The Biggest Mistake People Make With Their Fall Mums

The Biggest Mistake People Make With Their Fall Mums

The Biggest Mistake People Make With Their Fall Mums

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As summer gradually gives way to autumn, the colorful and lively scenery transforms into warm, earthy hues. One of the best ways to greet the fall season is by adorning your porch and garden with beautiful fall mums. These hardy plants add a burst of color to the surroundings, making them a favorite of many. However, it’s a common misconception that the mums are no longer worth keeping once the blooms start to wither away. In reality, these plants still have plenty of life left in them. Sadly, many people tend to discard their mums, not realizing that with a bit of care, they can enjoy their beauty for several more weeks or even the following year.

Fortunately, with a few simple techniques, you can extend the blooming season of these hardy plants and ensure their longevity, such as deadheading the flowers or transplanting them in your garden. So, rethink your approach to fall mums and make the most of these beautiful plants. With a little effort, you’ll be able to enjoy their vibrant colors and delightful blooms even longer.

Maintaining hardy mums


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Before making any decisions, evaluate the health of your mum plants. Check for any signs of disease or pests,such as leaf spots, rust, or powdery mildew. If they look healthy, you can continue to enjoy their beauty until the last flower gracefully withers away. As the blooming season comes to an end, you can opt to remove any spent flowers and yellowing leaves or trim the entire plant.

If you have potted mums, you can trim them back, wrap them, and bring them indoors to a cool spot like your garage or a cold frame where they can remain dormant over the winter. Alternatively, if you have a suitable spot in your garden with well-draining soil and ample sunlight, you can transplant your potted mums there. Place the mums in holes that are the same depth as they were in the container, trim the branches back to about 10 inches above the soil, and apply a layer of mulch. With a little care and attention, your mum plants can thrive for many seasons to come.

Caring for mums beyond autumn

gardener planting fall mums

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These beautiful flowering plants are a joy to have in your garden. Understanding mums’ biology and how they respond to various conditions is vital to their prolonged health and vitality. Like many plants, mums have periods of dormancy where they conserve energy and prepare for the next growing season. However, it’s essential to keep their roots from drying out, especially if you are overwintering them in containers indoors. Be careful not to over-water the plants or let them sit in waterlogged soil, as this can lead to root rot. Just keep the soil slightly damp.

It’s also worth noting that not all mum varieties are created equal when it comes to longevity. While many mum varieties are hardy perennials, others may need to be treated as annuals. This means that there’s a possibility that they might not return the following year, even with the best TLC.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.