them a lot.
Because of this, many gardeners treat their mums as annuals when they can the perennials if well taken care of. All you need to know is some winter care for your mums after they bloom and you’d have them coming back several years over.
The issue at this point is what to do with it after blooming when winter comes. We will share a few tips in this section.
Tip 1: Plant in well-draining soil
You take the first step to preparing your mums for winter while planting them. Ensure that you plant them in “well-draining soil.” Note that cold by itself doesn’t kill these plants but the ice that may form around the roots that kills them. Such ice forms when the soil collects water and the water freezes over during winter.
Tip 2: Sheltered location
Plant your mums in a sheltered location. Doing this protects them from the winter winds that reduces their chance of surviving through the winter season.
Choose a part of your garden that wouldn’t expose the flowers to the winter winds directly. You make even plant a few windbreakers to reduce the intensity of the winds.
Tip 3: Insulate your mums in the fall
This is one of the most important things that you must do if you want your mums to return after the current year. You need to insulate them during the fall.
Note that the plant’s leaves will die and become brown, an effect of hard frosts hitting your area. Once you notice the dead foliage, cut them off.
Also, cut the stems of the plant to between three and four inches above the ground. When you leave the stems this way, you are assured of a full plant by the next year.
Tip 4: Heavy layer of mulch
You should apply mulch over the plants once you notice that the ground is frozen. Mulch can be leaves or straw and it helps to insulate the ground.
The idea is to stop the ground from thawing repeatedly during the warm spells that your area may experience during winter. Repeated freezing and thawing of the soil does more harm to the plant. It is better that it stays frozen all through winter.
How do you keep mums alive all year?
Chrysanthemum flowering isn’t a problem, plant them right and they will flower. What to do with potted mums after blooming is what determines if they will stay alive all year or not. The good news is that caring for mums is not so difficult. We will show you how to care for outdoor and indoor mums in this section.
Caring for outdoor mums
We have answered the question, “how long do mums last outdoors” earlier in this post. As we mentioned above, one factor that determines their lifespan is “care.” These plants need abundant sunlight, well-draining soil, and compost or organic soil. Below are a few things that you can do to keep your outdoor mums alive all year:
- Sufficient spacing. Ensure that you have about eighteen inches between plants to give room for root expansion.
- Adequate water. While you should water the plants, don’t do it in excess. Don’t water the leaves and blooms to avoid the growth of fungi. Instead, water just beneath the foliage. Mumu should get an average of one inch of water weekly.
- If you reside in cold climates, then you should mulch your mums during winter. Make use of wood chips, straw, or leaves and the mulch should rise to between three and four inches high.
- Prune dead leaves as we have described above to protect your mums during winter.
Caring for indoor Mums
Just like their outdoor counterparts, indoor mums thrive on sufficient sunlight. Also, they need large pots to allow their roots to spread properly. Here are a few tips to keep them alive all year long:
- Place the plant where they have access to sufficient sunlight. They should get a minimum of four hours of sunlight each day.
- Ensure that the soil is moist. Don’t overwater the plants but provide just enough water so that the soil doesn’t go dry.
- When you notice that they are no longer blooming and the weather is warm, place them outdoors for a while.
That’s it for the questions about mums If you have any further questions, you can drop them in the comments section. Caring for your it with the instructions above will keep them coming back several years over.