It’s hard to find a more popular plant for fall decorating than flowering mums – but wouldn’t it be great if you could keep them blooming just a bit longer throughout the Autumn season?
Mums, or “Chrysanthumums” as officially known, can certainly be pricey to purchase. And unfortunately, they seem to be getting more and more expensive as each year passes.
With that in mind, getting the most “bloom” for your buck is in the best interest of every gardener. So here is a look at 3 simple secrets for keeping your mums and their beautiful blooms around as long as possible this fall.
3 Simple Secrets To Keep Mums Blooming Longer
Buy Smart At The Start
Getting the most from your mum plants starts at the checkout begins right at the time of purchase.
Unfortunately, mums that are already showing their blooms are not the best choice for bringing home. In fact, if they are in full flowering mode, they most likely have less two weeks or less of prime color left.
Now that might be just the ticket if you need them for an instant display. But if you want your mums to be around for a month or longer, you need to pass on those plants.
Even partial blooming mums in stores should be avoided if at all possible. Instead, look for plants that are full of buds but have not yet flowered. And the tighter the bud – the better!
Mums at this stage will not only last longer, they can be managed better by the next two secrets to extend their bloom period to the fullest.
And don’t forget, when purchasing your mums, look for hardy mums that can be planted to enjoy year after year! (See: How To Overwinter Mums)
Now that you have chosen a mum with lasting power, success all comes down to giving it the best care possible. And that means keeping it watered well, and with the right method.
The less humid and dry air of Autumn can quickly dry the soil in potted plants. Especially a plant that is using additional moisture to produce blooms.
Mums require a consistent supply of water to keep their bloom cycle as long as possible. If they are allowed to dry out for extended periods by infrequent and inconsistent watering, it will greatly reduce their overall bloom cycle.
Check the soil daily with the tip of your fingertips. If the soil is dry an inch or so down, it’s time to water. Most potted mums will require water at least once a day, even more if it is exceptionally hot.
How You Water Makes A Big Difference!
As crazy as it sounds, how you water your mums also plays a huge role in how long the blooms will last too. And it all starts by never watering your mums from the top down.
When the blooms of mums become saturated with water, it weakens and fades them quickly. In fact, it can cut a bloom’s life span in half!
Instead, water around the edges of pots and containers, or below the bloom line when watering with a hose. The important part is to keep the blooms from becoming saturated.
Location, Location, Location.
Where you display your mums will also impact their blooming life span. Mums can certainly handle full sun, but all of that heat and light greatly reduce their overall bloom cycle time.
Choosing partial to mostly shady locations will make a big difference in how long your blooms stay strong. In fact, it can extend their healthy look by as much as a full two weeks or more!
Although the plants need sun to develop buds, mums will still unfurl their blooms in indirect light.
That is why porches, patios and even underneath the canopy of bushes and trees are all excellent choices. Not only do they keep the sun’s rays at bay, but they also protect the mums from hard rains as well.
And speaking of fall displays, don’t forget about adding some flowering kale and cabbage plants to the mix too! They are a great addition to fall displays, and their color can last well into December! (See – Flowering Kale & Cabbage – The Perfect Autumn Plant!)
So here is to getting the most from your mums this fall – and to keeping them blooming longer than ever! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.
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