What do I do with Mums after the Fall?
Chrysanthemum, otherwise known as mums are one of the most popular flowers for landscape decor as well as autumn/fall plantings. These hardy, usually brightly colored perennial plants are confused by most people as annuals. As a result, mums are mostly purchased in September and October and shortly thereafter, they would be disposed of. Being a perennial, implies that with adequate maintenance it can come back year after year. Consequently, they could be planted as early as the spring and with some amount of care, would benefit throughout the year including after the conclusion of the blooming period in Fall. The following are processes that should be considered after the Fall to keep your mum in a healthy state:
- Immediately after Fall, ensure that you put fertilizer application and regular irrigation on hold. Occasional irrigation can only be deemed necessary during periods of extended dry weather or if the mums are planted in an area that is shielded from rainfall.
- As soon as the flowers finish blooming, cut off or detach individual flowers to a larger stem for a neater appearance.
- Shortly after Fall or in late winter, when the mum has finished blooming, ensure you cut the plant’s stem to 6 to 8 inches above ground level. However, if you find the dead stems of winter valuable to wildlife or of interest, you may choose to leave the stems intact until the spring growth develops. During the growing season, if the mum is being bothered by pests or fungi, immediately cut the plant back after flowering so as to avoid overwintering of pathogens on the mum.
- If the mums experienced pest or disease during the growing season, ensure that the mulch is removed and replaced. And if not, surround the mum with just a mulch layer that is not more than a few inches thick. Mums’ stems or crowns are more likely to rot as wet winter weather combined with excessive mulch tends to trap moisture against them.
- Ensure the removal and disposal of all portions of the plant that have been trimmed due to diseases from the mum plant as well as other vegetation so as to prevent a spread of the diseases.
So, what do I do with Mums after the Fall? We would recommend trying to preserve your mums if your climate allows and get more enjoyment out of the them. Get your money’s worth and year round beauty.
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