When it comes to keeping your mums blooming longer this fall, a few simple tips can go a long way to help provide long-lasting blooms!
Without a doubt, mums are the go-to plant for fall decorating. With their bright, vibrant hues and gorgeous foliage, they add big interest to autumn displays. And considering you can find them in just about any color these days, it’s easier than ever to find them to fit any theme or decor.
But unfortunately, the stunning blooms of mums just never seem to last quite long enough. And when you consider how expensive they are to purchase, it can be a bit depressing to watch them fade away long before Autumn draws to an end.
Mums, or Chrysanthemums as they are officially known, do have a limited cycle of blooms. But there are a few key secrets to caring for them that can extend their blooming times – and keep them looking fantastic all through the fall decorating season.
Even better, if you are sure to select a hardy mum at the time of purchase, you can overwinter them to use again next year. And that can certainly save on the garden and decorating budget!
3 Simple Secrets To Keep Your Mums Blooming Longer
#1 Purchase Budding Mums, Not Blooming Mums
Keeping your mums blooming throughout the fall season all begins at the moment of purchase. Or more importantly, at what stage of the mums flowering cycle they are in when you take them home.
Big, beautiful plants in full bloom might look enticing in the store, but they will be fading soon. Once a mum’s flowers are out in full force, they might have two weeks at best of full flowering beauty. And, unless you need them for an instant display today, it’s best to avoid them all together.
One of the very best ways to keep a mum for the entire fall season is to purchase it before it is in it’s prime. Look for plants that are full of buds, or just barely beginning to open up.
Mums at this point are just beginning to explode with color. And that means you can have them providing beautiful blooms for up to a full 45 days or more. (See: How To Overwinter Mums)
Purchasing Mums To Keep
Another big key when purchasing your mums in the fall is to look for hardy mums. These are mum varieties that can handle overwintering with a bit of care.
Hardy mums can really stretch your gardening dollars by providing years of blooms and life. The can be overwintered in pots, or planted directly into flowerbeds to come back again and again.
Most labels will tell you if a mum is hardy or not. Hardy mums are often referred to as garden mums. These have full foliage and larger blooms.
Floral mums are not winter hardy, and should be avoided when trying to save for multiple years. Floral mums are usually much smaller plants with small cluster blooms.
#2) Keep Plants Cool & Shaded – How To Keep Your Mums Blooming Longer
Make no mistake, chrysanthemums thrive in full sun. But that sun and heat also speeds up the blooming cycle of the plant. And fast!
Hot temperatures and full sun are both put mums into full bloom production mode. In addition, the added heat and stress of the sunlight shortens the life of the blooms that appear.
But when kept in a partially shaded location, mums keep their blooms for a much longer period of time. In fact, a mum that blooms in partial shade can keep its blooms for as many as two weeks longer than a full sun mum.
Partially shaded patios, porches or under the canopy of a tree are all perfect locations to get the most from your mum bloom time.
#3 Keeping Plants Hydrated – How To Keep Your Mums Blooming Longer
Last but not least, it is absolutely vital to keep your mums watered! And believe it or not, how you water can also play a big role in how long and vibrant your blooms will stay.
It is a simple fact, but the quickest way to shorten a mum’s bloom period is with inconsistent watering. Autumn’s temperatures may be cooler, but the drier, less humid air also takes moisture away much faster. And that means plants can suffer quickly.
Check the soil of your plants daily with the tip of your fingertips. If the soil is dry, water well. Make sure to water long enough that the roots deep down in the container receive water.
But just as important as watering is to water gently. The best method is to put the nozzle of your hose or watering can under the blooms.
Why is this important? Heavy water on the blooms can both damage the blooms and shorten their bloom cycle. When blooms become saturated with water, they weaken and fade at a faster rate. They can also burn and scorch when the hot sun heats up the water droplets on their tender flowers.
To combat this, some gardeners don’t water from the top at all. Instead, they opt to sit their pots in a container and water from the bottom, allowing the water to soak upward into the roots.
Self-watering containers work perfect for this chore, and keep plants watered for up to 5 days or more. Product link : Self Watering Pots
No matter how you do it, water gently, and try to always keep from watering in the heat of the day or when the sun’s rays are shining at full power on your plants. Here is to keeping your mums blooming longer than ever this year!
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