During the Fall season, we all go crazy for potted mums, don’t we?! Chrysanthemums are some of the prettiest Fall perennials around, so it’s no wonder people love to use them as decorative accents once the weather starts to cool.
Stick a few mums of various colors in a simple pot and you’ve got yourself some lovely eye candy for your front porch.
Plant them next to other Fall-blooming flowers like Marigolds and Purple Coneflowers, and you’ve just created a low-maintenance flower bed that will bloom until frost and will shoot back up again next year. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me.
Chrysanthemums are particularly beloved for their voracious blooms that form a mounding shape inside pots or in the ground.
The blooms can last for weeks which makes them a good investment, especially if you’re using them as part of your Fall decor.
The best part is they’re relatively inexpensive (about a few dollars a pot) so if something goes awry, you’re not out a lot of money.
I know that many people struggle with keeping mums alive and looking their best through the season, so I’m sharing a few tips that have helped me keep these beauties thriving.
Let’s get to it!
chrysanthemums bloom in late summer through fall
You can start shopping for potted mums in late August, though I caution against it. It’s simply too hot for your potted mums to thrive outside.
Yes, mums love the sun, but they don’t love scorching temperatures. Being kept in 90-degree weather is nowhere near ideal for keeping their blooms looking fresh.
Instead, wait until the weather in your hardiness zone has cooled. These days, that means late September and October.
The mums you get at your local garden center will bloom for a few weeks, so you’ll still get plenty of time to enjoy them before Winter sets in.
You’re better off buying your mums in late September or early October when the weather is cooler. This gives them a better chance of survival. Remember that many regions still experience hot temperatures throughout the month if September.
Watering Tips for Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums may be classified as a drought-tolerant perennial, but I have found that they LOVE being water every day.
Nurseries keep mums pretty moist, so it only makes sense to keep them moist when you bring them home. They’ve been accustomed to getting water every day so underwatering them would shock the plant and cause the blooms to dry out.
I water my mums every morning with a watering can. I simply make sure the soil is moist. I do the tough test: I stick my finger into the soil about an inch or two deep. If it feels dry, I know it needs water, but if it still feels pretty moist, I’ll skip the watering for a day.
Watering every day might sound tedious but it has a huge payoff: good-looking mums with pretty blooms and healthy foliage.
My other recommendation is to water the soil, NOT the leaves. Try as best you can to water directly onto the soil instead of splashing the blooms and foliage with water.
Mums, like other plants, are susceptible to diseases like powdery mildew and fungus if exposed to too much moisture.
It’s crucial to Water mums the correct way: always water the soil, never the foliage. Mums are susceptible to diseases like powdery mildew, so aim to keep the leaves dry by pointing your watering can or hose directly over the soil.
How to Keep Blooms Looking Fresh
Pruning is key to getting more blooms out of your potted mums and keep them looking fresh! It’s a very fast and easy process, too.
All you need to do in order to deadhead successfully is take your scissors or pruners and snip the dead blooms off directly where the bloom meets the stem.
Do this as soon as you see your blooms starting to wither and brown. Deadheading will help direct the plant’s energy away from keeping the dying bloom alive to creating new buds.
Easy Fall Decor Tips for Decorating with Chrysanthemums
Potted mums make the perfect decorative piece for porches, patios, balconies, and even inside the home. Yes – people actually keep their potted mums indoors!
Chrysanthemums that can be kept indoors are sold indoors at garden centers and they’re usually wrapped in foil lining and are meant to be given as gifts.
If you’re going this route, just make sure to keep your potted mum in an area that gets plenty of access to sunlight.
To decorate your porch with potted mums, you can go two routes: stick to one color to make a monochromatic statement, or choose a variety of colors to make a bold splash!
To complete the look, place some faux or real pumpkins next to the flowers, add some hay or straw stacks, put down a beautiful Fall welcome mat, and hang a Fall floral wreath on your door!
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